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:
- Dual Recovery Anonymous is an independent, 12-step self-help membership organization for people with a dual diagnosis.
- The Recovery Village provides links to a vast array of 12-Step programs that have been formed to aid and support those in recovery from other addictive disorders.
- Additionally, Mental Health America maintains a Support Group Locator to direct you to a variety of organizations that offer support groups for consumers, and their family members and friends. Some support groups are peer-led, while others may be led by a mental health professional.
- SAMHSA is a government organization that maintains a database of nationwide treatment facilities, including low cost/sliding scale mental healthcare, substance abuse and dual diagnosis treatment. Contact SAMHAS at (800) 662-HELP (4357) or online through their Treatment Locator.