With the name of dual pathology we know those patients who suffer an addiction to some substance, combined or related to a mental disorder. It is a type of patient that requires differentiated care, with a greater dedication to therapeutic efforts, a longer treatment in time, and greater physical vigilance on the part of our staff.
To the greater difficulty and slowness of their therapeutic process, other associated difficulties are added, such as the fact that their families tend to have a more protective attitude, a consequence of their history of mental disorder. In addition, the consequences of this second condition determine the treatment offered, which cannot be the same as that offered to a person who only suffers from addiction without an associated mental disorder.
At the same time, patients with dual pathology tend to have a more motivated profile when facing treatment, often linked to the experiences already lived as a result of the disorder they suffer.
The types of mental disorders that accompany addiction in these patients vary, in general, according to sex. Thus, among women, it is more common to observe cases of depression combined with an addiction, while among men the most frequent profile is that of a patient affected by psychotic psychopathology.
How is the treatment for patients with dual pathology?
In the case of a patient suffering from dual pathology, it is very important to make an accurate diagnosis of their situation and the mental disorder linked to their addiction, at the same time as working to avoid the prejudices associated with this type of disease. Our treatment will be planned with greater flexibility than that we offer to other patients, also seeking a simpler approach that facilitates the adaptation of the patient.
Group referents are especially important also in this type of patient, in the same way, that we also ensure individual contacts with other inmates in the center, as well as other patients who also suffer from dual pathology, to avoid possible conflicts. Possible actions, such as exits outside the center, that could destabilize these patients are also carefully studied.
Finally, the family must also play an important role in the entire treatment process, trying to analyze possible causes and consequences of the dual pathology suffered by the patient.