Substance use disorder in individuals with mild intellectual disabilities; collaboration needed
background Individuals with a mild intellectual disability or borderline intellectual functioning (mbid) are at risk for psychiatric disorders, including addictive disorders. Treatment of these disorders is often complicated by co-morbidity, as well as caregiver’s and practitioner’s struggle to effectively help.
aim To provide guidelines for psychiatrists to organize and deliver treatment to patients with mbid and addiction.
method Based on a case study, we describe obstacles in the care for patients with mbid and addiction, and provide guidelines to overcome these.
results The Netherlands are leading in providing proper care for patients with mbid and addiction. However, available treatment protocols are not widely implemented.
conclusion Staff needs to be trained in working with patients with mbid and addiction, and interagency collaboration needs to be put in place. This is a collective responsibility of addiction medicine, general psychiatry, and disability services.