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Rural Health Information Hub

Addressing Health Factors in Recovery

Individuals with SUD may need to address other health conditions that influence SUD or affect the prognosis for recovery. For example, individuals with SUD often have co-occurring mental health issues. These individuals will likely need access to mental health services in addition to SUD treatment. Approaches to improving health and increasing access to healthcare may include:

  • Clinical Case ManagementCase managers can support individuals with SUD by referring them to needed health and human services. Case managers may work with providers to discuss the individual's progress. They can be social workers, nurses, counselors, or students in these fields. Healthcare navigators and case managers can help individuals access Medicaid or other insurance for which they are eligible.
  • Trauma-Informed Services – Another guiding principle for recovery states that “recovery is supported by addressing trauma.” Individuals in recovery from SUD may require a trauma-informed services, as trauma is closely associated with substance misuse. Models of trauma-specific interventions for SUDs generally use a multicomponent approach consisting of working collaboratively with patients, families, friends, and human services providers to empower the patient; education about trauma and its effects; and training in coping and interpersonal skills. SAMHSA defines a trauma-informed treatment approach to mental health treatment as one that:
    • Understands the impact of trauma
    • Recognizes signs and symptoms of trauma in the patient as well as friends and family
    • Integrates knowledge of trauma into treatment systems and practices
    • Works to prevent re-traumatization in the individual
  • HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis C Services – Some rural communities are linking people who inject drugs to screening and treatment for HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C. People in SUD recovery with HIV/AIDS or hepatitis C will need ongoing treatment and support to address these health conditions. The Rural HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment Toolkit includes many more examples of rural communities addressing HIV/AIDS.

Resources to Learn More

Recovery and Recovery Support
Provides information about recovery-oriented care and recovery support systems to help individuals with substance use and mental health disorders manage and overcome their disease.
Organization(s): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Your Recovery Is Important: Virtual Recovery Resources
An annotated list of virtual recovery programs for a variety of mental health/substance use disorders.
Organization(s): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration