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Problematic Substance Use & Mental Health

Ellenhorn is a national leader in Integrated Dual Disorder Treatment (IDDT), a model endorsed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as the primary evidence-based best practice for treating the co-occurring issues of psychiatric events and problematic substance use.

All too often, co-occurring programs described as “evidence-based” supplement psychiatric work with a substance abuse add-on, or add a mental health component to substance abuse work. For them, the “evidence” that their approach works is in the techniques they use. Yet significant research shows that this piecemeal approach has little effect. Real co‑occurring work takes as its premise that the two issues of problematic substance use and psychiatric disturbance cannot be separated from one another. As parts of a single complex syndrome, both problems must be treated simultaneously, using a truly integrated approach. This means that co-occurring treatment is not simply a matter of using the right technique. It requires a particular system of care, one that balances the two issues at once, and utilizes a multidisciplinary team that is in constant communication. IDDT is just this kind of system, and more.

IDDT teams provide high-intensity multidisciplinary outreach services that include substance abuse treatment, robust psychiatric care and a focus on clients staying on track towards their educational, family or career goals. Finally, and this is key: IDDT doesn’t simply integrate treatments, it focuses on integrating the person of concern into the world that surrounds him or her. As the science shows, working closely with clients to create meaningful futures fosters real human connection, and a sense of purpose and hope – profound medicine for both psychiatric and problematic substance use.