Community engagement research is widely discussed but rarely implemented. This paper describes the implementation of a community engagement research project on Dual Diagnosis Anonymous, a rapidly spreading peer support program in Oregon for people with co-occurring mental illness and substance use disorders. After three years of discussions, overcoming barriers, and involving several institutions, this grass-roots research project has been implemented and is expanding. Active participants in Dual Diagnosis Anonymous inspired and instructed policy makers, professionals, and students. Community engagement research requires front-line participants, community members, and professional collaborators to overcome multiple barriers with persistence and steadfastness. Building trust, collaboration, and structures for community engagement research takes time and a community effort.
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