Home > Rapid evidence review: The relationship between alcohol and mental health problems.

Campbell, Anne and Forbes, Trisha and McLaughlin, Aisling and Davidson, Gavin and Butler, Michelle and Blair, Carolyn and Menabney, Norma and McKeaveney, Clare [Alcohol Change UK] . (2019) Rapid evidence review: The relationship between alcohol and mental health problems. London: Alcohol Change UK. 52 p.

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Key findings:
• There is a strong multi directional link between alcohol use disorders (AuDs) and mental health disorders which is reflected in the high level of complex needs experienced by the service user grouping.
• Rates of co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders range from 30-85%, according to the measures used and the sub group settings in which they are assessed.
• The variance in prevalence is also mirrored in the range of service delivery models which address the needs of those with co morbid conditions. However, three models are consistently referred to in the literature; serial, parallel and integrated.
• The literature also identifies inconsistencies in regional and UK policy and guidance for working with co morbid AuDs and mental health disorders with gaps in policy and guidance most evident for England and Northern Ireland.
• The development of a UK national policy framework for working with co morbid mental health and substance use disorders is overdue and should specifically address the issues of morbidities related to AuDs.
• A review of interventions indicated some level of success for cognitive behavioural interventions in the treatment of comorbid AuDs and mental health disorders.
• It was also clear that combinations of drug therapies for comorbid AuDs and mental health disorders showed successful outcomes, specifically those which incorporated Naltrexone and Disulfiram in the treatment arm of the studies. Conversely, there were less successful outcomes recorded for singular drug treatments such as Acamprosate.
• The majority of the studies in the review showed evidence of weak research design, including lack of detail as regards appropriate control groups, randomisation and concealment and a reliance on small sample sizes.
• Further methodologically rigorous research is needed to examine the effectiveness of pharmacological and psychosocial treatments for comorbid AuDs and mental health disorders.


Item Type:Evidence resource
Publication Type:Review
Drug Type:Alcohol
Intervention Type:AOD disorder, AOD disorder drug therapy, AOD disorder treatment method, AOD disorder harm reduction, Psychosocial treatment method
Source:Alcohol Change UK
Date:August 2019
Pages:52 p.
Publisher:Alcohol Change UK
Place of Publication:London
EndNote:View
Subjects:B Substances > Alcohol
G Health and disease > State of health > Mental health
G Health and disease > Substance related disorder > Dual diagnosis (comorbidity)
G Health and disease > Substance use disorder > Alcohol use
G Health and disease > Substance related disorder > Substance related mental disorder
HJ Treatment method > Psychosocial treatment method
HJ Treatment method > Treatment outcome
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Risk and protective factors > Risk factors
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Treatment and maintenance > Treatment factors
VA Geographic area > Europe > United Kingdom

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