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Substance Abuse, HIV, and Mental Health Issues: Prevention and Treatment Challenges

  • Dionne J. Jones
  • George W. Roberts
Chapter

Abstract

Two decades of research has established a link between substance abuse and HIV/AIDS, often referred to as the twin epidemics.1,2 Additionally, substance abuse and mental disorders are often co-occurring conditions;3 persons with substance use disorders are at elevated risk for mental health disorders and vice versa. People infected with HIV/AIDS and having co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders face enormous difficulty in accessing treatment and they often fail to receive adequate treatment for one or more of their illnesses.4 People with triple diagnoses (substance abuse, mental health disorders, and HIV) represent a growing challenge to health care service providers. This is even more tenuous for racial/ethnic minorities who are disproportionately represented and impacted by these diseases.

This chapter presents data on the prevalence of drug use, mental illness, and HIV/AIDS among racial/ethnic minorities; addresses the link between substance abuse and HIV/AIDS; the link between mental disorder and HIV; and examines the effectiveness of HIV risk reduction strategies for drug-using populations. Further, the chapter discusses mental health issues and the needs of HIV-positive substance abusers and sets forth optimal management strategies for engaging the dually and triply diagnosed in treatment. Focus will be placed on racial/ethnic minorities, particularly African Americans, where appropriate.

Keywords

Mental Illness Severe Mental Illness Mental Health Issue Dual Diagnosis Substance Abuse Disorder 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Services Research Branch, Division of Epidemiology, Services & Prevention ResearchNational Institute on Drug AbuseBethesdaU.S.

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