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Dual Diagnosis

Tsuang, J., Fong, T. W., & Lesser, I. Psychosocial Treatment of Patients with Schizophrenia and Substance Abuse Disorders.

Substance abuse among patients with schizophrenia is quite common, with at least half of these individuals having a lifetime diagnosis of a substance abuse disorder. These so called "dual diagnosis" or "co-occurring disorder" patients have an increased utilization of medical and psychiatric services. They are more difficult to treat and usually have a worse prognosis as compared with nonsubstance abusing patients with schizophrenia. Fortunately, in recent years, the treatment of dually diagnosed patients has significantly improved. It has been established that the best treatment of these patients includes enrollment in an integrated program that treats both mental illness and substance abuse problems simultaneously. Previously, we published an article that reviewed the available psychopharmacological options for treatment of co-occurring disorder patients. This article will focus more on the psychosocial treatment modalities that have been used to reduce the psychiatric morbidity and substance relapse in these patients.

A copy of the article is available online, courtesy of NAPAFASA.