Pp. 26-36 (11)
R. Dario Pulido
Dual diagnosis exists when there is a substance use disorder occurring in
conjunction with another non-substance mental health diagnosis. The presence of dual
diagnosis is common and poses significant challenges to health care providers, due to
both the increased severity and poorer treatment outcomes compared to when there is a
single condition. Substance use disorders may develop in response to a mental health
condition, although this is not always the case. A key diagnostic task is to conduct a
thorough assessment that considers a full range of issues. Treatment should attempt to
address both aspects of a dual diagnosis in an integrated and coordinated manner. If
this is not possible, treatment for both conditions should at least be concurrent. This is
in contrast to past perspectives embracing a sequential approach. Treatments for dual
diagnoses are effective and may include a variety of interventions including
psychotherapy, pharmacotherapy, and community self-help groups. The current chapter
utilizes a case example to illustrate many of the relevant issues.
Assessment, Comorbid conditions, Comorbidity, Dual diagnoses,
Dual diagnosis, Substance use disorder, Treatment.
Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences, Department VA Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System, 4101 Woolworth Ave. Omaha, NE 68105, USA.