This study examined the effects of integrating mental health, substance abuse, and housing interventions for homeless persons with co-occurring severe mental illness and substance use disorder. With the use of a quasi-experimental design, integrated treatment was compared with standard treatment for 217 homeless, dually diagnosed adults over an 18-month period. The integrated treatment group had fewer institutional days and more days in stable housing, made more progress toward recovery from substance abuse, and showed greater improvement of alcohol use disorders than the standard treatment group. Abuse of drugs other than alcohol (primarily cocaine) improved similarly for both groups. Secondary outcomes, such as psychiatric symptoms, functional status, and quality of life, also improved for both groups, with minimal group differences favoring integrated treatment.
1 New Hampshire-Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center, Departments of Psychiatry and Community and Family Medicine, Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, New Hampshire.
2 Community Connections, Washington, D.C.
Send reprint requests to Dr. Robert E. Drake, New Hampshire-Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center, 105 Pleasant Street, Concord, New Hampshire 03301.
This research was supported by the National Institutes on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (AA-08840) and the National Institute of Mental Health (MH-00839).