What is dual diagnosis?
People who misuse alcohol or drugs are at an increased risk of developing mental health problems. Similarly, mental health problems that go untreated can make substance abuse problems worse.
If you experience severe mental health difficulties and have an alcohol or drug dependency you may be given a ‘dual diagnosis’. This means that we recognise there are two significant factors impacting your wellbeing and day to day functioning.
Your local community mental health team will work with you to provide support that will help you to live the sort of life you want to lead.
Your first appointment
At your first appointment you will meet with your care coordinator (the person responsible for overseeing your care). They will give you a patient pack and will work with you to develop a personalised care plan. This plan will cover:
- any identified needs
- what you would like to achieve during your time with the team
- actions you can make that will support your wellbeing
- the support you can expect from the team
- appropriate interventions available from other services
- what to do in a crisis or emergency situation.
We will also ask you to sign a contract agreeing to attend appointments and manage your personal substance use to make sure you can engage and participate throughout your care.
It is important not to stop using drugs or alcohol immediately. You may develop withdrawl complications that can have serious health implications. Your recovery co-ordinator will offer advice and support on how to safely manage reducing your intake.
Things that can help…
Support from others
Family, friends and carers can play an important role in supporting you with your recovery. Inviting them to meetings or appointments might be helpful as they may be able to share different insights or can ask questions on your behalf. It may also be helpful for us to work in partnership with other services offering you support.
If your family member or the person you care for uses drugs you may feel worried, frustrated and alone. It’s important to recognise this and get the support you need to help them in their recovery. Contact details for some organisations offering support are listed further down this information.
Developing other interests
Engaging in meaningful activity is a key part of recovery. Keeping involved with, or developing new interests that are not alcohol or drug focused can help you to build an identity outside your diagnosis and connect with others.
Getting the right prescribed medication
Taking prescribed medication will stabilise your mental health and will support your long term recovery. It is important to take medication as prescribed and consult a medical professional or your care coordinator if there are any issues or side effects. Alcohol and drug use may reduce the effectiveness of your prescribed medication and may increase the risk of overdose.
Darlington Recovery Wellbeing Service (NECA)
Darlington Recovery and Wellbeing Service offers a range of structured interventions to those seeking help for alcohol and drug misuse including, needle exchange, advice and information, psychosocial interventions, a prescribing service, structured group activities, peer mentoring, mutual aid services and harm reduction. The service also offer support for family and carers.
Tel. 01325 267230
Address. 158-166 John Dobbin Rd, Northgate, Darlington, DL1 1QU.
Humankind – (County Durham, Drug and Alcohol Services)
Open to clients at any stage of recovery offering structured group work (breakfast club, mutual aid/SMART groups, community support etc.) There are three recovery centres across County Durham:
- Ridgemount House, Peterlee
- Saddler House, Bishop Auckland
- Centre for Change, Durham
Darlington Mind is a registered local charity that provides professional, confidential support and recovery services for people experiencing emotional or mental health problems and their careers.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Alcoholism
If you are having trouble with your drinking or your drinking worries you, Alcoholics Anonymous and the AA programme may be helpful. AA is concerned with your personal recovery from alcohol addiction and your continued sobriety.
Free phone: 0800 9177 650
A fellowship or society of men and women with drug problems who wish to stop using. Recovering addicts meet regularly to help each other stay clean. This is a program of complete abstinence from all drugs.
Tel. 0300 9991212
A fellowship of individuals who wish to stop using cocaine and other mind-altering substances and who wish to share their experience, strength and hope to help others beat their addiction.
Tel. 0800 6120225
Healthwatch can help you and your family get the best out of health and social care services. They can provide you with information about the local services available to you , helping you to make the right choices.
Tel. 01325 380145 (Monday – Friday, 9am – 4.30pm)
Address. Jubilee House, 1 Chancery Lane, Darlington, DL1 5QP.
The ‘Talk to Frank’ service provides information about drugs and advice for drug users, parents and carers.
Tel.0300 123 66 00
Support for families
Families anonymous run local support groups for family and friends of people with drug problems.
Tel. 0845 1200 660
DrugFAM offers phone and email support to people affected by other people’s drug or alcohol misuse.
Tel. 0300 888 3853
|Date last updated:||04/05/2020|