Dual Diagnosis Meeting?

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LauraWeare
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Dual Diagnosis Meeting?

Post by LauraWeare »

A member with mental illness has requested that we start a Dual Diagnosis AA meeting. "There are those, too, who suffer from grave emotional and mental disorders, but many of them do recover if they have the capacity to be honest." Our proposed meeting place is not sure this complies with the Traditions, and can't see it as a valid AA meeting.
Any thoughts?
1Peter5:10
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Re: Dual Diagnosis Meeting?

Post by 1Peter5:10 »

I know of AA groups that focus on/specialize in
men,
women,
old folks,
young folks,
new comers
old timers,
gays,
atheists,
agnostics,
bikers,
dual substance abusers,
etc.

several 12-step meeting halls I know of also hold meetings for
sex addicts,
cocaine addicts,
gambling addicts
etc.
etc. all with some shared leadership roles.

As far as I can tell there is nothing wrong with holding meetings expressly for person's with alcoholism PLUS mental illness or mental disorders.

*IF* that group presents itself as an AA group per se it would probably want to review the 12 Traditions including
3. The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.
4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.
5. Each group has but one primary purpose—to carry its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.
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PaigeB
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Re: Dual Diagnosis Meeting?

Post by PaigeB »

Treatment centers and sometimes correctional facilities talk in terms of Dual Diagnosis. Perhaps a new meeting separate from the meeting place you speak of would be a better Idea.

Many times people start new meetings - they don't have to be connected to a traditional AA meeting place. It might be better to join up with an institution to get it started. All you really need is an appropriate meeting place and time and maybe a coffee pot! It only takes 2 people to start a new meeting. Make flyers to let the public and the AA District know.
Cling to the thought that, in God's hands, the dark past is the greatest possession you have - the key to life and happiness for others. With it you can avert death and misery for them. page 124 BB
MyNameIsBetsy
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Re: Dual Diagnosis Meeting?

Post by MyNameIsBetsy »

Hi Laura, interesting question. The long form for Tradition 3, and the Tradition 3 essay in our 12 X 12 both have pertinent portions to your situation. You might consider reviewing both.

But, there may be an easier solution.

Many anonymous fellowships use our 12 steps, including an anonymous fellowship for Dual Diagnosis Anonymous. I can't post the link here, but you can find it easily through an internet search engine. I looked at their website, and they have zoom meetings set up during these Covid times. Perhaps this would be of benefit to your member?

Betsy, an alcoholic
"Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path."
LauraWeare
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Re: Dual Diagnosis Meeting?

Post by LauraWeare »

Thanks Peter, Paige and Betsy for great input. We will definitely look into Dual Diagnosis Anonymous. And you have confirmed by intuition that the designated AA meeting place may not be the best location for this proposed meeting.

BTW, as a point of interest: The designated AA meeting place was a solution to being kicked out of churches due to Covid. It's an industrial building owned by a member, with the inside renovated and remodeled by members. A year-long lease was negotiated with the owner. To me, this is pretty exciting.
DaveP1951
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Re: Dual Diagnosis Meeting?

Post by DaveP1951 »

[quoteA member with mental illness has requested that we start a Dual Diagnosis AA meeting. "][/quote]
The caution I have with this idea of a separate meeting is this:
There are many forms of mental illness. To name but a few:
..Anxiety disorders, including panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and phobias.
..Depression, bipolar disorder, and other mood disorders.
..Eating disorders.
..Personality disorders.
..Post-traumatic stress disorder.
..Psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia.
You would be taking on a huge task in terms of helping others.
Also, such a meeting, might get away from our primary purpose of "helping other alcoholics recover from alcoholism."
WE must remember that such dis-orders are better left treated by those more qualified to do so.
LauraWeare
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Re: Dual Diagnosis Meeting?

Post by LauraWeare »

Agreed. I am currently trying to clarify our purpose in order to present this at the upcoming business meeting of our group.

"Shoemaker stick to thy last." (Tradition 5)

We are very clear that we are not qualified to treat mental illness. We are only qualified to help other recovering alcoholics to work the Twelve Steps. Those with mental illness may find this process more challenging, and the purpose of the meeting is to explore ways to overcome these challenges.

We see this as a forum for discussing aspects of the program which might not be addressed in a regular meeting. Think of a women's meeting where healthy self-esteem might be emphasized, in the sense of becoming right-sized instead of "wallowing in a messy bog" of excessive remorse. For someone who deals with excessive obsessiveness or anxiety, the emphasis might be the practice of Step 3.
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