Overcoming a drug or alcohol addiction often requires a programme of detoxification followed by treatment in drug and alcohol rehab clinics. Detoxification is designed to treat the physical side of the addiction while rehabilitation is the process that will address any psychological or emotional issues associated with the addiction.
However, many people do not realise that addiction recovery does not end when treatment programmes at drug and alcohol rehab clinics have concluded. In fact, those who want to remain substance free will have to work hard on maintaining their sobriety going forward. A new project in Sheffield aims to help recovering drug and alcoholic addicts in this regard.
The project, named REC-CONNECT, will help recovering addicts to build links with their local community by providing access to various activities and services. The recovering addicts will be encouraged to build links with community connectors, the people in the heart of communities.
Previously, recovering addicts may have avoided accessing various services even if they were interested in them because of a fear of being judged or because they lacked the confidence to do so. Some simply did not know how to go about accessing the activities or services they were interested in.
Now, community connectors will work to help them overcome these issues. This means that recovering addicts will now be able to get involved with various groups and organisations such as knitting groups, libraries, fishing clubs, and cafes.
The project will recruit community connectors from various recovery services as well as from the general public. With the backing of different organisations such as Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield Alcohol Support Service, Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust, Phoenix Futures and Addaction, a total of 134 groups have been identified and will be known as community assets. The community connectors will encourage recovering addicts to attend these community assets, with the aim of helping them to stay focused on their recovery.
The launch of REC-CONNECT was recently held at Sheffield Hallam Universitys Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice (HKC). The head of criminology there, Professor David Best, said, The REC-CONNECT project is aimed at making the most of those activities and services that already exist in our local communities and making sure they are accessible to people in recovery. Attending a new group or different part of the city can be intimidating, particularly for those on the recovery pathway. This project will aim to break down that barrier by putting the service users in touch with individuals who can take them to those groups or activities and support them through the most difficult part getting through the door. Linking people in with these groups will help to re-engage them in positive activities and will support their recovery journeys.
He went on to say, Importantly, the community connectors will already have relationships with people at the community assets, meaning they can help avoid any potentially uncomfortable situations for the service users. This is a pilot project for the recovery community but the idea behind it could apply to any number of isolated groups to encourage integration, so were really looking forward to getting started and evaluating the results.
Consultant psychiatrist from the Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust Dr Ruta Rele said, The community connectors project will be an exciting part of the recovery journey for our clients and attempts to fill a gap that exists after completing treatment successfully. Recovery from addiction is not just about tackling the symptoms of dependence but enabling the person to re-connect with their community only then will their recovery will be sustained. People with addiction problems can end up getting quite isolated from society in general the community connectors project attempts to help make the process of re-connecting bit easier and possible. As some of the community connectors will be people in recovery themselves, they will be powerful messengers to say recovery is possible!.
Experts are aware that the first twelve months after treatment programmes in drug and alcohol rehab clinics can be the riskiest in terms of relapse. For that reason, aftercare programmes are usually offered.
It is a good idea to take up the offer of aftercare if it is available. This may mean regular counselling sessions with a therapist or counsellor, or it could be phone contact as and when required. However, there are many other aftercare resources available to those in recovery, such as fellowship support groups.
Fellowship support groups are excellent in terms of helping to keep your sobriety on track. You may be aware of such groups already Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are examples. With a fellowship support group, you can attend regular meetings with other recovering addicts. During these meetings, you can sit and listen to what other members have to say, or you can choose to share your own stories and experiences.
Fellowship support groups have helped millions of people around the world to get sober and stay sober. The principles they follow are often adopted by drug and alcohol rehab clinics as part of their treatment programmes.
If you need help accessing aftercare programmes, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us here at UK Rehab. We can offer helpful information and advice on treatment programmes as well as options when it comes to aftercare. Our service is free and confidential, so you have nothing to lose by getting in touch. Call today for more information.
Source: Recovering drug and alcohol addicts can REC-CONNECT with Sheffield community (The Star)