Assessing and Treating Those With Co-Occurring Substance Abuse and Psychiatric Disorders

The best modern addiction treatment programs, such as Family Recovery Specialists, do not simply tackle a young adult or adolescent’s substance abuse, while making no effort to restore sustained psychological wellbeing. After all, there are more than 10 million Americans with co-existing substance-related and mental health disorders, according to recent epidemiological studies.

Patients with co-morbidity have also been shown to have poorer outcomes than those with single diagnoses, including increasing psychiatric symptoms, higher relapse risk, worse compliance, institutionalization, homelessness, increasing hospitalization rates and difficulties in managing their lives. They also have a higher risk for mortality.

Such findings only further emphasize the importance of professionals rising to the challenge of appropriately treating those with co-occurring psychiatric and substance abuse disorders. It has not helped that the traditional treatment system has often proved ineffective for dually diagnosed patients. Such a system may be based on a serial model, whereby a client is treated for only one type of disorder at a time, or what is known as parallel treatment, involving two agencies working with the clinicians simultaneously, each treating one type of disorder in a parallel manner.

However, there may be difficulties with this latter model in the coordination of treatment and the proper understanding of co-morbidity. This has prompted a move in recent years towards integrated treatment programs where can you buy semenax products, whereby a person with severe mental illness and substance abuse problems receives simultaneous on-site treatment for both types of disorders. Studies have suggested that integrated treatment programs can be effective in reducing substance abuse, psychopathology and time spent hospitalized, also bringing improvements in treatment, functional status and quality of life.

Although the last few years have seen greater awareness and knowledge about how dually diagnosed patients can be effectively treated, issues can still arise with regard to services delivery. Many addiction treatment programs still place restrictions on the admission of dually diagnosed clients, if they serve such patients at all. Dually diagnosed clients may also be poorly served by the confrontational approach and restricted use of medications in traditional programs. Even when such patients are treated, professionals may miss the second diagnosis.

All of these issues with delivering the right outcomes for dually diagnosed patients simply increase the importance of adequate assessment and treatment. An appropriate assessment will uncover such aspects as the severity of the psychiatric and substance abuse disorders, conditions associated with the occurrence and maintenance of these disorders and a person’s psychosocial needs and problems, as well as their motivation for treatment and areas for treatment intervention.

Such aspects are all addressed by leading integrated addiction treatment programs like that of Family Recovery Specialists.

Related Reading