Ibero-American initiative for dual disorders to improve public treatment programs

Luis Alfonzo-Bello, Néstor Szerman, Rodrigo Marín-Navarrete, Elisabet Arribas-Ibar, Alejandro Pérez-Lopez, Francisco Babín, María Elena Medina-Mora

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17711/SM.0185-3325.2017.032


Introduction. Dual disorders (DD) are defined as the co-occurrence of substance use disorders with other psychiatric disorders across the lifespan. DD represent a diagnostic dimension with clinical peculiarities and specific healthcare needs, which raises the need to implement integrative treatment algorithms. However, worldwide, most programs address this condition through serial or parallel approaches. In Latin America, as in the rest of the world, there is no health care network that adequately addresses this problem.

Objective. To describe the development of the initiative for the integral treatment of DD in Latin America.

Method. The Organización Panamericana de la Salud (Pan American Health Organization), together with other collaborating organizations, implemented a three-stage plan for developing a regional initiative: 1. meeting of DD experts, 2. review of the literature on DD, and 3. identification of services for DD care in Latin America.

Results. The creation of the Iniciativa Iberoamericana para la Patología Dual (Ibero-American Initiative for Dual Disorders) seeks to implement four lines of action to improve of public services: a) build a theoretical-conceptual consensus on DD, b) propose a treatment model, c) develop skills-based training, and d) create collaborative networks for research on DD.

Discussion and conclusion. The following actions include the formation of working groups to create a regional collaborative network, discuss the role of participating organizations and establish guidelines for the implementation of the initiative.


Dual disorders; substance use disorder; mental disorders; addictions; Ibero-American countries

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