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PsychU Spotlight

Each month, the PsychU Spotlight highlights the most important topics and most recent innovations in mental health. The collection includes carefully curated resources to keep our members up-to-date on the latest in mental health care.

Monthly Spotlight

Comorbidities In Substance Use Abuse

Substance use abuse can be a debilitating struggle for many, but it is often not the only issue that is dealt with. Around one in five people who struggle with substance abuse also are affected by serious mental illness. Overlapping factors can contribute to both illnesses and require a multi-pronged approach to diagnosis and treatment.1 Integrated treatment has proven to be an effective way to combat comorbidities but requires effort from the patient and provider to coordinate resources. For more information on the management and treatment of comorbidities in substance use abuse, view the PsychU Spotlight resources listed below.

1The Connection Between Substance Use Disorders and Mental Illness. (2020, May 28). National Institute on Drug Abuse. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/common-comorbidities-substance-use-disorders/part-1-connection-between-substance-use-disorders-mental-illness

Did You Know?

2.6 percent of young adults, aged 18-25, who were diagnosis with serious mental illness or substance abuse also had comorbidities, almost double the percentage of adults (18 and older).


SAMHSA. (2019, May). Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United States: Results from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. https://store.samhsa.gov/product/key-substance-use-and-mental-health-indicators-in-the-united-states-results-from-the-2018-national-survey-on-Drug-Use-and-Health/PEP19-5068

In the U.S. during the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 25% of those that struggled with depression either started or increased substance use to cope with pandemic-related stress or emotions. This is more than double the increase that those without depression had (12%).


CDC. (2020, August). Mental Health, Substance Use, and Suicidal Ideation During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, June 24–30, 2020. https://openminds.com/wp-content/uploads/081220covidmentalsubstancesuicide.pdf

Follow-up mental health visits, following contact with an emergency department, are 15% lower for those with substance addiction. Those without substance use addiction follow-up approximately 40% of the time versus only 25% of those with substance addiction.


OPEN MINDS. (2020, June 25). Follow-Up Mental Health Visits Lower Among Those With Substance Addiction. https://openminds.com/market-intelligence/news/follow-up-mental-health-visits-lower-among-those-with-substance-addiction/

Annual Theme

New Models of Delivering Mental Health Care – Post-Pandemic Care  – Innovations in Care Delivery – Integrated Care Delivery – Consumer Empowerment – Innovation – Technology – Mental Health Science – Quality of Care – & More… Transforming care delivery is about building new models of integrated care for improved and accessible treatments in person-centered health and outcomes. Join in the dialogue as the industry continues the transformation of care delivery.

Upcoming Spotlight Themes

  • May 2021 – Mental Wellness Across The Lifespan
  • June 2021 – Trauma-Informed Care
  • July 2021 – Workplace Mental Health
  • August 2021 – Metrics & Improvements In Quality Outcomes
  • September 2021 – Preventing Suicide
  • October 2021 – The Next Crisis: Major Depressive Disorder
  • November 2021 – E-Health & Technology Related To Trauma
  • December 2021 – New Innovations In The Treatment Of Schizophrenia