Dual Diagnoses Addiction and Mental Health

Co-occurring disorders (COD) related to substance abuse and mental illness affect thousands of people worldwide. In many countries, including America and the UK, comorbidity significantly contributes to the public health burden. In a work that Gotham et al. (2013) conducted, co-occurring disorders are nowadays prevalent, challenging to manage, and require specialized management services. SAMSHA (2015) study, on the other hand, notes that there is a higher likelihood that COD patients will experience incarnation, homelessness, physical health complications, and premature death, among other issues. The two topics chosen for my CAP 799 include “Dual Diagnoses Addiction and Mental Health” and “Addressing access to dual diagnosis treatment centers.”

Topic One: Dual Diagnoses Addiction and Mental Health

The first topic proposal is “Dual Diagnoses Addiction and Mental Health,” which will explore the relationship between mental illnesses and addiction. Over the last few years, the dual diagnosis has been a great concern to mental healthcare providers, social workers among other human service workers (Horton, 2017: Greiff, Skogen & Topor, 2018). As a mental healthcare provider, my main objective is to enhance the support and management of dual diagnosis patients and hence my interest in the topic. My topic has great academic value since it will add in the current knowledge on dual diagnosis and the importance of holistically treating a COD patient. Over the years, mental health practitioners have focused on treating or managing one disorder, a disservice to the COD patients.


Through the conclusions and recommendations, mental health practitioners will understand the importance of engaging in concurrently approach when treating COD patients. Using this approach will also significantly help COD patients in combating addiction even as they take charge of their mental disorders. The study’s conclusions and discoveries will majorly benefit mental health practitioners and social workers.

The likelihood of developing comorbidity and treating only one issue by mental healthcare workers justifies the selection of my two topics. Towards effectively handling this topic, I will need the help of other students who will assist me collect information and the lecturer who will guide me throughout the process. The librarian will also guide me in getting resources related to the topic.

Topic two: Addressing Access to Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers

Comorbidity related to substance abuse and mental disorders negatively affects many people while contributing to the disease’s public health burden. Co-occurring disorders are hard to treat, require specialized treatment, and currently prevalent (Gotham et al., 2013). When COD patients are undiagnosed or undertreated, there is a higher likelihood of resulting in other significant issues, including homelessness, medical conditions, and early death. This CAP 799 will explore this topic. I will also try to examine various dual diagnosis treatment centers and recommend them to COD patients and mental health workers.

One of the reasons this topic is interesting is that many healthcare workers have overlooked the effects of co-occurring diagnosis and treatment. Through exploring the subject, awareness will be created to the healthcare workers, scholars, and the public at large. For many years, mental health professionals adhered to the standard of care where co-occurring disorders are treated sequentially or in parallel. However, the correlation between drugs and substance use and psychological disorders has been established, and sequential or in parallel treatment seemed inadequate and incomplete, as Horton (2017) argues. For example, the work by Greiff, Skogens & Topor, (2018) proposes using an integrative approach in treating COD patients. In another study by SAMSHA (2015), substance use increases the likelihood of developing mental disorders. When one condition is addressed and the other one is left, the COD patient has a high likelihood of relapsing.

My second topic study discoveries and conclusions will benefit academicians, COD patients, healthcare workers, and the public. From past studies, the sequential approach seems inadequate; as mentioned above, this study proposes using an integrated approach where all aspects of an individual are treated. In the educational setting, lecturers and academicians are vital towards accomplishing my goals. Additionally, the librarian will also be contacted to assist in the selection of reading materials for the study.

There are a couple of expectations and goals I hope to gain and achieve for the capstone. Firstly, I look forward to exploring the dual diagnosis and mental health relationship. Additionally, I will examine various treatment modalities for COD. On examining the field of dual diagnosis and mental disorders, there is a major concern in regards to knowledge and inadequate dual diagnosis management centers. After research on the same, it is evident that there is insufficient dual diagnosis information. Through this capstone, I hope to gain much knowledge of dual diagnosis addiction and mental health. The secondary data from past research and primary data from surveys will offer a glimpse regarding this relationship. I will also be acquainted with the importance of using an integrated treatment approach when it comes to comorbidity. Through this approach, addicted patients will significantly combat addiction even as they control their mental illness or vice versa. Apart from the two, I will also learn research and writing skills, which are core in my future career.

free essay typer




Gotham, H, J., Brown, J, L, Comaty, J, E., McGovern, M, P., Claus, R, E. (2013). Assessing the co-occurring capability of mental health treatment programs: The dual diagnosis capability in mental health treatment (DDCMHT) index. The Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research, 40:2, 234-241

Greiff, N., Skogens, L., & Topor, A. (2018). Supporting recovery in social work with persons having co-occurring problems – clients’ and professionals’ perceptions. Nordic Social Work Research, 10(2), 173-185. Doi: 10.1080/2156857x.2018.1520739

Horton, C. (2017). Understanding the Link between Substance Abuse and Mental Health” (2017). Electronic Theses, Projects, and Dissertations. Retrieved from https://scholarworks.lib.csusb.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&httpsredir=1&article=1621&context=etd

SAMHSA. (2015). Behavioral health trends in the United States: Results from the 2014 national survey on drug usehealth. Retrieved from https://www.samhsa.gov