Care coordination has become an essential element of patient-focused treatment for people with chronic health conditions. When multiple doctors and specialists are involved in helping you manage your well-being, you can expect better outcomes and satisfaction when they all work together and communicate with each other to determine the best way to meet your needs.
Traditionally, health providers who use the coordinated care model have focused on patients with illnesses such as asthma, heart disease and diabetes. Recent efforts to expand these treatments to include people with a dual diagnosis of mental illness and substance use disorder have shown promising results.
Do You Need Care Coordination?
Substance abuse and mental illness are significant public health concerns. Drug overdoses and suicide remain leading causes of death in the U.S., accounting for hundreds of thousands of lost lives annually. Mental illnesses can contribute to worsening drug and alcohol use, and vice versa. When left untreated, both conditions have high rates of injury, disability and death.
Coordinated care is a relatively new concept in the American health care system. When health providers don’t collaborate, the resulting miscommunication, inaccurate diagnoses and redundancy are significant sources of patient suffering.
To improve outcomes, health professionals are developing care coordination approaches that address co-occurring mental illnesses and addiction, and aiming to increase patient engagement and retention in treatment. Care coordination for mental health and addiction supports better management of these comorbid health problems by ensuring successful connections to medical and behavioral interventions.
Coordinating Care for Co-Occurring Disorders
Mental illnesses and substance use disorders frequently co-occur, and without treatment, their severity will increase. In addition, years of drug or alcohol use can lead to health problems like malnutrition, organ damage and early-onset dementia. If you have a dual diagnosis of addiction and a disorder such as depression or PTSD, care coordination is essential to help you with your complex medical needs.
People on your treatment team may include:
- A psychiatrist, therapist or other licensed behavioral health provider
- A nutritionist
- Various physicians, such as those specializing in women’s health
As you interact with multiple health care providers, having them all on the same page will be invaluable to facilitate your recovery process. Coordinated care prevents potentially dangerous prescription medication interactions and inadequate interventions. It doesn’t waste patients’ time or the health care system’s resources. Additionally, it promotes accurate diagnoses and treatment because all providers share relevant information with each other.
Lengthening Treatment for Better Outcomes
When mental health disorders occur alongside addiction, it’s crucial to address both conditions simultaneously. Only dealing with one facet of your overall well-being isn’t sufficient to help you recover. In long-term treatment, you can start addressing the underlying issues that influence your thoughts and behaviors. At Canyon Crossing, you’ll learn what causes dual diagnoses and participate in counseling that gives you the healthy coping mechanisms necessary to manage your symptoms.
Our transitional aftercare model provides ongoing clinical support for several months after the initial 30-day program. In this setting, you can continue to learn how to lead a substance-free lifestyle while living in a sober, structured, therapeutic environment. Contact us today to verify your insurance coverage and learn more about our programming.