What is Dual Diagnosis and Who Do We Serve?

What is a Dual Diagnosis?

A dual diagnosis is co-existing substance misuse/addictive behaviour(s), alongside a mental health issue(s).

At DDA we do not ‘check your credentials’ for any issues you may be battling with, nor do we judge you if you are still experiencing these challenges.  We understand that dependency and mental health recovery is a process.

As our literature states, ‘the only requirement for DDA is the desire to follow an alcohol and drug-free lifestyle’.

DDA serves anyone of 18 or over in the community.  At present, all our in person meetings are in West London but we hope that these meetings can spread across the UK with more members setting up their own meetings in future.  Also through Zoom Meetings (which are here to stay after lockdown), we can be accessed from anywhere in the UK….or the world!

What is DDA?

DDA stands for ‘Dual Diagnosis Anonymous’.

We are a peer support/mutual aid fellowship that supports people with a combination of mental health issues and addiction/substance/alcohol misuse (otherwise known as a Dual Diagnosis).

We follow a ’12 plus 5′ Step Model.  Our extra 5 steps specifically address the mental health aspect of a dual diagnosis.  Therefore our programme of recovery is particularly designed to support people who are struggling with more than one problem.

We are made up of people who have lived experience of Dual Diagnosis, so know what someone may be going through.

At Dual Diagnosis Anonymous our services are not just limited to those who are struggling with dual disorders. We also welcome and extend our help to their families and friends, as well as health care providers and other interested parties.

History of Dual Diagnosis Anonymous

January 1996- Corbett Monica, founder of DDA, brought a group of clients who were dually diagnosed with mental illness and substance abuse, to a traditional 12 Step meeting in Fontana, California. 

These service users were residents in local Supported Housing. One of the clients, Ruben, who was diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia and Alcoholism, was disruptive during the meeting due to his severe symptoms of psycho motor agitation and anxiety.

Corbett was asked not to bring Ruben to any more meetings,

due to the distraction and disruption he caused to other members.

Corbett, who is also dually diagnosed, recognised the importance of a 12 Step program for people like Ruben, and himself, who did not “fit in” to the more traditional settings of AA/NA.

With an understanding that dual diagnosis identified the co-occurrence of the two primary issues of mental illness and substance abuse, Corbett created the additional 5 Steps of DDA, which address the mental health aspect of a dual disorder.

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