Research in the field of dual diagnosis (the coexistence of a substance abuse problem and a mental health problem occurring simultaneously) has expanded immensely over the past 15 years. Unfortunately, much of the existing literature available on this topic is limited to adult populations. The rate of dual diagnosis in the adolescent population is explored via a secondary data analysis of the Canadian Incidence Study of Child Abuse and Neglect (CIS-2003; Trocmé et al., 2005). By providing a profile of child and caregiver characteristics and risk factors associated with dual diagnosis, clinicians from all realms can become better equipped to understand these issues. In the future, Social Workers and other professionals can work collaboratively on identification of dual diagnosis and improving outcomes for youth and families affected by symptoms of a dual diagnosis.
Linda Rochelle Shames, MSW, PSW: Graduated from McGill and Concordia University. Experience working with adolescent and adult populations in the areas of substance abuse, mental health, and domestic violence. Currently employed as Professional Social Worker in the Mental Health case management department at CSSS Cavendish in Montreal,Quebec,Canada.