Depression care among adults with co-occurring major depressive episodes and substance use disorders in the United States

Beth Han, Mark Olfson, Ramin Mojtabai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective We examined 12-month prevalence and correlates of receiving depression care and perceiving helpfulness of depression care among U.S. adults with major depressive episodes (MDE) and substance use disorders (SUD). Method Data were from 325,800 adults who participated in the 2008–2014 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). Descriptive analyses and bivariable and multivariable logistic regression models were applied. Results In the U.S., 3.3 million adults (1.4% of the adult population) had co-occurring MDE and SUD in the past year. Among adults with both disorders, 55.4% reported receiving past-year depression care. Among those with past-year depression care, 36.1% perceived it as helpful. Compared with adults who did not receive substance use treatment in the past year, those who received substance use treatment were significantly more likely to receive depression care, and those who received treatment of both disorders were more likely to perceive their depression care as helpful (adjusted risk ratios (ARRs) = 1.5–1.6). Compared with adults who received depression care only from general medical providers, those who received depression care from specialty mental health providers were more likely to report that their care was helpful (ARRs = 1.4–1.6). Receipt of prescription medication for MDE was associated with perceived helpfulness of depression care (ARR = 1.3, 95% CI = 1.05–1.73). Conclusions Almost half of adults with co-occurring MDE and SUD did not receive past-year depression care. Among those who received depression care, most did not perceive it as helpful. Substance use treatment, specialty mental health treatment, and antidepressant medications were perceived as helpful aspects of depression care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-56
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
StatePublished - Aug 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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