Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 71–81 | Cite as

The role of self-help programs in the rehabilitation of persons with severe mental illness and substance use disorders

  • Douglas L. Noordsy
  • Brenda Schwab
  • Lindy Fox
  • Robert E. Drake


Substance abuse treatment programs in the United States frequently incorporate self-help approaches, but little is known about the use of self-help groups by individuals with dual disorders. This paper brings together several current studies on the role of self-help programs in treating substance use disorders among individuals with severe mental illness. These studies indicate that only a minority of individuals with dual disorders become closely linked to self-help. Psychiatric diagnosis and possibly social skills are correlates of participation. Dually disordered consumers often experience the use of 12-step philosophy and jargon by mental health professionals as alienating and unempathic. The authors propose suggestions for incorporating self-help approaches into the comprehensive community care of individuals with dual disorders.


Mental Health Health Professional Substance Abuse Mental Illness Social Psychology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglas L. Noordsy
    • 1
  • Brenda Schwab
    • 1
  • Lindy Fox
    • 1
  • Robert E. Drake
    • 1
  1. 1.NH-Dartmouth Psychiatric Research CenterLebanon

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