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Samantha Benton

Samantha Benton
University of New Hampshire

Major: Social Work and Spanish
Mentor: Dr. Mary Banach, UNH Department of Social Work

Clinicians’ Perspectives on Treatments for Dual Diagnoses

The diagnosis of co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders have increased in recent decades. Literature acknowledges the many challenges in helping clients diagnosed with co-occurring disorders and examines treatment strategies that produce the most effective outcomes. The initiative to integrate treatments is the response to the increasing numbers of patients who are dually diagnosed. Currently, very few studies direct their research toward the methods used by clinicians in agencies serving clients with a dual diagnosis or those offering integrated treatment. Prior research indicates insufficient knowledge about the effectiveness of both integrated treatment programs and other strategies used to treat this population. The study being reported targeted clinicians in dual diagnosis agencies, mental health, and substance abuse agencies in two New England states. Clinicians completed a survey to reveal their perceptions about effective treatments, challenges of treatment, and alterations to treatment procedures, different populations, resources, services and supports needed, and professional feedback or recommendations to the field. Preliminary results indicate that the type of treatment strategy preferred by the clinician varies on individual beliefs, resources, agency type, and training. Preferences among the participants in this study were scattered with very few overlaps in treatment methods.

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