The term "dual diagnosis" refers to the co-occurrence of at least one substance use disorder with another psychiatric disorder in the same individual. These "dual" patients or patients with psychiatric comorbidity are common, and present greater severity from both the clinical and social perspectives than those subjects with only one type of disorder (addictive or other psychiatric illness). We present the current situation regarding dual diagnosis from epidemiological, clinical and therapeutic perspectives and we review the most important challenges for the future. Among the challenges for the future, we highlight: the need to improve the understanding of the nosological characterisation of the co-occurrence of psychopathological symptoms and the use, intoxication and withdrawal from substances; the need for clinical screening instruments to detect dual diagnosis; the need to develop effective therapeutic strategies both pharmacological and psychological; the importance of providing integrated care to these patients by one therapeutic team within a single mental health and addiction network; and finally, the need to incorporate training on dual diagnosis for health professionals.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2008|
- Dual diagnosis
- Psychiatric co-occurrence
- Psychiatric comorbidity
- Substance use disorder