Over the past decade, several studies have attempted to determine whether integrating psychiatric and substance abuse treatment leads to better outcome for patients with comorbid schizophrenia and substance use disorders. A recent (1999) Cochrane Review (1) analyzed the effectiveness of prospective randomized studies of integrated treatment approaches, and concluded that there was no clear evidence for superiority of integrated treatment. This paper describes one such integrated treatment approach, in Beth Israel Medical Center's COPAD (Combined Psychiatric and Addictive Disorders) program. We summarize findings from an initial outcome study and a recent replication study; and describe clinical and research issues relevant to this population. Our data suggests the benefits of integrated treatment for patients with addictive disorders and schizophrenia, at least with regard to treatment retention. Clinical issues for such patients include identification of patients at risk, proper assessment and treatment planning, decision-making about mainstreaming vs. referral to specialized programs, and the importance of initial engagement and ongoing reengagement in successful treatment.
Psychiatric Quarterly – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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