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
Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Mental Health Health Professional Substance Abuse Mental Illness Social Psychology 

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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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