Darnella Allen discovers that IDDT gives her permission to use compassion while providing substance abuse treatment

—by Paul M. Kubek and Matthew K. Weiland

Cleveland, Ohio—Living two seemingly separate lives never seemed quite right to Darnella Allen, BA, LICDC, of Cleveland. There was her life as an ordained minister, where she felt free to use her compassionate, forgiving, and supportive self to help people. And there was her life as an addictions counselor, where she felt skeptical of the motives of people who abused alcohol and other drugs. She spent some 20 years living with this conflict. Then she was hired as a case manager at Mental Health Services, Inc. (MHS) in Cleveland, which helps homeless persons with severe mental illness, as well as other vulnerable populations. MHS has been utilizing Integrated Dual Disorder Treatment (IDDT), the evidence-based practice, for several years.

The Conversation

Allen and other colleagues from MHS attended the Annual Ohio SAMI CCOE/IDDT Conference, which took place in Columbus on September 16 & 17, 2008. The event was an extension of her orientation to the philosophies and practices of MHS. The conference was sponsored by the Ohio SAMI Coordinating Center of Excellence (CCOE), an initiative of the Center for Evidence-Based Practices (CEBP) at Case Western Reserve University.
Allen caught up with us between workshops sessions, curious about our audio project but hesitant to participate, afraid that she might not have much to say about IDDT because of her novitiate status. She began telling us about a conversion-like experience she had during an "Introduction to IDDT" workshop at the conference, so we asked her if we could record that story. Her insight and enthusiasm had a radiant effect. We anticipate it will be inspirational to others, especially to new hires at organizations implementing integrated treatment.

IDDT Refreshing the Heart (1m 52s)

IDDT's "stages of treatment" is a tool of compassion, enabling service providers to meet each consumer wherever he or she is on the road to recovery and to walk together—in synch, in step.
Download this audio file (right-click and 'Save As')

Replacing the Cynicism with Compassion (2m 1s)

I didn't realize I was protecting myself from being hurt and disappointed so much. IDDT can help seasoned care providers replace the protective shield of cynicism and confrontation with a renewed sense of compassion for the trials of each individual.
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Reinvigorating My Approach (2m 31s)

I have stepped into newness—a new life. I don't have any preconceived notions about IDDT because it's new to me. I want to learn as much as I can, and I want to learn more about outcomes and how I can use them in my work.
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Growing as a Person and a Professional (2m 25s)

It is easy to forget that this field of work is a gift. It's not just a job. It's spiritual. Truly make it personal. Take a self-inventory. Learn this model and keep learning it. It can put joy and excitement back into your work.
Download this audio file (right-click and 'Save As')

IDDT & The National Scene

Integrated Dual Disorder Treatment (IDDT), the evidence-based practice, was developed and continues to be studied by researchers at the Psychiatric Research Center of Dartmouth Medical School in Lebanon, New Hampshire. The researchers include Robert E. Drake, MD, PhD, and his colleagues.

The Dartmouth PRC has provided leadership for national implementation of IDDT via the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The State of Ohio and the Center for Evidence-Based Practices at Case Western Reserve University—through its Ohio SAMI CCOE initiative—have participated and continue to participate in these national initiatives.

Paul M. Kubek, MA, is director of communications and Matthew K. Weiland, MA, is senior writer, producer, and new-media specialist at the Center for Evidence-Based Practices at Case Western Reserve University.