Respondto a colleague’s posting that addressed a different population than the one that you selected. Agree or disagree with your colleague’s position, and support your position using the Resources and the current literature.

Use at least 1 reference.

Colleague: Hayley

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A special populations that I may work with as a helping professional would be individuals with co-occurring disorders. I currently work with dually diagnosed autistic children. These children suffer for mental health disorders as well as being on the spectrum. My consumers are classified with such things as bipolar, schizophrenia, ODD and attachment disorders as well. Understanding how substance abuse can affect individuals with coexisting mental health illness and substance abuse has been difficult in the past. However, with revisions made to the TIP 9 assessment treating these individuals successfully has increased. The treatment improvement protocols (TIPs) focuses on what a helping professional needs to know and provides information in an accessible manner (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2005). 

One challenge that you make face when dealing with this population would be the lack of services and treatment centers available. Although the services have increased in the last two decades; there are still some short comings. These challenges show a poorer outcome for these individuals because of the lack of targeted treatment efforts (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2005). Another challenge would be trying to understand what diagnosis they have and how to treat it. Especially if the client is reluctant to share that information. 

Strategies to overcome this challenges would be get a better understanding of these mental health disorders as well as finding an adequate assessment to measure the addiction and the mental illness; and how they relate to each other. Another way would to try and gain access to previous treatment or medical history; only if the client gives permission. If one was not understanding enough in regards to mental health issues seeking help from other professionals could also help in the treatment. 


Doweiko, H. E. (2015). Concepts of chemical dependency (9th ed.). Stamford, CT: Cengage.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2005). Substance abuse treatment for persons with co-occurring disorders (DHHS Publication No. SMA 05-3992). Retrieved from Read sections 2–9.