Co-Occurring Disorders and Substance Use Treatment (16 CE)

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Course Level: Intermediate

This course is for: Social Workers, Psychologists, Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapists, and Addiction Counselors

Course Format: This is a self-paced (non-interactive), online course. Participants are required to read the course materials and complete a post-test with a score of 75% or higher.

Course By: Helen Hinton, LPCC

Content By: Content by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Substance Use Disorder Treatment for People with Co-Occurring Disorders. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 42. SAMHSA Publication No. PEP20-02-01-004. Rockville, MD: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2020.

Course Description: Individuals who present with substance use disorder (SUD) frequently have co-occurring mental disorders.  The presence of co-occurring disorders can complicate the clinical landscape. The number of feasible and effective treatment modalities that can be used to treat this dually diagnosed demographic has shown an increase over the past 20 years. However, diagnostic inaccuracy, combined with insufficient levels of integrated care, may hinder treatment for these individuals. Insufficient access to care and faulty treatment modalities (modalities not designed to address the complex and bidirectional relationship between SUD and mental health disorders) are cited as the causal factors that prohibit the delivery and receipt of effective treatment services for this demographic.  

This course provides an overview of COD developments inclusive of current treatment options, the provision of integrated/concurrent services, and best-practice guidelines. These guidelines are intended for screening, assessing, diagnosing, and managing individuals who present with COD’s. Common co-occurring mental disorders are discussed, as are additional demographic-specific risk-factors. Additionally, consideration of population-specific individuals who are diagnosed with COD is further explored. These populations include those who are homeless, incarcerated, women, and traditionally underserved racial/ethnic groups.

Finally, strategies employers can use to mitigate workforce demands and challenges will be considered. Discussion pertaining to related COD competency and training will also be reviewed.

Learning Objectives:

1.Identify the prevalence, treatment needs, and trends in COD (substance use and mental health disorders) populations

2.Describe the complex, unstable, and bidirectional nature of CODs

3.Examine the 6 guiding principles for effective COD treatment services and identify related application strategies

4.Discuss the elements of evidence-based treatment as described in the 6 core components of effective treatment guidelines for practitioners

5.Identify and discuss competencies, attitudes, and values that are essential for successful service delivery

6.Examine effective strategies that COD practitioners can employ to mitigate burnout and turnover

7.Discuss how research and practice can be successfully integrated into COD programming

8.Identify effective COD screening and assessment procedures including employment of the biopsychosocial approach

9.Examine diagnostic criteria, features, prevalence, and treatment for disorders that typically co-occur with SUD

10.Explain how trauma and suicide risk-factors impact individuals who present with substance disorders and co-occurring mental health disorders

11.Understand the 10 guidelines for establishing rapport and maintaining a therapeutic alliance with individuals who present with COD and the ways that these guidelines are incorporated into clinical practice

12.Identify various treatment modalities and effective therapeutic approaches that can be implemented when working with this demographic

13.Understand the challenges faced by populations who present with increased vulnerability to treatment and methods for modifying treatment in consideration of such challenges          

14.Examine various treatment models and understand how the Four Quadrant Model serves as a framework for treatment

15.Discuss the way integrated care is designed as a best practice guideline and understand the related methods, modalities, and settings that can be modified to meet the needs of individuals who present with CODs.

16.Identify the ways in which adverse side effects of common medications can complicate the clinical presentation of CODs

17.Describe how burn out and turnover factor into treatment considerations for individuals with CODs.

18.Explain the steps supervisors and administrators can take towards improve training, supervision, and professional development so that individuals can maintain long-term recovery

Course Outline:

  • Guiding principles for effective COD service delivery
  • Screening and assessment of COD
  • Descriptive and diagnostic features and of common COD
  • Strategies for working with people who have CODs
  • CODs among special populations
  • COD treatment models and settings
  • Supervisory and administrative concerns for those working with individuals with CODs

Course Completion Requirements: All course materials are included in your AATBS student account. Attendees must read the course material and complete the accompanying test with a score of 75% or higher. Customers may retest if they score below 75%.

Evaluation: The course evaluation is also accessible in your student account. After completing the course, you will need to complete the course evaluation.

How certificate is issued: When all requirements for the course have been successfully completed, customers will be able to access and print a personal CE certificate in their student account.



Association for Advanced Training in the Behavioral Sciences is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Association for Advanced Training in the Behavioral Sciences maintains responsibility for this program and its contents.

Association for Advanced Training in the Behavioral Sciences has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 5750. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Association for Advanced Training in the Behavioral Sciences is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

The Association for Advanced Training in the Behavioral Sciences, provider #1085, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. AATBS maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 06/19/2021 – 06/19/2024.

Social workers completing this course receive 16 clinical continuing education credits.

Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling - #50-11015

Florida Board of Psychology #50-5452


Social Workers: Association for the Advanced Training in the Behavioral Sciences is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0112.

Counselors: Association for the Advanced Training in the Behavioral Sciences is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Counselors as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed counselors #MHC-0165.

Marriage Family Therapists: Association for the Advanced Training in the Behavioral Sciences is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Marriage Family Therapists as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed Marriage Family Therapists #MFT-0077.

Psychologists: The Association for the Advanced Training in the Behavioral Science is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Psychology as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychologists #PSY-0164.

The sponsor of this program has been approved to offer Continuing Education credit for Certified Addiction Specialists (CAS) in accordance with the American Academy of Health Care Providers in the Addictive Disorders. Approval No. 22-1420.

Continuing Education licensing requirements vary by jurisdiction, are not always well defined and may even supersede the rules of a national accreditation organization. We recommend you contact the applicable state licensing board or accrediting organization for the latest regulations and specific requirements of your state when considering our programs for Continuing Education credit.

Grievance/Refund Policy/Cancellation Policy

AATBS is fully committed to conducting all activities in strict conformance with the major mental health approving boards. AATBS will comply with all legal and ethical responsibilities to be non-discriminatory in promotional activities, program content and in the treatment of program participants. The monitoring and assessment of compliance with these standards will be the responsibility of the Program Director in consultation with the members of the continuing education committee.

Customer satisfaction is important to us. If you are unsatisfied for any reason, please send your complaint or questions in writing to You can view our refund policy here.

For additional information, including our Cancellation Policy, please review our Terms & Conditions.

Accommodations for Disabilities

To request accommodation; please contact our office at 1-800-472-1931 or email

More Information
Board ApprovalsAmerican Psychological Association (APA), Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB), NBCC, Florida Board - Social Work, MFT, Counseling, and Psychology, NYSED - Social Work, MFT and Counseling Only, American Academy of Health Care Providers in the Addictive Disorders
CE FormatOnline, Text-Based