The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA

3138.0: Monday, November 11, 2002 - 12:48 PM

Abstract #34660

Participation in 12-step-based fellowships among dually-diagnosed persons

Alexandre B. Laudet, PhD, National Development and Research Institutes, Inc., 71West 23rd Street, 8th floor, New York City, NY 10010, 212-845-4520,, Stephen Magura, PhD, National Development and Research Institutes, Inc, 71 West 23rd Street, 8th fl, New York City, NY 10010, Howard S. Vogel, CSW, Mental Health Empowerment Project, Inc., 261 Central Avenue, Albany, NY 12206, and Edward L. Knight, PhD, Mental Health Empowerment Project, Inc, 261 Central Avenue, Albany, NY 12206.

Participation in 12-step groups (12SG) has been found helpful in maintaining abstinence from substance use. Many substance users are dually-diagnosed with a comorbid psychiatric disorder. 12SG are underutilized by such persons. There has been little research on this topic. This paper examines participation in both dual focus and traditional 12SG among dually-diagnosed persons. 278 members of Double Trouble in Recovery (DTR), a 12 step-based fellowship addressing dual-diagnosis recovery, were re-interviewed a year after baseline. At follow-up, 71% were attending DTR, 67% a traditional 12SG; and 51% were attending both. Frequency of attendance was high for both types of groups; meeting participation (e.g., speaking in meeting) was high for DTR, low for traditional 12SG. Recovery from addiction was cited as the chief reason for attending both groups. Dual diagnosis mentions were also cited by 33% of DTR attenders. Major obstacle to DTR attendance: access/availability. Main reasons for not attending other 12SG: Does not meet my needs, "don't need it". The focus on mental health was cited most often as DTR's primary benefit. A diagnosis of schizophrenia and self-reported abstinence at baseline were significantly associated with greater DTR attendance at follow-up; being more troubled by substance abuse than by mental health at baseline was associated with greater attendance at both types of groups at follow-up. Dually-diagnosed clients can and do engage in both dual-focus and traditional 12-step groups. Clinical implications are discussed, including the need to find one's own comfort level to maximize participation and resulting benefits.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, participants will be able to

Keywords: Recovery, Co-morbid

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Treatment for Persons with Co-Occurring Disorders

The 130th Annual Meeting of APHA