In today’s addiction care, special attention is being given to patients who have a co-occurring mental health disorder. These patients benefit hugely from receiving care known as dual diagnosis residential treatment, meaning the patient is receiving simultaneous treatment for both the substance abuse and the psychological disorder. Because these are often intertwined, addressing both issues at once gives the patient the best chance for recovery.
Screening for these types of patients can be difficult. For example, an estimated 10.6% of full-time workers deal with substance abuse, and another 10.2% deal with a serious psychological issue. Though a patient may seem high-functioning, he or she may be walking a tenuous line of coping with a mental health through substance abuse.The problem is that 3 million adults are living with a dual diagnosis and less than 5% will receive treatment for both issues.
This is why all patients presenting with a substance abuse disorder should also be screened for possible underlying mental health issues. There are, however, some groups at higher risk that garner additional concern because of their propensity to develop co-occurring disorders.