, Volume 36, Issue 5, pp 457-476

Support, Mutual Aid and Recovery from Dual Diagnosis

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Abstract

Recovery from substance abuse and mental health disorders (dual-diagnosis) requires time, hard work and a broad array of coping skills. Empirical evidence has demonstrated the buffering role of social support in stressful situations. This paper investigates the associations among social support (including dual-recovery mutual aid), recovery status and personal well-being in dually-diagnosed individuals (N = 310) using cross-sectional self-report data. Persons with higher levels of support and greater participation in dual-recovery mutual aid reported less substance use and mental health distress and higher levels of well-being. Participation in mutual aid was indirectly associated with recovery through perceived levels of support. The association between mutual aid and recovery held for dual-recovery groups but not for traditional, single-focus self-help groups. The important role of specialized mutual aid groups in the dual recovery process is discussed.