National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Dr. Ken Duckworth Talks about Dual Diagnosis on NPR
On August 3, 2009, NAMI Medical Director Ken Duckworth, M.D., was a guest on the NPR radio program Behind Closed Doors hosted by Michel Martin (“Dual Disorders Sometimes Overlooked by Doctors”). Behind Closed Doors delves into issues that people often don't talk about openly because of shame or stigma.
Dr. Duckworth was joined by Mary Watt of Reston, Va. Ms. Watt talked about her son, Danny Watt, her family’s experience with the mental health care and substance abuse systems in Fairfax County, Va., and the impact of efforts to help her son, who died at the age of 22 with a diagnosis of schizophrenia and drug and alcohol addiction.
Dr. Duckworth explains that people who have dual-diagnosis—co-occurring mental illnesses and substance abuse problems—are overrepresented in bad outcomes and that “the service system really hasn't figured out in a coherent, coordinated and welcoming way, how to see both parts of the person's experience as opposed to viewing it through one lens or another.” He also talks about NAMI’s efforts to reach out to the substance abuse, mental health and correctional systems to integrate more effectively.