“Mental health treatment providers are continually challenged to improve services. Often, these challenges occur in a fiscal growth environment that is not only flat, but in most instances, declining. Over the past 15 years, there has been an increased awareness of the common presentation of persons with co-occurring substance use disorders in routine mental health treatment settings, especially among patients with severe mental illness who are often the primary consumers of state-funded mental health treatment services. Research results suggest that sequential treatment (treating one disorder first, then the other) and purely parallel treatment (treatment for both disorders provided by separate clinicians or teams who do not coordinate services) are not as effective as integrated treatment (Drake, O’Neal, & Wallach, 2008).

National and state initiatives related to co-occurring disorders have been significant, stimulating considerable interest in providing better services for people with these challenges. Although clearly interested in so improving existing services, mental health treatment providers have to some extent lacked pragmatic guidance on how to change. Specific evidence-based treatment practices have been developed, including Integrated Dual Disorders Treatment (IDDT; Mueser et al., 2003; SAMHSA, 2003). However, providers continue to identify the need for practical guidance and specific benchmarks with which to plan and develop services.

The Dual Diagnosis Capability in Mental Health Treatment (DDCMHT) index was first developed in 2004. The DDCMHT is a parallel instrument to the Dual Diagnosis Capability in Addiction Treatment (DDCAT) index. Both indices are based on the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s (ASAM) taxonomy of program dual diagnosis capability and have been subjected to a series of psychometric studies.

The DDCMHT, described more fully in the following pages, guides programs and system authorities in assessing and developing the dual diagnosis capacity of mental health treatment services (McGovern, Matzkin, & Giard, 2007).”

Click on this link to view or download a complete copy of the DDCMHT Toolkit (from which the above is excerpted).

Click on this link to view or download a copy of the DDCMHT index showing the seven domains and their respective subdomains.

Organized under each of the seven domains linked at the top of this page, there are links to particular resources that have been found useful for practitioners and programs that are pursuing greater dual diagnosis capability . . .