Long-Term Sobriety Strategies for Men With Co-occurring Disorders.

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Long-Term Sobriety Strategies for Men With Co-occurring Disorders.

J Dual Diagn. 2014 Oct-Dec;10(4):212-9

Authors: Luciano A, Bryan EL, Carpenter-Song EA, Woods M, Armstrong K, Drake RE

OBJECTIVE: Roughly half of people with severe mental disorders also experience a co-occurring substance use disorder, and recovery from both is a critical objective for health care services. While understanding of abstinence initiation has grown, the strategies people with co-occurring disorders use to maintain sobriety are largely unknown. This article reports strategies for relapse prevention as described by men with co-occurring disorders who achieved one or more years of sobriety.
METHODS: We analyzed semi-structured interviews conducted with a sample of 12 men with co-occurring psychosis and substance use disorder who achieved and maintained sobriety for at least one year, supplemented with demographic and diagnostic clinical record data. These men were participating in residential or outpatient treatment at a private, nonprofit integrated treatment clinic.
RESULTS: The 12 men were primarily Caucasian (91.7%) and unmarried (100%), and their ages ranged from 23 to 42 years. The two most common psychiatric disorders were schizoaffective disorder (n = 4, 33.3%) and bipolar disorder (n = 4, 33.3%), while the two most commonly misused substances were alcohol and cannabis. Qualitative analyses showed that participants maintained sobriety for at least one year by building a supportive community, engaging in productive activities, and carefully monitoring their own attitudes toward substances, mental health, and responsibility. Alcoholics Anonymous might act as a catalyst for building skills.
CONCLUSIONS: People with co-occurring disorders who achieve sobriety use a variety of self-management strategies to prevent relapse-seeking support, activities, and a healthy mindset. The findings suggest a relapse prevention model that focuses on social networks, role functioning, and self-monitoring and conceptualizes self-care as critical to extending periods of wellness.

PMID: 25391279 [PubMed - in process]