As if substance addiction is not a big enough problem.  Enter; an underlying mental illness.  These are the dually diagnosed drug and alcohol addicts.  Kathleen Sciacca founder of MIDAA, Mental Illness, Drug Addiction and Alcoholism tackles the issue head on from a perspective of treatment.  Here is what she says:   “People who have multiple disorders of severe mental illness, drug addiction and alcoholism “dual diagnosis” have the same severity of addictive disorders as do people who have addictive disorders alone.  They also experience exacerbation of both their mental illness and their addictive disorder due to interaction effects. Their families experience the disruptions evoked by addictive disorders alone.  This is in addition to the stress of coping with a serious mental illness.”  Sounds like the ingredients for hell on earth.   View the Dual Diagnosis Website here for further information on the impact of addiction and mental illness.  Also view the PDF files of the World Health Report:  Investing in Mental Health and Kathleen’s Sciacca’s PDF file of her Fact Sheet on Dual Diagnosis. Links by Mary Slivinski.