Co-occurring disorders: Integrated Dual Disorder Treatment

The goal of the DHS Chemical and Mental Health Services Administration is to ensure that the mental and chemical health system of care develops a welcoming, accessible and comprehensive process for service delivery and supports the principle of a “no wrong door” approach to accessing services for co-occurring disorders of addiction and mental illness. A new webpage has been set up to focus on these issues.

What are co-occurring disorders?

When individuals have co-occurring disorders, it means that they have a “dual diagnosis” of at least one form of mental illness and at least one substance use disorder. Substance use disorders include alcohol or drug abuse or dependence.

Screening for co-occurring disorders?

A brief screen to detect substance use problems (when going to mental health services) and a brief screen for mental illness (when going to chemical dependency services) may help identify the need for co-occurring mental illness/chemical dependency services. While a brief screen does not diagnose a co-occurring disorder, it can identify the need for an assessment to look at the interaction between mental health symptoms and substance use and the affect on a person's well-being.

The document, "Screening for the Possibility of Co-occurring Mental Illness and Substance Use Disorder in the Behavioral Health Setting," provides practical information on why screening is important, when screening should be done, how to conduct a screen, and what to look for in a good screening tool.

What is Integrated Dual Diagnosis Treatment?

In IDDT, counselors, clinicians or multidisciplinary teams provide integrated treatment to support recovery from co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorders. They use specific listening and counseling skills to guide individuals’ awareness of how mental and substance use disorders interact and to foster hopefulness and motivation for recovery. They use cognitive behavioral techniques to assist individuals who are working to reduce or eliminate substance use or who want to prevent relapse and maintain recovery from both disorders. IDDT is considered an evidence-based practice because research shows that individuals who receive it recover better from both their illnesses: they have fewer hospitalizations and relapses, fewer criminal justice problems and more housing stability.

Grant Request for Proposals (RFP)

The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS), through its Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division (ADAD) and Adult Mental Health Division (AMHD), seeks proposals from current outpatient treatment grantees participating in the DHS Co-occurring State Incentive Grant (COSIG) project. DHS will assist providers to further enhance capacity to treat co-occurring disorders in these treatment settings. The total amount of grant funds available is $200,000 for one year of funding. It is anticipated that approximately five to ten programs will be awarded grants. Request for Proposals and Appendix H for RFP.

Where can I get more information?

Follow these links for informational resources, training opportunities for counselors and clinicians on co-occurring disorders and IDDT. For specific information on Minnesota’s project on co-occurring disorders call (651) 431-2237.


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