Historically, mental health disorders and substance abuse problems were very poorly understood. In fact, it’s only relatively recently that the field of mental health really began to flourish, providing people with valuable clinical resources for overcoming the many varied effects of mental and emotional disorders. But before we could offer clinical therapies, people who suffered from mental health problems and addiction were largely relegated to asylums for the mentally ill or even to convents where they found themselves under the care of clergy members with very little clinical knowledge or experience.
As we gained a better understanding of psychology and physiology, we came to realize that mental disorders and substance abuse were quite unlike how they were previously conceptualized. Whereas people suffering from these types of disorders were often seen merely as bad people, we came to realize that they were actually unwell. Depending on the specific disorder or disorders from which they suffered, the severity of their symptoms could range from mild to profound, affecting virtually every aspect of their lives.
Today, individuals suffering from mental disorders and substance abuse problems have the benefit of vast, diverse mental health treatments. However, when it comes to dual-diagnosis patients, will a standard clinical treatment model suffice? Particularly for those suffering from a dual diagnosis, is a necessary for the individual to receive dual-diagnosis treatment for substance abuse?