May 27, 2005

Schizophrenia and Substance Abuse Treatment

Integrated therapy for schizophrenia and substance abuse improves outcomes

A news report today suggests that "Integrated dual disorders treatment appears to result in a good outcome for the majority of patients with schizophrenia and coexisting substance use disorders, report researchers from Dartmouth Medical School in Lebanon, New Hampshire, USA."

"Because patients with schizophrenia and substance abuse present a complex set of interwoven problems and treatment needs, a consensus has developed in favor of combining mental health and substance abuse treatment, which is termed integrated treatment," note Haiyi Xie and team.

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Posted by szadmin at May 27, 2005 03:46 AM

More Information on Schizophrenia and Substance Abuse


I’m reading quite a lot about dual diagnosis treatments and I have observed some programs in my community. Due to drastic budget cuts, funding in most communities aren’t there to do an adequate job of developing a first rate program.

I found the following paragraph from “Psychiatry Matters MD” from March 29, 2005 very telling.

"However,participants did not increase the time
spent in independent living situations, which Xie et al say is consistent with the observation that patients with
co-occurring substance use disorders often need and seek out more structured living arrangements with peers who are also trying to maintain abstinence."

Substance abuse, a serious mental illness, social isolation and executive thinking incompetence creates a very serious challenge for those individuals working with the dual diagnosed.

It is my personal view that a one on one care-taking relationship is needed to help these folks. Too many times follow through is ignored due to manpower shortages.. Another view I have is that living with other recovering drug addicts is not the answer for many. It is my view that sharing and understanding each other’s addiction and mental health problems are important but living in a community of drug addicts is not necessarily the answer. In fact it may hinder the growth of the recovering person.

I do agree that a VERY strong supportive and structured environment is crucial. Also the caretaker’s understanding of the individual’s mental illness, drug addiction and triggers, hopes, dreams and goals I believe are key to successful recovery. It is easy for a parent to say to their mentally ill child they are valued but it’s another thing for our children to feel valued. I feel that meaningful work or passionate creative outlets is the key to true growth, recovery and self-esteem ….. Anything less is just another mediocre and meaningless attempt to help our children.


Posted by: Moeder at May 29, 2005 04:28 PM

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