” In the ongoing battle against mental illness, some of our most valiant warriors are on the front lines working with dually diagnosed, seriously ill individuals – that is, individuals who present not only with chronic and severe mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, but also with substance abuse. These patients confound the best efforts of public mental health systems and networks of treatment programs for addiction. As the authors of this book point out, the traditional approach has been to choose one diagnosis and focus treatment efforts on that before moving on to treat the second diagnosis. Typically and tragically, these efforts have most often been futile. Now Kim Mueser and his coauthors describe in this ground-breaking work a treatment for these difficult patients that provides a “Seamless integration of psychiatric and substance abuse interventions in order to form a more cohesive unitary system of care.”
Dr. D. Barlow, from the Editor’s Note
If your team doesn’t have a copy of Integrated Treatment for Dual Disorders you must, must, must get a copy. This compilation covers a slew of stuff, from the basics, to assessment, group interventions to working with families and more. It really is a necessary resource that every ACT team should have on the bookshelf.
“…persons with severe psychiatric illness are at much greater risk for developing a substance use disorder than people in the general population. What accounts for the very high rate of comorbidity of the psychiatric and substance use disorders? Understanding the factors that contribute to the high rate of comorbidity may provide clues useful in the treatment of dual disorder.”
Rather than expecting clinicians to read it cover to cover use the chapters as jumping off points for education session discussions. Has your team ever tried offering persuasion groups (see Chapter 9)? How is a persuasion group different from an active treatment group? What are the problems associated with traditional twelve-step groups for clients with dual disorders (see page 187)?
And if you’re going to be in Norway this June consider attending the EAOF’s 3rd European Congress on Assertive Outreach and hear Dr. Robert Drake, one of the authors addressing Assertive outreach for people with co-occurring disorders. (btw sunrise in Oslo on June 24th is 3:55 AM, sunset 10:44 PM!)