From evidence to clinical treatment for young people with dual diagnosis

With this project, we aim to provide a summary of the current research on treating dual diagnoses in young people. The objective is to map current use of treatment interventions, approaches, and principles in Denmark and international. In addition, particular attention will be given to how dual diagnosis care for young people can be improved in a Danish setting.  

The purpose of the project

Mapping the existing knowledge in a field with major limitations will both provide insight into which interventions, approaches, and core principles that are relevant within the dual diagnosis field, as well as provide a qualified overview of future potential of Danish guidelines treatment targeting dual diagnosis among young people.


In Denmark, it is estimated that several thousand young people have a dual diagnosis, which means that they have a diagnosed mental disorder and substance use disorder at the same time. In addition, even more young people experience psychological difficulties and substance use problems, where one or both of these problems are not diagnosed. This group of individuals constitutes the fastest growing group of dual diagnosis patients in Denmark. At the same time, this group also constitutes one of the patient groups where there are fewest targeted interventions.

Young people with a dual diagnosis or related problems generally find it difficult to get relevant and targeted treatment, because the treatment that is offered is spread out among different systems, services, and locations. As a result of this, there are large differences in the treatment offered. Thus, there is a great need for national guidelines in the area that support common focus across treatment offers.

The project

The project runs over a year and a half and includes three parts with the aim of investigating;

  • 'State of the art' in treatment at an international level and thus create an overview of interventions, approaches, and core principles within the field.
  • A systematic overview of current interventions, approaches, and core principles in Denmark, thus mapping the current situation in Denmark.
  • A systematic overview of experiences with guidelines implementation processes and stipulations that may feed into future Danish guidelines and the implementation of these in a Danish setting.

The project will produce at least three reports and a scientific article that is easily accessible to practitioners, decisionmakers, and relevant stakeholders.

Project periode: October 2021 to September 2023.


The project is funded by Helsefonden.

Collaborative relationships

The project is takes place in collaboration with the Competence Center for Dual Diagnoses, Capital Region Psychiatry and Centre for Alcohol and Drug Research, Aarhus University. The project is situated at Centre for Alcohol and Drug Research, Aarhus University.