The Changing Shape of Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders

Two health policy experts discuss how the Affordable Care Act and other policy changes will affect the future of mental health care

In this first installment of one of Harold Pollack’s “Curbside Consult” interview series for, Harold and I discuss the changing mental health needs of veterans, the myth that drug illegality is the cause of opioid overdoses, the role of alcohol in violence and incarceration, and the effectiveness of Alcoholics Anonymous.

Author: Keith Humphreys

Keith Humphreys is the Esther Ting Memorial Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University and an Honorary Professor of Psychiatry at Kings College London. His research, teaching and writing have focused on addictive disorders, self-help organizations (e.g., breast cancer support groups, Alcoholics Anonymous), evaluation research methods, and public policy related to health care, mental illness, veterans, drugs, crime and correctional systems. Professor Humphreys' over 300 scholarly articles, monographs and books have been cited over thirteen thousand times by scientific colleagues. He is a regular contributor to Washington Post and has also written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Monthly, San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian (UK), The Telegraph (UK), Times Higher Education (UK), Crossbow (UK) and other media outlets.

5 thoughts on “The Changing Shape of Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders”

  1. Well done. I love the format. I didn’t know anything about the introduction of parity for mental health into the ACA medicaid system and now I do. The discussion of practical administrative and clinical issues that need to be addressed related to service delivery in the new system would have kept me listening/watching for another hour. Where do you go from here?

      1. Sorry I wasn’t clear. I cycled through all four parts of the consult via your post on the RBC website. No need for youtube.

        What are you folks going to do next with this material? Nova? Frontline? PBS Special? Imagine what Ken Burns might do with this. There’s also a “What’s going on today in mental health” hook to this that should put it (or something like it) into a graduate seminar maybe even juniors/seniors in social sciences. The informality of it is compelling certainly not “rinky-dink” regardless of what your colleague thinks. It’s a wonderful mix of policy leavened by real life clinical stuff.

        1. That is very kind of you alnval. Harold, now coming to a computer near you both on his curbside consults and his Washington Post gig, seems to me poised to do something like this on a bigger scale, like Chris Hayes on MSNBC.

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