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Horizontal Needs in Vertical Systems: Addressing the challenges faced by youth with co-occurring disorders

  • This is an online event. (map)

Presenters: James Hiatt, MSW, Acting Director, Office of Youth and Young Adult Services, DPH-Bureau of Substance Abuse Services & Jennifer Rifkin, LICSW, Director of Youth and Young Adult Services, Institute for Health and Recovery

Significant substance use in youth and young adults does not occur in a vacuum, nor can it be written off as merely "adolescent experimentation". It is estimated that 50 to 75 percent of clients entering treatment for a substance use disorder (SUD) also have a co-occurring psychiatric disorder (Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, 2005). In the criminal justice arena, a study of over 1800 youth in detention facilities found that nearly 50 percent had a substance use disorder, with poly substance use being the rule rather than the exception (McClelland et al., 2004). Finally, research has found young adults to be the segment of the population most vulnerable to co-occurring disorders (Chan, Dennis, and Funk, 2008).

In this webinar the presenters will describe the BSAS continuum of care for youth and young adults, how the levels of care operate, and some of the challenges faced by youth and young adults receiving treatment for substance use disorders. The presenters will describe progress in helping to serve clients with co-occurring disorders but will also point out areas where more training and capacity building is needed. Finally, the presenters will provide two case studies where successful cross-system collaboration helped adolescents get the services they needed.