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Research Updates

Links to the latest research and articles about co-occurring disorders, substance use and mental health.

Treating Depression, Anxiety Reduces Risk of Substance Abuse in Youth
Treating depression in adolescents can head off the risk of substance abuse, indicate two recent studies.  Youth who'd received effective short-term treatment for depression were significantly less likely to begin to abuse substances.

U.S. Unprepared for Behavioral Health Needs of Aging Adults, NIM Warns
The U.S. healthcare system is understaffed and unprepared to deal with the rising number of aging baby boomers in need of mental health and substance use treatment, according to a National Institute of Medicine report.

Peer Support Key to Sustaining Recovery
A longstanding tradition in the addiction recovery community, peer support groups also help people with mental health disorders. Research findings now illustrate their benefits.

Study: 1 in 5 Adults Suffered a Mental Illness, Substance Use Disorders in 2010
SAMHSA survey finds higher rate of substance use disorders among those who reported a mental illness in 2010. Among all adults, 20 percent experienced mental illness last year, the study finds.

The Status of Treating Co-Occurring Disorders
At least 50 to 75 percent of Americans seeking treatment for a substance abuse problem also have a co-occurring mental health disorder. However, training of professionals for treating dual diagnoses in the field is not as frequent as its prevalence among Americans.

Also: Online course provides training needed to achieve credentials in co-occurring disorders treatment. Learn more
And: Webinar provides an overview of FIT and explains its role in certification. Learn more

Model Shows Promise in Reducing Harm, Risk for HIV and HCV in Dually Diagnosed Clients
Recent clinical trial of the STIRR model indicated increased rates of testing and immunization and increased knowledge of HCV among participants with severe mental illness and co-occurring disorders.

Study shows savings with IDDT
A study of behavior healthcare claims data in Ohio found that Integrated Dual Disorders Treatment helped save $1.4 million in service costs for a group of 160 people with severe mental illness and co-occurring substance abuse disorders.

How Colleges Can Identify Depressed Students
One out of every four or five students who visits a university health center for a routine cold or sore throat turns out to be depressed, but most centers miss the opportunity to identify these students because they don’t screen for depression, according to new research from Northwestern University's School of Medicine. Read absract in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry.

Gene Variant Could Predict Chance of Depression
Whether you roll with life's punches or become depressed in the face of stress may be determined, in part, by your genes, according to new research from the University of Michigan. See also: Abstract of article in Archives of General Psychiatry.

Teens with hard-to-treat depression still at risk for relapse
Researchers in long-term study say data point to a need for more effective treatments.  See also: Abstract of journal article

Second-hand smoke tied to mental health problems in children
A British study links exposure to second-hand smoke to conduct disorder and other mental health issues in children.
source article abstract.  See also: abstract of journal article

Study: Small area of brain could be key to PTSD
A new study suggests that a small area of the brain, just above the right ear, could be the key to understanding how post traumatic stress disorder works. See also: Abstract of journal article

First-time dads' age tied to kids' schizophrenia risk
Men who are relatively older at their first child's birth may be more likely than younger first-time dads to have a child who eventually develops schizophrenia, hint results of a large Danish study. See also: Abstract of journal article

Possible new therapeutic uses for recreational drugs
A recent study suggests that "ecstasy," a commonly abused psychedelic drug, may help patients with chronic post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Other research suggests that ketamine (an anesthetic drug with similarities to angel dust or PCP) may help patients with treatment-resistant depression.

JAMA article finds integrated care 'key' for co-occurring disorders
Despite a growing body of evidence that integrated care is important in treating individuals with addiction and comorbid psychiatric disorders, such care remains in short supply. But efforts by scientists and policy makers aim to improve access to such treatment.

Is your junk food habit making you depressed?
A new study published in The British Journal of Psychiatry makes a strong case that processed junk food can trigger or contribute to depression, while eating whole and healthy food seems protective.

Report advises pregnant women to discontinue use of antidepressants
Women experience depression two to three times more frequently than men. Depression can be devastating for these women in general, but it can lead to significant consequences when experienced before and during pregnancy. A new report on pregnancy and depression advises that many women consider discontinuing therapy with antidepressants before and during pregnancy.

Dartmouth study examines treatment of PTSD, substance abuse
Patients suffering from both substance abuse and post traumatic stress disorder are most successfully treated when the two conditions are addressed simultaneously, according to a study by Dartmouth Medical School faculty members published in the October issue of the journal Addictive Behaviors.

Study: 8.3 million adults in the U.S. had serious thoughts of committing suicide in the past year
Nearly 8.3 million adults in the United States (3.7 percent) had serious thoughts of committing suicide in the past year, according to the first national scientific survey of its size on this public health problem.

Focus on Integrated Treatment:
This webinar provides an overview of FIT and explains its role in providing the tools and training needed to become certified to treat clients with co-occurring disorders.
Fact Sheets

Download these PDFs for more information about the following disorders:

This fact sheet can help explain the causes of co-occurring disorders:

Research on
Co-occurring Disorders

Browse the 25 most relevant articles related to the treatment of co-occurring disorders.

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