For those who experience both a mental illness as well as an addiction, the road to recovery can be challenging. There are many steps and a variety of treatment methods that a person needs to follow that it can sometimes feel like recovery itself is a challenge. However, it’s precisely for this reason that support groups exist for those who have a dual diagnosis.
Dual diagnosis, sometimes called having a co-occurring disorder, is the experience of having both an addiction and a mental illness simultaneously. For those who suffer from alcoholism, a 12-step group helps facilitate sobriety while also providing a community of support. The same is true for anyone who has a dual diagnosis. The version of a 12-step meeting for this purpose is called Double Trouble in Recovery or DTR.
Just like the AA community, DTR is a fellowship of men and women who have co-occurring disorders. Research has shown that having a community of sober-minded people around can facilitate sobriety in a person. By hearing the experiences of others, people find their own strength, hope, and determination to stay sober. Over time, as relationships are developed in the group, the members learn to solve problems together and help each other recover from both their addiction and their mental illness.
Although DTR is not affiliated with Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), their 12 steps follow a similar structure as the 12-steps found in AA meetings. Research has shown that the 12-steps as well as a supportive community has greatly facilitated sobriety in millions of men and women around the world. For this reason, someone attending DTR will find that the 12-steps are different in that they address one’s mental illness:
- We admitted we were powerless over mental disorders and substance abuse — that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and, when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other dually-diagnosed people and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
To learn more about DTR, visit this page. However, if you are not in any kind of treatment and you are struggling from a dual diagnosis, contact a mental health provider today.
If you are reading this on any blog other than Vantage Point Recovery, it is stolen content without credit.
You can find me on Twitter via @VPRVoice and Facebook via Vantage Point Recovery.
Come and visit our blog at https://vantagepointrecovery.com/blog/.