On 24 September 2009 the NHS Confederation published Seeing double: meeting the challenge of dual diagnosis. The briefing states that a third of patients who use mental health services have a dual diagnosis of both a mental health condition and a drug or alcohol problem.
The briefing considers the challenges posed to the NHS by patients who have developed problems with alcohol or drugs as the result of a pre-existing mental health condition and patients with a mental health condition caused by the misuse of drugs or alcohol.
The NHS Confederation looks at how stronger links between services can benefit patients and potentially save money. The briefing suggests the need for the training of staff in drug, alcohol and outreach teams so that they can deal with cases of dual diagnosis more appropriately.
The briefing can be accessed here.