The dual diagnosis unit (DDU) was established specifically to care for people with two or more psychiatric conditions, one of which is a disorder of substance use and/or impulse control. The name of the unit derives from the multiple diagnoses. Most importantly, Akeso’s dual diagnosis and addiction units are committed to care that is non-judgemental and promotes dignity and self-respect.
In the DDU, each person is assisted by a multi-disciplinary team of healthcare professionals including psychiatrists, general practitioners, psychologists, social workers and occupational therapists, as well as by counsellors who are in active recovery themselves. In addition, registered and experienced psychiatric nurses are on duty 24 hours a day.
Dual diagnosis is a specialist category requiring targeted interventions focused specifically on managing the addictive behaviours and their root causes. These units have specific sets of rules and boundaries to promote recovery.
Dual Diagnosis is a specialist category requiring targeted interventions focused specifically on
managing the addictive behaviours and their root causes. These Units have their own sets of rules and boundaries to promote recovery.
Therapeutic Programmes in the Dual Diagnosis Unit
The therapeutic focus in the DDU unit is two-fold. Firstly, it is on the individual, with equal vigilance to meeting his or her acute treatment needs at admission, during their stay in the unit up to discharge, as well as on-going follow-up after discharge. The approach is deeply person and risk-centred. Secondly, the focus is on education and support for the impacted family and social system, as they too negotiate the journey to wellness.
The programme is based on an integrated bio-psycho-social treatment model which aims to build skills for sustained behavioural change. Treatment approaches draw on a variety of appropriate models including modern behavioural therapies like dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT) and aspects of traditional addiction treatment like the 12-step model.
All individuals who are admitted are examined by a medical doctor, and all medication is supervised by a specialist psychiatrist to ensure minimal medical risks, especially during the tough detox process.
All programmes include individual and group therapy and, when appropriate, family and couple counselling. Community support programmes and family support meetings are also offered.
Therapy in the DDU is goal-directed and based on the principles of effectiveness, mindfulness and creating a life of worth and meaning. While abstinence is the ultimate goal, there is awareness that harm reduction in terms of the addictive behaviour often comes first.