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How do twelve step programs address the underlining causes of drug addiction or do they?

by Jesse Murray
(Sanjacinto, CA. USA)

I am a student working on a research paper on twelve step programs vs. alternative programs. Please keep in mind I am just learning. How is dual diagnosis handled.

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Dual Diagnosis common but a large challenge to treat.
by: Debbie Wicker

Hello Jesse,

You've asked an excellent question and one that I will give you my opinion about but the research is still inconclusive in this area.

If someone has both an addiction problem and another mental health issue the 12 steps are still useful to help them recover from their addiction.

This patient should receive mental health support for what ever the co-occurring issues are and also start a 12-step program.

The 12-steps with help them to explore the spiritual, cognitive and behavioral aspects of their addiction so that they "learn" why they use a drug and how to stop from using their drug of choice.

Without the 12-step program they're not likely to recover from the addiction.

Additionally, with a dual-diagnosis all of their treatment is likely to take MUCH longer and their issues are likely to be more persistent. Relapse is also likely to occur many times so a lot of patience is needed with these people to help them to recover from their illness.

I'm not aware of any treatment for addiction that is as comprehensive or has better outcomes than the 12-step program.

Hope that answers your question.

Debbie

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