12 steps in mental illness with addiction

by Kat West

As a person who suffers from bipolar depression first and foremost and became dependent/abused one of my medications - klonopin, I found myself being treated more as a drug addict than as a mentally ill person. People avoided "enabling" me and turned their back on a serious mental illness. this response to my illness resulted in a serious suicide attempt that I barely survived (120 xanax - i wasn't kidding around).

I have become to hate 12 step programs and the one-sidedness of the patient with a dual diagnosis. I have been treated first as an addict by many health care providers which landed me in a more hopeless situation than i could have ever imagined. The person with a dual diagnosis is like a cancer patient dependent on pain meds.
Do you ignore the cancer and focus on the potential problem with pain killers?

For the psych patient, many of the drugs are essentially pain killers of the heart and soul. more focus needs to be put on dealing with the underlying cause of substance abuse when it exists as turning one's back on the mentally ill person is a heartless and dangerous act.

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Jun 20, 2010
by: Girlfriend

After reading about the disconnect between Mental Health and Addiction specialist, I am determined to find a center point for help. (Now if that comment is not clear, this is why)
Our daughter was hospitalized at age 28 for bipolar/schizo disorder,or both. As it turns out she has neither.

After years of not understanding what the Medical profession's intent was for her, we, the family have uncovered PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE. I now feel so empowered to address this crisis head on.

FOR GODS SAKE! Could somebody just be honest! Doctors included!!! If you have a patient that is exhibiting drug addition and that is your profession! Why do you write more prescriptions????

We, the family, are being called the ENABLERS when I truly feel the DOCTORS whom we trusted to evaluate a medical/mental condition should have been honest and called it what it was. CASE CLOSED! More later

May 13, 2010
"Double Trouble"
by: Don Carter

Hello Kat,

I just wanted to weigh in and tell you I understand your dilemma. The sad fact is that many Mental Health professionals are not trained in helping someone with and addiction and many Addiction professionals are not trained in helping someone with a mental health diagnosis.

That's why the term "Dual-Diagnosis" came into being. I don't know how things are down there in Georgia, but I suspect they have professionals trained in helping those with "double trouble". You just have to find them.

You might start by calling your State Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse or Dept of Mental Health (that's what they are called here in MO). Ask them for information about dual-diagnosis (mental health/substance abuse) services in your area. They should be able to point you in the right direction.

I did a quick search on Google and found this page with lots of phone numbers for dual-diagnosis services in your area:


Check it out and let me know how it goes... We would love to see you find what you are looking for. Keep coming back!

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