Tobacco Cessation Support Lacking in Mental Health Facilities

Less than half of patients in mental health, substance abuse treatment facilities offered counseling
Less than half of patients in mental health, substance abuse treatment facilities offered counseling

HealthDay News — Many patients in mental health and substance abuse treatment facilities are not screened for tobacco use or offered treatments to facilitate tobacco cessation, according to research published in the May 11 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Kristy Marynak, MPP, from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data from the 2016 National Mental Health Services Survey and the 2016 National Survey of Substance Abuse Treatment Services to examine tobacco-related policies and practices in mental health and substance abuse treatment facilities. 

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The researchers found that 48.9% of mental health treatment facilities reported screening patients for tobacco use in 2016; 37.6, 25.2, and 21.5% offered tobacco cessation counseling, nicotine replacement therapy, and non-nicotine tobacco cessation medications, respectively; 48.6% prohibited smoking in all indoor and outdoor locations. Overall, 64.0% of substance abuse treatment facilities reported screening patients for tobacco use in 2016; 47.4, 26.2, and 20.3% offered tobacco cessation counseling, nicotine replacement therapy, and non-nicotine tobacco cessation medications, respectively; 34.5% had smoke-free campuses.

"Full integration of tobacco cessation interventions into behavioral health treatment, coupled with implementation of tobacco-free campus policies in behavioral health treatment settings, could decrease tobacco use and tobacco-related disease and could improve behavioral health outcomes among persons with mental and substance use disorders," the authors write.

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