TNCODC

Co-Occurring Disorder Facts

Families

An estimated 60% of families of children in the child welfare system have substance use problems. At least one-half of those have a diagnosed co-occurring mental illness.

Communities

At least 50% of people who are homeless have co-occurring disorders. Left untreated, they have little chance at obtaining jobs and permanent housing.

Judicial and Criminal Justice Systems

In the criminal justice system, 76% of inmates with mental health issues reported substance use.

Suicide Fact

51% of suicide completers have both substance abuse and mood disorders (Suominen et al., 1996)

The Legislative Perspective

It is estimated that over 10 million people across the United States are struggling with co-occurring disorders. Many of these people do not access treatment services, and when they do, the treatment is often not "integrated" or delivered in a way that best meets their need.
 
Based on national prevalence data it is estimated that in Tennessee approximately 196,000 individuals are diagnosed with a co-occurring disorder.
 
 

A Legislative Perspective 

FAMILIES AND INDIVIDUALS

  • An estimated 60% of families of children in the child welfare system have substance use problems. At least one-half of those have a diagnosed a co-occurring mental illness.
  • In 2013, Tennessee had approximately 8,200 children and adolescents in state custody. Prevalence data tells us that approximately 2,500 of the families in the state's foster care system are impacted by substance use and mental health disorders.
  • Co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders have a negative impact on health, relationships, safety, employment and education and pose a greater challenge in maintaining recovery or resiliency than those with a single diagnosis.

COMMUNITIES

  • People who experience co-occurring disorders usually have more episodes of relapse and more emergency room visits.
  • Individuals with co-occurring disorders have to go to inpatient hospitals to address symptoms of mental illness and addiction more often than people who are dealing with one disease.
  • People with co-occurring disorders have higher rates of chronic diseases such as HIV, diabetes, heart disease and/or hepatitis.
  • At least 50% of people who are homeless have co-occurring disorders. Left untreated, they have little chance at obtaining jobs and permanent housing.

BUSINESS AND WORKFORCE

  • Mental illness and substance abuse drains over $100 billion from American businesses. More workers are absent due to stress and anxiety than physical illness or accidents.
  • At least 50% of people who are homeless have co-occurring disorders. Left untreated, they have little chance at obtaining jobs and permanent housing.

JUDICIAL AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEMS

  • In the criminal justice systems, 76% of inmates with mental health issues reported substance use.
  • Untreated, co-occurring disorders are a strong predictor of recidivism for the criminal justice system.

Ways you, as a Legislator, can initiate change to reduce the impact of co-occurring disorders.

Support Enhanced Treatment

  • Support a "no wrong door" community-based integrated treatment approach where the presence of co-occurring disorders is considered an expectation rather than an exception. Regardless of where an individual goes for treatment, they will be able to get the help they need.
  • Support routine co-occurring disorders screenings and treatment referrals for individuals entering the criminal justice system and the development of adequate treatment options and resources that have been shown to be effective.


Pave the Way for Adequate Funding for Effective Behavioral Healthcare Treatment Options

  • Pass laws which focus on a variety of treatment options including, but not limited to, inpatient and outpatient care, supportive housing, and peer-to-peer support as these treatment techniques provide the best possible opportunity for recovery.


Advocate for Awareness and Education on the Impact of Co-Occurring Disorders

  • Be an advocate for local community partnerships with their community-based behavioral health agencies and advocacy organizations in educating and bringing about awareness of co-occurring disorders and their impact on local communities.
  • Be an advocate for enhanced training and education for judicial and criminal justice personnel and developing an awareness of the needs of individuals experiencing co-occurring disorders.
  • Be an advocate for incentives for employers to offer Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) and access to effective treatment programs for employees and their families experiencing co-occurring disorders.