Sample Projects

Related Links

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) External Link

National Drug Intelligence Center – Drug Abuse and Mental Illness Fast Facts External Link


    Clark, R., O’Connell, E., & Samnaliev, M. (2010). Substance abuse and healthcare costs knowledge asset. Web site created by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Substance Abuse Policy Research Program; March 2010.

    Clark, R., Samnaliev, M., & McGovern, M. (2007). Treatment for co-occurring mental and substance use disorders in five state medicaid programs. Psychiatric Services, 58(7), 942-948.

    McGovern, M., Clark, R. & Samnaliev, M. (2007). Co-occurring psychiatric and substance use disorders: A multi-state feasibility study of the quadrant model. Psychiatric Services, 58(7), 949-954.

    Co-occurring Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorders

    Mental illness and substance use disorders commonly occur together, affecting an estimated 4 million adults, according to the National Drug Intelligence Center’s 2002 estimate.

    Substance use disorders and mental illness are more prevalent among Medicaid beneficiaries, with diagnosis rates 50 to 100 percent higher than the general public.  These individuals also tend to experience more severe symptoms and are less likely to seek out routine care for either condition.  This has significant public health policy implications.

    Researchers from the UMass Medical School's Center for Health Policy and Research and Dartmouth Medical School reviewed diagnosis and treatment data for Medicaid beneficiaries in five states.  They found patients with both conditions were more likely to turn to hospital-based services for psychiatric or substance abuse treatment, bypassing more cost-effective community-based options.

    The findings suggested that Medicaid policies focusing primarily on community-based treatment were missing a large portion of the population.  The authors suggested Medicaid should adopt a no wrong door policy, helping beneficiaries receive treatment for both substance abuse and mental disorders, regardless of where they enter the system.


    Recent reports published on Buprenorphine:

    Clark, R., & Baxter, J. (2009). Overview of buprenorphine treatment for opioid addiction. Buprenorphine Knowledge Assets, Web site created by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Substance Abuse Policy Research Program.

    Key Staff 

    Robin Clark  Robin E. Clark, Ph.D.
    Senior Director, Research
     Ken Appelbaum 

    Kenneth Appelbaum, M.D.
    Director, Correctional Mental Health Policy and Research

    Learn More

    Center for Health Policy and Research
    (508) 856-3124