The Encompass program, now underway at UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital, integrates treatment for substance use disorders and psychiatric issues in adolescents and young adults – with promising results.

For many years, those who treat substance use disorders (SUDs) and mental health issues have occupied separate realms. Addiction treatment specialists have been reluctant to treat problems like depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), while mental health professionals have shied away from addressing SUDs. The result: individuals with co-occurring addiction and mental health disorders have struggled to find psychiatrists willing to address their substance use, or addiction specialists willing to take on their mental health issues.