Dual diagnosis Definition

Dual diagnosis refers to a situation in which a person is diagnosed with two or more conditions, either simultaneously or subsequently. Dual-diagnosis is complex, requiring medical practitioners to evaluate each disorder and provide appropriate treatment. The situation is worse when co-occurrence is simultaneous. High comorbidity levels of substance abuse and mental disorder call for comprehensive screening in patients of either. Similarities between the conditions and overlapping symptoms make accurate diagnoses hard. Notably, patients with both conditions will exhibit severe and persistent symptoms and often resist treatment. 

Dual diagnosis with substance disorder and mental health conditions is treatable. For effective treatment, dual-diagnosed should precede integrated treatment. However, it is essential to note that only 18% of substance abuse disorders and 9% of mental health conditions receive adequate treatment.  Patients may undertake a combination of clinical remedies coupled with supportive services. After dual diagnosis, approaches that have succeeded in treating drug abuse and mental disorders include mental, behavioral antidote, militant community treatment, vital communities, contingency control, and dialectical behavioral therapy. 

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