One-Year Outcomes among Members of a Dual-Recovery Self-Help Program.

Research Objective:Self-help is gaining increased acceptance among treatment professionals as empirical support for of its effectiveness is growing and the advent of managed care warrants the use of cost-effective modalities. Traditional “one disease-one recovery” self-help programs cannot serve adequately the needs of the dually-diagnosed.

This paper presents one-year outcome data from a longitudinal study of the effectiveness of self-help for the dually-diagnosed.

Subjects are members of Double Trouble in Recovery (DTR), a 12-step self-help program designed to meet the special needs of those diagnosed with both a mental health disorder and a chemical addiction.Study.

Design:The study uses a 12-month prospective longitudinal design with follow-ups at 12 and 24 months after baseline. Subjects (N = 310) were recruited at 25 DTR meeting sites throughout New York City. Semi-structured instruments assess history and current status of mental health and substance abuse, treatment in both areas, and self help participation (DTR as well as traditional 12-step groups such as AA and NA).

Population Studied:Community-based individuals dually-diagnosed with a mental health disorder and substance abuse.

Principal Findings:S’s are mostly members of underserved minority groups with long histories of substance abuse and mental health disorders.

Most S’s attend outpatient treatment (for drug use, mental health or dual-diagnosis – 77%) and take psychotropic medications (87%).

At the 12 months follow-up,

  • 76% were still attending DTR;
  • 68% were also attending AA or NA.

Mean number of symptoms S’s. experienced in the past year decreased significantly;

  • two-thirds (69%) of S’s reported that their mental health was “better” in the past month than it was at baseline.
  • One-third (29%) reported substance use in the past year, compared to 42% at baseline (p = .002).

Substance use (less) was significantly associated with DTR attendance:

  • Total time abstinent was related to lifetime length of DTR attendance (r = .25, p = .002) and
  • past year substance use was related to number of months of DTR attendance in the past year (r = -.17, p = .02).

Conclusions:For dually-diagnosed individuals, continued participation in dual recovery self-help groups plays a significant role in the recovery process, particularly in the area of substance use.

Implications for Policy, Delivery or Practice:Participation in dual-recovery self-help groups, both during and after formal treatment, should be encouraged as part of an integrated lifelong recovery plan for dually-diagnosed individuals.

Research; One-Year Outcomes among Members of a Dual-Recovery Self-Help Program. Laudet A, Magura S, Vogel H, Knight E, Staines G; Abstr Acad Health Serv Res Health Policy Meet. 2000; 17.

More at; Double Trouble in Recovery

See also;