Integrated Dual Disorders Treatment (IDDT) In Addiction Recovery

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For many people, addiction and substance abuse doesn’t happen in a vacuum. There are often other issues at play, such as anxiety or depression, that can cause a person to rely on substances. When a person who is experiencing multiple disorders goes for treatment, it can be a complex process to sort out the various issues involved. This is where Integrated Dual Disorder Treatment or IDDT therapy can be vital for successful recovery.

What is IDDT?

Integrated dual disorders treatment (IDDT) is a method used to improve the quality of life of those with two or more mental illnesses or substance abuse disorders. This is done by combining the care provided by mental health services with those of substance abuse treatment centers. In this way, IDDT can help a person overcome multiple disorders, without the need to treat them individually one after the other. 

High Prevalence Of Those With Dual Disorders

According to a recent report from the National Institute of Mental Health,  close to 1 in 5 adults in the U.S have disabilities relating to: 

  • depression, 
  • bipolar disorder, 
  • alcohol and drug abuse, and 
  • other behavioral disorders. [1]

Often, people will experience more than one of these mental health issues at the same time. In fact, studies have shown that over 50% of people who have been diagnosed with severe mental illness will also be diagnosed with a substance use disorder at some point over their lifetime, with a high chance of the two disorders overlapping [2]

The Need And Effectiveness Of Integrated Dual Disorder Treatment

For those who suffer from addiction, it can be a complicated pathway to recovery, and when you add an additional disorder, such as those concerned with mental health, it can hinder the process even further. Many people who suffer from addiction also have additional ailments such as eating disorders, anxiety disorders, and other cognitive or mental illnesses that are sometimes caused by the addiction, or a separate entity unto themselves. Research shows that people with dual disorders have a higher risk of hospitalization and other difficulties, including psychiatric episodes and violence [3].  

As more research is being done, more experts are saying that integrated models of treatment are proving to be more effective than parallel treatment.

IDDT Components

The Integrated Dual Disorder Treatment plan consists of several fundamental principles [4], including: 

  • Concurrent treatment - As the name suggests, IDDT is all about seeing the whole picture by treating the various mental health challenges concurrently. For example, a clinician would conduct separate screening questions for addiction and other mental health issues, but all within the same session.  
  • Specialized training - Staff members need to be well trained in areas of addiction and substance abuse, as well as psychological disorders. 
  • Staging intervention - The IDDT approach calls for an individualized plan for each client. This allows for individuals to take steps in their treatment plan depending on their readiness level. 
  • Group/ family therapy - Creating a support system for the individual in treatment is highly encouraged for continued success in recovery. 
  • Pharmacological treatment - There can be a need for medication, which is always closely monitored by clinicians. 

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Finding IDDT Treatment Can Be Difficult explains that up to 75% of citizens in the United States who seek addiction treatment also have dual existing mental disorders. This data was collected by through the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Although this information is available for all of the medical world and government to read about, there is still sadly, very little help out there in terms of IDDT treatment, making it hard to come through one’s addiction unscathed when coping with other issues as well.

While it may not be simple to find the right therapy or physician during this time of recovery, it isn’t impossible. There are other options, such as intensive outpatient treatment and other forms of recovery methods which do help the patient focus on more than one disorder at a time. Many of these programs provide assistance when the patient leaves the treatment center through: 

Ongoing Care For Dual Disorders

Aside from outpatient treatment programs, there are other measures for continual care if a person faces dual disorders. Community-based treatments with areas of focus include: 

  • supported employment, 
  • peer recovery groups, and 
  • ongoing physician supervision. 

These practices are used based on the success rates of similar programs around the country, in the hopes that they may become a more recognizable and prevalent method of treatment for people suffering from addiction who have more than one disorder or addiction.

Contact Us

IDDT treatment is gaining more popularity as the mental health field sees the value in an integrated model for successful, long-term recovery. 

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction as well as other mental health issues, please contact Avenues Recovery to learn more about IDDT. You can reach out to our professional counselors online or give them a call at 603-413-2877.

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