How can I get help for my loved one who has a substance abuse issue and a mental health condition (dual diagnosis)?

Dual Diagnosis is a term that describes when someone experiences a mental illness and a substance use disorder simultaneously.  People experiencing a mental health condition may turn to alcohol or other substances as a form of self-medication to improve the mental health symptoms they experience. However, research shows that alcohol and other illegal substances worsen the symptoms of mental illnesses.

The following resources may be of help:

  • NAMI Hearts+Minds is a wellness program designed to help better manage your mental and physical health with ways to advocate for your health, gut health and nutrition, diet and fitness, managing the side effects of medication, substance abuse and smoking cessation, and gaining a greater sense of control over your emotions. It is available as a 4-hour seminar or 4-session course at your local NAMI Affiliate
  • The SAMHSA Treatment Locator(800) 662-4357, is a Federal agency website that provides referrals of the different treatment facilities across the nation. Can narrow search by insurance, cost of treatment, and type of treatment. Includes programs like assertive community treatment and residential treatment. Good for low cost/sliding scale mental healthcare, substance abuse and dual diagnosis facilities.  Spanish-language calls are accepted.
  • Therapy Insider’s Sober Living Homes Locator is a mental and behavioral health directory website with access to sober living homes - independently owned and operated homes designed for young people who are serious about sobriety. These homes are an aftercare stage of rehabilitation providing enhanced support.  The best sober living homes charge a fee for rent, food, and counseling. Each home has its own unique set of house rules, shared responsibilities, and member expectations. 
  • The Addiction Resource(844) 905-0277, website providing information and resources and a treatment finder to help those recovering from addiction and their loved ones to find the highest quality care.  
  • In the Rooms provides an online social network for the global recovery community – for those already in recovery or seeking immediate help from addiction, and for families and allies of those individuals. It is free to join and members have access to over 129 live online meetings weekly. 
  • SMART Recovery(440) 951-5357, is a substance use self-help program using cognitive behavioral therapy approaches to recover from addictive behaviors. They provide free, peer-led online and in-person support groups for individuals and family members/allies of those living with addiction. 
  • Start Your Recovery offers information about the signs, symptoms, conditions, and treatment options for people who are dealing with substance use issues, as well as resources for others who know someone struggling with addiction and a treatment locator tool. Website offers a “Find a Local Rehab Center”, counseling and in-person support groups function.
  • The WeRecover(424) 365-9300, website provides a search function for nationwide addiction treatment centers and to compare pricing.  
  • Shatterproof works to revolutionize addiction treatment, end the stigma of addiction, and empower and educate communities. Provides information on addiction basics, prevention, treatment, recovery, safety, and loss. They also provide a “Find Help” option on their website.
  • The website of the National Institute on Drug Abuse provides information on varying topics surrounding drug abuse including the following: current research being done on drug abuse, a variety of clinical resources, general information on drugs and drug abuse, information on grant opportunities, and news surrounding drugs and drug abuse.
  • The National Drug HelpLine(844) 289-0879, is a free, confidential 24/7 hotline is for information about substance use or misuse.
  • Dual Recovery Anonymous (DRA) Resource Center is a 12-step self-help membership organization for individuals with a dual diagnosis. Features a find an in-person support group meeting search function on its website.

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