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12 STEPS + 5


 Corbett Monica

March, 1996


With the inception of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1935, it is now widely known that 12 Step self help support groups have been the source of tremendous healing and recovery for countless people. While some may dispute the tenants of AA, few in the recovery field would argue its results. A wide variety of self help support groups have not only demonstrated their effectiveness, but have also been shown to fill a needed gap in the health services delivery system.

Over the past decade or so, it has become abundantly clear that the majority of persons who suffer from major mental illness have concurrent substance abuse problems. The combination of these two primary diseases has come to be know as “Dual Diagnosis”. The progression of one or more of these diseases leads to a tremendous amount of suffering, or, as is aptly heard in AA/NA meetings...”to jail, institutions, or death”.

It is not enough to focus on one or the other illness, for BOTH are primary. We must go beyond the tendencies of the Social Model recovery philosophy that claims successful substance abuse treatment necessarily leads to a cessation of mental illness symptoms. We must also go beyond the tendencies of the Medical Model clinical philosophy that claims successful treatment of mental illness necessarily leads to a cessation of substance abuse. Blending the philosophy of the Social Model of recovery with the clinical philosophy of the Medical Model makes a tremendous difference in successful treatment. Dual Diagnosis Anonymous

(DDA), represents an effort toward building a support group that recognizes the importance of this blending. Embracing the 12 Steps of Recovery, DDA puts a special emphasis on mental illness and the importance of clinical/medical management. It has been difficult, at best, for many people with dual diagnosis to attend traditional 12 step programs for a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons include: a sense of “symptomatic difference” between addicts and alcoholics and dually diagnosed persons. Some symptoms may result in disruptive behaviors during meetings, further alienating the dually diagnosed. Many dually diagnosed people experience increased levels of fear, anxiety and/or paranoia in group settings. Additionally there is a common perception among some more traditional 12 Step members is that medical management represents the “easy way”, and do not consider those individuals who take prescribed medications to be “clean and sober”. For these reasons, the feeling of “not fitting in” at traditional 12 Step meetings is common for many individuals with dual diagnosis. Now there is an alternative. Because DDA recognizes the importance of “fitting in” with other 12 step support group members

1. We admitted we were powerless over our dual diagnosis, and that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others who still suffer from the effects of dual diagnosis, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

The Twelve Steps are reprinted with permission of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. Permission to reprint and adapt the Twelve Steps does not mean that A.A. is in any way affiliated with this program. A.A. is a program of recovery from alcoholism only -- use of the Twelve Steps in connection with programs and activities which are patterned after A.A., but which address other problems, on in any other non A.A. context, does not imply otherwise.

1. We admitted that we had a mental illness, in addition to our substance abuse, and we accepted our dual diagnosis.

2. We became willing to accept help for both of these diseases.

3. We have understood the importance of medication, clinical interventions and therapies, and we have accepted the need for sobriety from alcohol and abstinence from all non-prescribed drugs in our program.

4. We came to believe that when our own efforts were combined with the help of others in the fellowship of DDA, and God, as we understood Him, we would develop healthy drug and alcohol free life styles.

5. We continued to follow the DDA Recovery Program of the Twelve Steps plus Five and we maintained healthy drug and alcohol free lifestyles, and helped others.

Meetings of DDA are very much like traditional 12 Step meetings. While there is no “leader”, it is helpful to have an experienced DDAer, or trained professional present who possesses an experiential understanding of 12 Step programs and/or recognizes the benefits of these programs. While this person does not necessarily “run” the meetings, for effective meetings run themselves, s/he can gently re-focus the meeting if necessary to keep it focused and on track.

Corbett Monica is the Founder of DDA and Executive Director of Dual Diagnosis Anonymous of Oregon, Inc.


History/Time Line
Dual Diagnosis Anonymous
Dual Diagnosis Anonymous of Oregon, Inc.

1989-1990-Rick Smith, supervising counselor for Riverside County CA recruits Corbett Monica as a potential dual diagnosis specialist for Riverside County

March, 1991-Corbett Monica was hired by Bob Hillis, Program Manager of the Riverside County, CA Alcohol Program, as a contractor to provide services for consumers throughout the County who were dually diagnosed, including co-facilitating psycho-educational sessions. Corbett also facilitated meetings of the peer support group called Support Together for Emotional and Mental Serenity and Sobriety (STEMSS) developed by Michael Bricker... Corbett and other County employees regularly attended the 12 step Programs of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) with dually diagnosed consumers as a compliment to their ongoing treatment/recovery.

July, 1995-Corbett was hired by the San Bernardino County, CA Department of Behavioral Health; Alcohol and Drug Programs to provide services for consumers throughout the County who were dually diagnosed. Due to the success in Riverside County, many of the same services, such as co-facilitating psycho-educational groups, STEMSS Meetings and AA/NA attendance, were implemented.

August, 1995-Corbett begins first co-facilitated dual diagnosis psycho-educational group in San Bernardino County with Bob Sudol, Clinic Manager for Arrow Clinic in Fontana, CA

October, 1995-Corbett meets Wayne Henkelmann, Program Manager for Redwood Board and Care. Wayne supports dual diagnosis groups by allowing clients to attend STEMSS meetings in Fontana. Wayne provides financial support for STEMSS by providing clients with petty cash funds to donate for refreshments at the meetings. One client, Ruben G. who comes regularly to STEMSS meetings will become a catalyst for Corbett to change his support group from STEMSS meetings to Dual Diagnosis Anonymous meetings.

January 1996-Corbett and Richard Mcloud brought a group of consumers, dually diagnosed with mental illness and substance abuse, to a traditional 12 Step meeting in Fontana, CA. The consumers were residents of a local Board and Care, Redwood Guest Home. One of the clients, Ruben G., diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia and Alcoholism, was disruptive during the meeting due to his severe symptoms of psycho motor agitation and anxiety. Richard and Corbett were asked not to bring Ruben G. to any more meetings due to the distraction and disruption he caused to other members. Corbett, who is also dually diagnosed, recognized the importance of a 12 Step program for people like Ruben, and himself, who did not “fit in” to the more traditional settings of AA/NA. With an understanding that dual diagnosis identified the co-occurrence of the two primary diseases of mental illness and substance abuse, Corbett condensed and revised the 6 Step STEMSS Program into 5 Steps and began the modified 12 Step Program of Dual Diagnosis Anonymous (DDA). He began working on a “Concept Paper” titled “Dual Diagnosis Anonymous; 12 Steps Plus Five.”

February, 1996-The first DDA meeting was held at the First Presbyterian Church in Fontana CA, on the 1st of February, 1996 at 6:00 PM. This meeting was chaired by Corbett and attended by a dozen residents of Redwood Guest Home. Corbett reported to the San Bernardino County Department of Mental Health Dual Diagnosis Committee Meeting that he had changed the name of the support groups he was conducting from STEMSS to Dual Diagnosis Anonymous, in order to be consistent with other 12 Step programs.

March, 1996-Corbett completed the first draft of the concept paper: “Dual Diagnosis Anonymous; 12 Steps Plus Five”, and revised it in March 1996.

May, 1996-On May 7th Corbett sent a letter to Alcoholics Anonymous World Services in New York requesting permission to use the DDA version of the 12 Steps of AA for the DDA program. On May 16th AA granted permission to DDA to use the revised version of the 12 Steps with an appropriate disclaimer. New DDA Meeting began at Cedar House in Bloomington, Ca. Corbett completes first draft of DDA meeting materials (Format, Preamble, Intro to Serenity, Prayer, 12 Steps, 5 Steps)

June, 1996-DDA meetings are now held at the following locations: First Presbyterian Church in Fontana, San Bernardino Valley College, Victor Valley Counseling Center in Hesperia, The Recovery Center in Upland, and Team House in San Bernardino.

October, 1996-The DDA meeting at the First Presbyterian Church in Fontana is attended by fifty DDAer's. This marks the most attendees ever at a DDA meeting.

November, 1996-Corbett is featured in “Inside Oriented” a monthly publication of the San Bernardino County of Behavioral Health, in an article entitled, “Corbett Monica's Experience Enables Him to Offer Hope to Dually Diagnosed Clients.” The article highlights the quote by Dostoyevsky; “To Live Without Hope Is To Cease To Live”, as one of Corbett's guiding principles. This quote becomes a cornerstone of the philosophy of the DDA Program.

May, 1997-First DDA meeting held at Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino. Meeting is held in the “T” Building, the same Building where Corbett resided while in Treatment there in 1971. Fifty-One people attend meeting.

June, 1997-The First Annual Dual Diagnosis Anonymous “Spring Fling” is held in San Bernardino on 6-6-1997 and attended by an estimated 200 DDA'ers! Corbett meets Clancy Miller on 6-19-1997 at the Department of Behavioral Health Dual Diagnosis Committee meeting. Clancy works at Orchid Court Board and Care in San Bernardino, and reports increasing acceptance of dually diagnosed clients at the Serenity Club in San Bernardino. Corbett informs Clancy of DDA and invites him to bring clients to a local meeting.

July, 1997-Clancy Miller attends the First Presbyterian Church Chapter of DDA in Fontana with clients from Orchid Court, increasing the average attendance from twenty-seven to forty.

December, 1997-There are now sixteen weekly DDA meetings in San Bernardino County.

April, 1998-On April 23rd Corbett corresponded with Alcoholics Anonymous World Services in New York, requesting permission to use the DDA version of the 12 Traditions of AA for the DDA program. On April 30th AA granted permission to DDA to use the revised version of the 12 Traditions with an appropriate disclaimer. First draft of 12 Traditions for DDA completed.

June, 1998-The Second Annual Dual Diagnosis Anonymous Spring Fling is held in San Bernardino, with attendance estimated between 150 and 200 people.

July, 1998-DDA averages two hundred and four contacts per month for the past year in California. Corbett begins new position as the Treatment Supervisor of Men's Services at the De Paul Treatment Center in Portland, OR

September, 1998-The first DDA meeting in Oregon is held at the De Paul Residential Treatment Center in downtown Portland at 8:00 PM and is attended by thirteen people.

April, 1999-Corbett becomes the first Program Manager for Project Oasis. Project Oasis is an integrated effort of two agencies; CODA (a substance abuse treatment service delivery system), and Mental Health West (a mental health service delivery system) in downtown Portland. Project Oasis is an intensive case management program for high risk felony offenders with a dual diagnosis. The second chapter of DDA begins at Mental Health West in downtown Portland and is attended by seven people.

1999-Gregory Sweetwood writes DDA version of “Just For Today.”

2001-Gregory Sweetwood edits “Just For Today.”

August, 2001-Corbett accepts a position as Lead Counselor for the Bridgepoint Program at Columbia River Correctional Facility (CRCI). CRCI is a minimum security prison and Bridgepoint is a fifty bed dual diagnosis program for men. The first Bridgepoint Chapter of DDA begins and is attended by twelve men.

September, 2002-The number of DDA meetings at Bridgepoint increases to five weekly.

January, 2003-Mark Buckner and Bridgepoint DDA Chapter draft the first DDA “Six Rules of Respect”

February, 2003-Meetings are now held Monday through Friday at the Bridgepoint Program. Corbett and Mark revise meeting format.

April, 2003-Following his release from CRCI Mark Buckner, with help and support from Laurie Ellet establishes Cascadia Chapter of DDA in North Portland.

July, 2003-Corbett revises and condenses Just for Today in DDA and the Six rules of Respect become the Five Rules of Respect.

March, 2004-Corbett and State Commissioner of Mental Health/Addictions Services, Bob Nikkel meet to discuss the prospect of Dual Diagnosis Anonymous of Oregon.

May, 2004-Bob Nikkel introduces Corbett to Mary-Claire Buckley, Executive Director of the Psychiatric Security Review Board at annual National Alliance for the Mentally Ill walk in Portland. Corbett and Mary-Claire discuss consumer driven services and the mentally ill.

September, 2004-Sean Roush is instrumental in establishing DDA in McMinnville Oregon. Sean will later write one newspaper article and publish one journal article regarding DDA.

April, 2005-Mary-Claire, Bob Nikkel, Margaret Thiele, and Corbett discuss support for DDA of Oregon Project.


May, 2005-Corbett meets with Mary-Claire Buckley, Margaret Thiele, and Anthony Guillen regarding DDA in Oregon.


August, 2005-Corbett meets with Janet Bardossi and Margaret Thiele regarding possibility of local A&D Agency, CODA, Inc. to oversee DDA of Oregon.  CODA, Inc agrees to provide support and infrastructure to DDA of Oregon.

September, 2005-On September 6,  the Statewide Project: “Dual Diagnosis Anonymous of Oregon” begins as a collaborative effort between the State Office of Addictions and Mental Health, The Psychiatric Security Review Board, Multnomah County, CODA, Inc. and Project Director/DDA Founder Corbett Monica.

October, 2005-First DDA of Oregon monthly Fellowship Gathering is held in Salem. The Monthly Fellowship Gathering is held on the last Tuesday of every month and becomes a cornerstone of support for DDAer's and friends of DDA Statewide!

November, 2005-Wired World Web Factory launches DDA of Oregon web site. DDA meetings began at the Oregon State Hospital.

June, 2006-Article about DDA published in Salem Statesman Journal written by Bob Nikkel. Article about DDA published in McMinnville News-Register written by Sean Roush.

July, 2006-As Founder of Dual Diagnosis Anonymous a Sole Source Determination Contract with the State Office of Addictions and Mental Health is awarded to Corbett as an independent contractor.


November,2006-John Hall is hired as first part-time outreach specialist for DDA of Oregon. 


December, 2006 -First “Unofficial” DDA of Oregon Board meets in Salem. First Annual DDA of Oregon “Fun In Recovery” Bowling Bonanza is held at Mt. Hood Lanes in Gresham. Over fifty DDAer's attend.


January, 2007-Dual Diagnosis Anonymous of Oregon is Incorporated as a 501(c) 3 non-profit corporation.

February, 2007-Central Office of DDA of Oregon opens in downtown Portland.

March, 2007 -First “Official” DDA of Oregon, Inc. Board meeting

April, 2007-Article about DDA published by written by Lela Taylor

December, 2007-Second Annual DDA of Oregon “Fun in Recovery” Bowling Bonanza is held and attended by over sixty DDAer's. DDA of Oregon has established some 80 new meetings in 18 Counties in Oregon.

February, 2008-On 1-08-08 sixty-seven people attend DDA in the 50 Building at Oregon State Hospital. This is the largest regular weekly DDA meeting ever held in Oregon! First ever DDA meeting is held in Vancouver WA and is attended by four people. Article published about DDA and DDAer Rosanna published in the Newport News Times written by Elizabeth Chapman.

March, 2008- Corbett finalizes original “Dual diagnosis Anonymous 12 Steps Plus Five Concept Paper” and revisions of DDA readings (Meeting format, Rules of Respect, Preamble, Opening Prayer, 12 Steps, 5 Steps, Just For Today in DDA, and Group Meeting Record). DDA of Oregon, Inc. readings, Logo, and History are submitted for trademark/copyright protection.


July, 2008- Corbett completes first draft of the DDA meeting format principles and guidelines packet for facilitators.

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