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

19 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:
Brian E. Perron, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Michigan. He studies services for persons with substance use disorders and psychiatric disorders, with an emphasis on their co-occurrence. The focus of his work involves issues related to treatment process, treatment utilization, and quality of care. Dr. Perron’s training was funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and National Institute on Drug Abuse. He currently teaches social work courses on the diagnosis and treatment of substance use and psychiatric disorders. Prior to his doctoral training, Dr. Perron worked as a clinical social worker.

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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