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From The CriticsReviewer: John Claro Onate, BS, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This book details the comprehensive treatment of comorbid severe mental illness and substance abuse disorder.
Purpose: The purpose is to fill a void in guidelines and textbooks on the treatment and understanding of dual diagnosis disorders. This is a worthy objective because there appears to be a growing number of these patients. They are the most difficult to treat and coordination between different medical and mental health providers is necessary. This book aids in developing an understanding an integrated approach. The book meets the authors' goals.
Audience: The authors intend this book for psychiatrists (residents and attendings), clinical psychologists and administrators of substance abuse treatment centers. Family medicine or internal medicine physicians who work with these patients would also benefit from reading this book as well. The author appears to have experience in this patient population and with the approach outlined in the book.
Features: An overview of comorbid psychiatric and substance abuse illness, starting with basic epidemiology and demographics, begins the book. The problems with a nonintergrated approach are presented, followed by an outline of the organization of a dual diagnosis treatment center and assessment and psychiatric treatment of these patients. Understanding these patients and quantifying their functional capability is discussed before a review and approach for group therapy, individual therapy (including cognitive-behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing). A section on family therapy and the role of the family in treatment follows. The book ends with a discussion of research into comorbid patients and with a selection of patient education handouts. The section on groups is very helpful and informative. The book presents a broad and holistic approach to these disorders. It's only limitation is the length; if anything the book appears a little too short. The patient handout section is a helpful feature.
Assessment: This book is a strong overview of and proponent for integrated treatment of complex psychiatric disorders. It is a reference for psychiatrists to understand and work with other mental health providers. The book gives a framework to understanding and treating one of the most difficult patient populations and also broadens the reader's perspective.