ABCD Europe

Asset-based community development in action, all over Europe.

Hi All, this is my first thread so any help is good.

I'm going to be using the principles of ABCD to help build a community of people linked by the common history of being in recovery from Substance misuse. I am starting the process off by taking everyone to the Brink dry bar in liverpool for a day of activities to open their eyes to possibilities and to see the range of skills they have in the group.

Can you think of any really good activities I could use to get the discussion going and to promote answers from within?



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What is your own driving force in this?




Sorry about all these replies, I am not sure how to work the system, considering I have been before.

Your idea is a good one, I once worked in an Alcoholic and drug addiction ward for the NHS, and I realised through observation and questions that if they were not addicted to alcohol or drugs, they would not have met each other, because they had nothing in common other than their addiction. Some people who share the same addition tend to find each other, where they share in their addiction, it’s a basic human social behaviour to share our interests, whatever that interest is.

They were all different people from all walks of life and different social strata, yet they were all in the same situation. I did ask them about their route into an addiction. One person came from Stoke on Trent, that’s where all the nations bear is made, and he developed an addiction because there was nothing else to do other than to drink on a social basis, which developed into an addiction, and most of them developed their addiction on a social basis before it developed into an addiction.

One method I used, by using the local secondary schools and college, were some of the patients would  visit and talk about their route into an addiction. Not just to help young people to avoid an addiction, but also to help the patient to develop the confidence they need, by talking to others, and to develop a network of places to visit, including youth clubs, to discuss, listen to and talk about drink and drugs, it works both ways.

Some people took to this, even though they had no experience of public speaking, it tended to help and develop their own personal development , once they knew that people were listening and taking heed. It can only be done if people are will to do it; it helps them as well as others.

Also I did ask a few times, this is regarding drugs and some people where stealing from their families to feed their addiction, ‘what does this do to the people who are closest to you? Such as parents and siblings.

There was a barrier there. That barrier was, they have been listening to their love ones for most of their lives, from childhood into adulthood, and at some point during their socialisation they stopped listening and referred to it as moaning. So sometimes, outside help is needed and that help is where pioneers come in, those pioneers are those who had or in the process of dealing with their addiction, and they can give first hand advice by talking to both the parents and the person developing or forming an addiction.

Small discussions groups at first to build up the confidence, then colleges, secondary schools and then youth clubs. An access point for concerned or worried parents, then they have the opportunity to help those too. But it does take a lot of work, talking and being active.

There was once a mother who was worried about her daughter, I mentioned this to one of the patients, he then took this young woman out to a few drug dens in the city and some homeless centres, places where he had been. She was shocked to see where drug taking, once it develops into an addiction cxan lead. 

A worried mother who walked into the unit where I used to work jst to ask a few questions, because the mother did not know what to do or where to go, she caught her daughter just in time.

The patient did a good job, the young woman turned her back on drugs and continued with her education, I asked the mother to return and report on her daughters’ progress, which she did periodically.

Just to reiterate, she was not referred to the NHS, she just walked in one day and she received the help she needed from the patients, almost immediately.

The patient knew what to do, he looked inside himself and acted, so maybe you could do the same, encourage the your people to develop their public speaking skills through discussion to help others to avoid an addiction and continue with their lives, it give them or anyone else a sence of pride that they have made a possitive difference to someones life, however small that difference is. Moreover, sometimes it can only come from those who have been through it.

I couldn’t do it, because I have never had an addiction to anything, nor did any of the other nurse, doctors and psychiatrist. It has to come from those who know what to do, those who have been in the drug dens, stolen from their families and lived on the streets, they are the ones who can do it by reflecting on their own experiences. I hope that helps, if not, I hope your initiative works. 

Still trying to upload, sorry

Hi Paul,

My name is David Ryan, I live in Manchester and am in recovery. I know a lot of the Liverpool connection personally and I go to the Brink whenever I'm over visting.

I was just browsing through the site and noticed your blog, I wonder how the day at The Brink went?



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