Consumers’ Experiences in Dual Focus Mutual Aid for Co-occurring Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders

National Development and Research Institutes, New York, NY.
Substance Abuse: Research and Treatment 03/2013; 7:39-47. DOI: 10.4137/SART.S11006
Source: PubMed


Mutual aid fellowships have been shown to improve outcomes for those with co-occurring substance use and mental illness disorders. Processes associated with usefulness include helper therapy (the assumption of a helping role to foster commitment) and reciprocal learning (the sharing of problems and solutions among members). The present qualitative investigation used focus groups comprised a subset of participants in Double Trouble in Recovery (DTR), a 12-step mutual aid group for those with co-occurring disorders, to gather their subjective perceptions of the groups. Participants emphasized that in linking them to others with similar problems, the DTR groups played a vital emotional role in their lives and provided a needed venue for information sharing that might have been otherwise unavailable.

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Available from: Andrew Rosenblum, Oct 07, 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies have indicated that persons with co-occurring mental health and substance use problems can benefit by attending dual-focus mutual aid groups. However, to date, a trial to test the efficacy of these groups has not been published. This study randomly assigned 203 substance misusing clients attending a mental health or dual-diagnosis facility to either a dual-focus 12-step group (Double Trouble in Recovery; DTR) or a waiting list control group. Participants were followed for 3-6 months. The primary outcome was substance use (days used in the past 30 with saliva testing to detect under-reporting); secondary outcomes included psychiatric medication adherence, attendance at traditional (single-focus) 12-step meetings (e.g., AA/NA); and improvement in mental health and substance use problems (quality of life). Multilevel model (MLM) regression was used to analyze the nested effect of participants within 8 facilities (7 in New York City and 1 in Michigan). Regression imputation was used to adjust for drug use under-reporting. At follow-up 79% of the subjects were interviewed. In intent to treat analysis, DTR subjects compared with control subjects used alcohol (p=.03) and any substances (p=.02) on fewer days. DTR compared with control subjects were also more likely to rate themselves as experiencing better mental health and fewer substance use problems (p=.001). There were no effects for DTR on drug use only, medication adherence or NA/AA attendance. Findings reported in previous studies on the association between exposure to DTR and reductions in substance use were partially supported in this efficacy trial.
    Drug and alcohol dependence 11/2013; 135(1). DOI:10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2013.11.012 · 3.42 Impact Factor