Fragmented health care may be a big reason why treatment for substance abuse doesn’t work, Elizabeth Tracey reports

August 8, 2022

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If you’re receiving treatment for a substance use disorder, it’s likely that your other medical issues are being addressed elsewhere, including mental health issues. With a recent study showing that 40% of the time mental health issues and substance abuse occur together, that’s a problem. Eric Strain, a substance use disorder expert at Johns Hopkins, explains.

Strain: We have a fragmented healthcare system and which actually in some states such as New York has three bins to it. so there’s the mental health bin, there’s the substance use bin, and there’s what you might call the somatic therapy or the general medical care bin. Those bins or siloes need to be better integrated. It’s very tragic that way given the high comorbidity between substance abuse and other mental health conditions, that you’ve got this fragmented system.  :29

Strain says the likelihood of bad outcomes, including death, is much higher when care isn’t coordinated. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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