Aug 23

Dual Recovery Anonymous

Tags: Dual Recovery Anonymous,Co-occurring Disorder,Dual Disorders,Depression,Bipolar Disorder,Anxiety Disorder,Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,Alcohol Abuse,Alcoholism,Drug Abuse,Treatment,Recovery

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Many people are unaware there's a Dual Recovery Anonymous or what it would be for. Dual Recovery Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who get together offering each other support as they recover from their 'no fault illnesses' like chemical dependency and their emotional or psychiatric illness. Their main focus is on preventing relapse and improving their lives.

DRA is an independent, nonprofessional, Twelve Step self-help membership organization for people with a dual diagnosis or also referred to as Co-occurring Disorder. Both illnesses affect every area of a person's life because it affects them psychologically, socially, and spiritually. Members of DRA are committed to helping each other by offering support to one another. Supporting the needs of others helps everyone recover and improve the quality of their lives.

Dual Recovery Anonymous was established in 1989 in Kansas City for men and women experiencing a dual disorder. Goals of DRA were as follows

  • Twelve Step principles are applied to both chemical dependency and a person's emotional or psychiatric illness.

  • Meetings are to be provided so members can discuss recovery issues openly regarding both of their illnesses with other members who can relate to their experiences and offer each other support.

  • Carry the message of recovery to others who experience dual disorders and help develop DRA as an organization that could offer assistance to others who wish to establish DRA groups.

To understand Dual Recovery Anonymous review the Twelve Steps of Dual Recovery Anonymous and the Twelve Traditions of Dual Recovery Anonymous.

As stated above when a person suffers from a dual diagnosis, they are dealing with a chemical dependency and a psychiatric or emotional illness at the same time. There are many terms used when referring to 'dual diagnosis' and more recently co-occurring disorder is a more professional term being used. Each illness, meaning the dependency and mental health illness interferes with the individual's ability to function effectively and relate to themselves and others. Many times both illnesses interact with each other and this not only makes treatment difficult but can cause relapse with both illnesses. Many people self-medicate their mental health illness with the use of alcohol or drugs which only makes things worse. If both illnesses aren't diagnosed and treated, relapse is sometimes inevitable.

Mental or psychiatric illnesses are associated with the brain and these disorders disrupt a person's thinking, moods, feelings, and ability to relate to others. There are many forms of mental and psychiatric illness and they're all different but they affect every area of a person's life.

People who are chemically dependent don't set out to be addicts or alcoholics, they just are. No one knows if they are chemically dependent until they use substances like drugs or alcohol. By the time they do realize there is a problem, the ability to stop on their own is impossible because they have lost the power of choice.

Neither illness is caused by a moral weakness or a person's shortcomings, nor can a person overcome either illness by willpower. There is an enormous amount of social stigma and a lot of misinformation that surrounds both diseases which stands in the way of people getting the help they need sometimes. Both illnesses are 'no fault' illnesses and any approach to them that would feed or produce irrational guilt and shame just blocks a person's recovery.

DRA Requirements

There are only 2 requirements for membership in DRA and this is to; have a desire to stop using alcohol or other intoxicating drugs and a desire to manage their emotional or psychiatric illness in a healthy and constructive way.

Dual disorders are very common and around 41% to 65.5% of people with a substance abuse disorder also have at least one psychiatric disorder. 51% of people who have a psychiatric disorder also have at least one substance use disorder.

If you or someone you know is suffering from a mental or psychiatric illness as well as chemical dependency, Dual Recovery Anonymous Meeting can help you in your recovery, find a meeting near you and surround yourself with people who understand what you're going through and offer support.

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  1. Avatar
    Darlene O. 12 years ago

    This is the type of rehab and recovery that I can really get behind. I am a firm believer in the idea that different types of rehab and recovery meet different needs, and this type of thing is proof. Twelve step principles coupled with a meeting of the minds type of situation is a great way to help people who are liked minded recover from whatever ails them. I had what was known as a dual diagnosis because I had depression as well as a substance abuse problem, and they were quite literally exacerbating one another in a serious way.

    A regular rehab program was simply not going to do it for me. It may have been capable of wiping out the substance abuse problem, but it never would have taken care of the depression, and the depression was definitely having an impact on the drug addiction which meant I would be much more likely to relapse in the future. This is why I believe in a dual diagnosis treatment center, where you can get help for both of the problems that are ailing you rather than just the one over the other. You really need to make sure that you are getting help for everything that is bothering you if you are going to hope to wipe out all of the problems permanently. Relapse is all too common, so do what you can to prevent it from happening to you.

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    Adam D 12 years ago

    I came back from Iraq wounded, not only physically but emotionally as well. I was depressed and I had post traumatic stress disorder, which is one of those mental disorders that I cannot really wrap my brain around at all. But what I did know is that even though you can't understand something, then that does not mean it cannot impact you. My depression and post traumatic stress disorder affected me in a huge way: I ended up turning to alcohol and drugs, prescription and illicit, in order to make myself feel better. I've now learned that this is known as self medicating, and it is really dangerous.

    Before I knew it, I was addicted to all kinds of things and I was ravaging my body worse than my war injuries had. I needed help, everyone in my life was telling me that, but how was I supposed to get help? Who was going to help me? I quickly learned that a dual diagnosis treatment program was ideal for me since it treated both the emotional and the physical aspects of the addiction as well as the underlying causes that were preventing me from stopping. It took a couple of months of therapy and counseling along with detox, but now I am happily clean and sober and I am getting help for everything that ails me.

    I highly recommend a facility that is "dual diagnosis" in nature to make sure that you get all of the help that you need, not just a quick detox.

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