Dual Diagnosis

Word Count –   2442, APA 6 |

Dual Diagnosis is a poorly understood and often poorly managed condition that, although extensive research has been done into ways to intervene and manage people with a dual diagnosis, a lot of confusion still seems to exist   as to what is best practice and what management techniques are most effective. The range of treatment focus and models of care is not only confusing, but often incorrectly approached and regarded as difficult to co- ordinate by the mental health team, but worse still the research shows that there is a chronic lack of understanding also from the consumer. This combination puts consumers at risk to fall through the gaps and not receive appropriate care, starting a never ending cycle of having treatment for the mental health condition, relapsing, and self-medicating, receiving treatment for the substance abuse, entering a crisis, being treated for a mental health condition and so the cycle continues, with minimal periods of stability. This education session will endeavour to clear up some commonly held misconceptions of dual diagnosis and the challenges, treatments and interventions surrounding it. The session will also cover the usefulness and meaning of a therapeutic relationship and highlight the benefits to using a current evidence based practice approach to care. The focus will be primarily on intergrated, consumer lead care within the context of a dual diagnosis, seeking to broaden and challenge the commonly held views of dual diagnosis and aim to encourage further research, discussion and exchange of ideas to improve the often complex cases of dual diagnosis management.
The term dual diagnosis is interchangeably used in all facets of health care to describe a diagnosis of two corresponding conditions, for example heart disease and diabetes. Within the mental health field it is one of the terms used to describe a mental health condition and a corresponding diagnosis of substance misuse for example depression...