The Official Website of Utah County Government

Department of Drug and Alcohol Prevention and Treatment

Richard Nance, Director

Utah County Department of Drug and Alcohol Prevention and Treatment
Co-Occurring Disorders

Substance Abuse does not occur in a vacuum.

There is a strong correlation between substance abuse and other social welfare problems, such as mental illness, poor health and injuries, child abuse and neglect, school failure, juvenile delinquency, employment problems, and criminal behavior. UCDDAPT collaborates with many community agencies in Utah County to provide coordinated care to populations with co-occurring disorders.

Mental Health :

The overlap between major mental illness and substance abuse is estimated to be in the range of 30 to 50 percent. UCDDAPT operates dual-diagnosis treatment groups in collaboration with Wasatch Mental Health. Counselors from both agencies staff treatment groups at UCDDAPT and Wasatch's adult treatment programs.

In addition to counseling, clients can receive medication management services from physicians working at either organization. Dual-diagnosis staff are trained and receive ongoing clinical supervision to work effectively with this fragile special needs population. In addition, we cooperate with Utah Valley Regional Medical Center Emergency Department staff and the crisis intervention staff at Wasatch Mental Health to screen and make appropriate treatment referrals for clients presenting in mental health emergencies which might also be substance abuse related.

Health and Injuries :

UCDDAPT nursing staff screen all new clients admitted to residential treatment for communicable diseases, such as Tuberculosis, HIV, and Hepatitis C since there is a high frequency of those communicable diseases among substance abuse treatment clients. We work closely with hospitals and local physicians to screen clients seeking detoxification services for potentially dangerous medical complications prior to admission. We have begun to work closely with the Mountainlands Clinic - a federally funded community health center in Provo - to provide substance abuse screening services to patients seeking care there.

Child Abuse and Neglect :

The overlap between child abuse and neglect and substance abuse is reported to be between 60 and 80 percent. The Western Region of the State Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) and UCDDAPT have worked closely for many years to coordinate case management services and to arrange treatment and drug screening services for parents of children under the supervision of DCFS. For the past ten years, DCFS and UCDDAPT have operated a Family Drug Court program in collaboration with the Utah 4th District Juvenile Court. Sober parents can provide a safer living environment for their children.

School Failure :

School can be a miserable experience for poorly performing students, students with learning disabilities, and children with high numbers of risk factors. Substance abuse often is a result of poor academic performance and social and family pressures. Substance abuse can also be a cause of poor academic performance. UCDDAPT's prevention programs operated in conjunction with the three Utah County school districts target high risk children for specialized intervention services designed to minimize or prevent drug and alcohol specific behavior.

Juvenile Delinquency :

Nearly 90 percent of youth involved with the juvenile justice system have substance abuse problems intertwined with their delinquent behavior. UCDDAPT provides intervention and treatment services within facilities and programs serving youth involved with the legal system. UCDDAPT also recently expanded its treatment capacity for juveniles involved with the 4th District Youth Drug Court program. Wasatch Mental Health staff and UCDDAPT staff both support the UCAP re-entry grant program operated by the State Division of Youth Corrections.

Employment Problems :

A high percentage of adults seeking publicly funded substance abuse treatment services do not have a high school diploma or GED. As a result, employment prospects and earning ability are severely limited. UCDDAPT maintains an ongoing relationship with the Utah Department of Workforce Services for purposes of job coaching, employment counseling, accessing the job market, and access to benefit programs bridging treatment and employment.

Criminal Behavior :

Each dollar spent on substance abuse treatment can save up to $7 in the costs of incarceration in state prisons and county jails. Eighty-five percent of incarcerated adults have some drug or alcohol related problem contributing to their conviction. Both the OUT program operated by UCDDAPT in the Utah County Security Center, and the DORA program funded by the State of Utah and operated in collaboration with the Utah County Adult Parole and Probation AP&P office provide substance abuse treatment services for both males and females incarcerated in the County Jail or under the supervision of AP&P. Utah County's felony drug court program also provides treatment services for this population in collaboration with the Utah County Attorney's office, the Utah County office of the Public Defender, and 4th District Court.