Dual diagnoses need better support

Letter writer urges others to get support for mental health issues

I have suffered and dealt with depression for most of my life.

In 1999, I was admitted to an Alberta Hospital for treatment to assist me with my addiction to alcohol. It was brought to my attention then that I not only suffered from the disease of alcoholism, but also from the diagnosis of being bi-polar. Since that time I have visited many professionals associated with the treatment of depression and I have been on many different medications.

Today I have balance within my life and am comfortable with the medication known as Paxil. I continue to address my “problem” with alcohol and am involved with local support groups. It has been quite some time now that I have taken note of a desperate need for people who suffer with the term “dual diagnosis” and which includes addiction to either drugs and ‘or alcohol couple with some form of depression. It has been long-debated whether the addictions came first followed by depression or vice versa. Whatever the case may be, I now feel that there is a tremendous need fro self-help support for those who do suffer from both conditions, searching fro mutual aid from others with the same challenges.

I am now involved with local professionals associated with both addictions and mental health issues. I feel quite strongly that there is a need for available support in the format of a group where people in our community may join together and openly discuss their situation and be able to do so with anonymity. I feel strongly and would encourage family members and friends to be able to become involved as well, as addiction issues are generally coupled with co-dependency.

At this time, I wish to announce that Monday, October 17, there will be a Concurrent Disorder Engagement Group presentation featuring Dr. Fritz, from Chilliwack. He specializes in addictions and depression and will be speaking at the Agassiz Community Employment Services from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Those interested in further information, can contact me at 604-997-3071 after 6 p.m.

Arnie Kozak

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