In 1989, so little was known – far less in the public domain – about how to recover from addiction/dependencies, that it was decided to establish the Addiction Recovery Foundation for just such a purpose.
Its national and international guidance since has been evidence-based, leading-edge and proven – with an accuracy tuned by the skill sets of its staff and trustees who are mostly professionals in long-term, sustainable recovery themselves. This ‘user contribution’ and depth of understanding make the peer-run organisation unique among those which work across the alcohol- and drug-treatment field in both the UK and mainland Europe.
ARFs information accuracy was strongly validated in 2007, with the ‘Orange Book’ and Nice Psychosocial Guidelines recognising the research findings long promoted by the Foundation’s Addiction Today journal and its UK/European Symposia on best practices to help people and their families move from dire addictive straits to fulfilling lives. Other government documents and policy have since followed – evidenced by the Drug Strategy 2010’s emphasis on recovery from addiction.
KEY CHARITABLE WORK.
The Foundation provides both professionals and the recovery community with free resources on how to recover. Resources available to you on this website include:
Directory of addiction-treatment clinics, for referral and general information purposes; this is so popular it has been widely copied
List of self-help support groups, to strengthen your own work with addicted patients
Articles on methodologies/techniques, research partnership work, latest legislation in consultation stage
– just enter a key word in the Search box in the left column to seek information on that topic
Blogs for national and international exchange of professional expertise
Definitive guide on UK rehabs
… and much much more.
Addiction Today journal is is the most widely-read, influential journal in the UK alcohol- and drug-treatment field. With a print run of 5,000-6,000 copies, reader surveys show there are an average of seven readers per copy, A surprising but crucial finding from reader surveys is that you readers retain your copies of Addiction Today for at least two years as a reference tool. Thank you for the recognition of our work!
However, vox pop surveys also show that the first person in a treatment organisation who sees Addiction Today usually swipes it for or him or herself – so this is a note to training managers to organise more of this vital training tool for staff.
Networking and exchange of professional expertise, raising standards of care. As well as website blogs, the Foundation hosts the UK and Europe’s most popular conference on how to recover from addiction/dependency. The 11th UK/European Symposium on Addictive Disorders will be held on 5, 6 and 7 May 2014. This three-day event regularly attracts about 500 attendees from five continents and awards ‘gold standard’ IC&RC accreditation/CEUs. Discover early-bird discounts at www.ukesad.org
OTHER ACHIEVEMENTS | REGULAR UPDATES
The Unity Group. The UK addictions service-delivery system has a breadth which is even wider than, say, the US. Harm-reduction and abstinence-based providers and personnel exist at a different point on the car ‘philosophical’ continuum and are too often perceived as being mutually exclusive, rather than options for different stages of a client’s journey. Thus, the Addiction recovery Foundation founded the Unity Group to convene a group of representatives of these varying points of view in order to reduce the acrimony which existed between and among providers. Over several years, and many meetings, the Unity Group facilitated conversations with these treatment professionals and organisational administrators, resulting in a level of understanding and cooperation that manifested itself in three major projects:
a “shadowing” project whereby members of the staff of providers on one end of the continuum work in collaboration with their colleagues from the other end, thus coming to understand and appreciate the value of these different approaches – the most successful have been workers from needle-exchanges visiting an abstinence-based residential centre and vice versa!
2-day conferences at which representatives from the various points on the continuum shared their approaches and practices with practitioners from other agencies
National Misuse & Addictions Week – details in next paragraph.
National Misuse & Addictions Day/Week. Supported by the Home Office, the Unity Group organises a week in which treatment agencies hold an ‘open day’ or half day in the last week of June, consolidating the United Nations Drugs Day on 26 June. Agencies from a variety of treatment approaches collaborate to invite the general public, colleagues and potential colleagues, referrers and potential referrers to see how they work. In 2007, events ranged from seminars in treatment centres to Dip football matches to Drug Action team-led ‘street parties’ or kiosks in shopping centres, consisting of ‘stalls’ representing treatment agencies techniques.