Ireland’s Health Research Board engaged the Georgia Health Policy Center to conduct a rapid realist review on the treatment of co-occurring mental health and substance use services. The evidence review identifies treatment interventions that are associated with positive outcomes in patients with co-occurring addiction and mental health disorders, as well as approaches to integrating mental health and addiction services associated with improved outcomes for people with dual diagnoses. The review informs development of a standardized, evidence-based approach to the identification, assessment, and treatment of co-morbid mental illness and substance misuse.
The review included a systematic literature search, as well as engagement with knowledge users representing both providers and service users. This restructured model of care will ensure that all adolescents and adults having moderate to severe mental illness coexisting with significant substance misuse have access to a timely mental health service.