Home > Screening for and assessment of co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders by alcohol & other drug and mental health services.

Croton, G . (2007) Screening for and assessment of co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders by alcohol & other drug and mental health services. Victoria: Victorian Dual Diagnosis Initiative Advisory Group.

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Evidence shows that people with mental health or substance use disorders are at increased risk of also developing the other disorder. Early recognition of co-occurring disorders leads to the development of the most effective possible treatment. Yet even very experienced mental health clinicians often fail to recognise a co-occurring substance use disorder. Similarly, many substance use disorder treatment clinicians struggle to recognise – let alone assess and respond to – the presence of co-occurring mental health disorders in their clientele.

This guide aims to equip treating mental health (MH) and alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment clinicians and agencies to recognise co-occurring disorders and provide effective responses.

The section Screening and assessment in practice provides guidelines for screening and assessment in practice, and addresses the main challenges confronting clinicians and managers seeking to implement routine screening in MH or AOD treatment settings. These include: why, who, how and when screening should take place; when not to screen; the difference between assessment and screening for co-occurring disorders; barriers to routine integrated screening, assessment and treatment; issues in screening with younger people; and steps to take after screening has occurred.

Screens for mental health symptoms and disorders outlines four key tools available for use in screening for mental health symptoms and disorders and is aimed at clinicians currently working in the Victorian AOD sector. These include:
• K10
• PsyCheck
• Modified Mini Screen
• Mental Health Screening Form.

Screens for substance use disorders introduces Victorian MH clinicians to four key tools that may be used when screening for substance use disorders. These include:
• Sensitive questioning
• AUDIT
• ASSIST
• Cage / CageAid.


Item Type:Evidence resource
Publication Type:Guideline
Drug Type:Alcohol or other drugs in general
Intervention Type:Screening
Date:2007
Publisher:Victorian Dual Diagnosis Initiative Advisory Group
Place of Publication:Victoria
EndNote:View
Accession Number:HRB (Electronic Only)
Subjects:J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Care by type of problem > Mental health care
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Identification and screening > Identification and screening for substance use
G Health and disease > Substance related disorder > Dual diagnosis (comorbidity)
B Substances > Alcohol
G Health and disease > Substance related disorder > Substance related mental disorder

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