Treatment guidelines for substance use disorders and serious mental illnesses: Do they address co-occurring disorders

Brian E. Perron, Alicia Bunger, Kimberly Bender, Michael G. Vaughn, Matthew O. Howard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Practice guidelines are important tools for improving the delivery of evidence-based practices and reducing inappropriate variation in current treatment approaches. This study examined the degree to which guidelines targeted to the treatment of substance use disorders or serious mental illness address treatment of co-occurring disorders. Guidelines archived by the National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC) were retrieved in December 2007 and content analyzed. Nineteen pertinent guidelines were identified, and 11 included recommendations regarding the assessment and/or treatment of co-occurring disorders. None of the guidelines making recommendations for treatment of co-occurring disorders included outcomes that clearly targeted both substance use and mental health disorders. Limitations and implications of this study are noted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1262-1278
Number of pages17
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - 2010 May

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
gender-specific pathways from childhood maltreatment to juvenile delinquency among youth in the child welfare system. Her research aims to improve services and develop empirically-based interventions for adolescents at risk of problem behavior. She recently contributed to an intervention research project on methods for engaging runaway youth in substance use treatment funded by the National Institute for Drug Abuse. Prof. Bender has worked in a variety of clinical settings with youth, including residential treatment, inpatient facilities, and outpatient mental health centers.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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