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Article   |    
The Myth of the Typical Dual Diagnosis Patient
Roger D. Weiss; Steven M. Mirin; Richard J. Frances
Psychiatric Services 1992; doi:
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This work was supported by grant 1 R29 DA-05944 from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, grant RR05484 from the Biomedical Research Support Program of the National Institutes of Health, and a grant from the Engelhard Foundation.

McLean Hospital, 115 Mill Street, Belmont, Massachusetts 02178; Harvard Medical School in Boston

University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark

1992 by the American Psychiatric Association

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Abstract

Clinicians who treat patients with comorbid substance abuse and psychiatric disorders need both the expertise involved in treating each of the patient's individual disorders and the specialized knowledge required to help the patient cope with having more than one illness. Programs treating dually diagnosed patients should include sophisticated psychopharmacologic and psychotherapeutic treatment, offer the capability of safely detoxifying patients from a variety of different agents, include relapse prevention and 12-step techniques, and provide long-term treatment to help patients work through the difficulties they will experience at various stages of the recovery process. By combining excellent psychiatric and chemical dependence treatment, such specialized programs may be able to substantially improve the prognosis of a patient population that has traditionally been very difficult to reach.

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