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“In the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP 42), clients said to have Co-Occurring Disorders have one or more disorders related to the use of alcohol and/or other drugs of abuse as well as one or more mental disorders(Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies).”

Over the past several decades, the population of the United States has become increasingly diverse. One third of the population belongs to a racial/ethnic minority group according to the U.S. Census Bureau; this percentage is projected to increase to 54 percent by 2050. With this diversity, it becomes increasingly important to address health and health care disparities related to race/ethnicity, as well as age and gender, socioeconomic status, geography, and disability. An area of concern is assessing substance use and mental health disorders and ensuring access to care.

Substance abuse impacts the lives of millions of people every year and imposes untold health, social, and economic costs on individuals, families, and communities. Developing a  better understanding of the behavioral health needs of these groups can help inform public health policy, build prevention and treatment programs that target the different needs of these populations, and ultimately expand access to services for individuals who need them (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies. (May 27, 2010). The NSDUH Report: Substance Use among Hispanic Adults. Rockville, MD).”