DDN Magazine October 2023 DDN_October_2023 | Page 17

To relay this message of foreseen optimism – as opposed to one of maintenance and prevention – is more empowering , especially for people who are new to recovery .
negativity that is associated with addiction and what can be expected from those with a history of substance misuse .
To build momentum in this forward-looking perspective , interventions that support recovery could be referred to as recovery protection instead of relapse prevention , and future work could draw on knowledge from positive psychology , the recovery model and the study of wellbeing , to demonstrate addiction recovery is something that is to be valued in life .
For professionals working in addiction services , embracing this affirming and valuing terminology is a simple change to make in support of empowering service users to safeguard their recovery because they recognise the value it affords . This would see services move from a relapse prevention perspective , to one of recovery protection .

Acorn Recovery Projects is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation service that helps a diverse demographic of client , often with complex mental health needs and a history of trauma . A shared characteristic of all is the despair they feel because of addiction – clients will likely have tried and failed many times to control their substance use , whether that be independently , in the community , or through previous rehabilitation attempts . They commonly have a low opinion of themselves , have fallen victim to the stigmatised views of society , and experienced the often numerous and severe consequences of addiction ,

the combined effect of which leads them to feel they are in a hopeless situation .
A caring staff team with experienced counsellors helps clients to re-establish a valued relationship with themselves so they may recognise their own worth . As they progress , clients are highly respected and supported to think reflectively , become more self-aware , and appreciate how life satisfaction and quality of life improve with their own progressive change and positive actions . In the early stages of treatment , focus is on their life to date and how addiction has affected the way they see and interact with the world around them . This aligns with the first part of the aforementioned recovery statement , where clients enter a process of change that improves their health and wellness . It is here that clients reach a level of acceptance where they can envision their recovery .
HOPE AND EMPOWERMENT From this improved position , clients are then supported to look forward to their life in recovery through positive
interventions aimed at further improving wellbeing , building recovery capital , and creating a foundation to flourish . The objective is to support clients to establish an optimistic basis for recovery , to instil hope and empower them to successfully live a life of their choosing . An important part of this is advocating addiction recovery to be a valued life choice that is not to be feared through risk of relapse , but instead experienced and enjoyed as the positive outcome of an effective period of personal growth .
This aligns treatment with the complete recovery statement – seeing clients using their own self-direction to strive to reach their full potential . When a client completes their treatment with Acorn , they leave carrying the message that recovery is valuable and worthy of protection , a positive opportunity that they have been afforded that would not have been possible if it had not been for addiction .
Lisa Ogilvie is a counsellor at Acorn Recovery Projects , and a doctoral student at the University of Bolton specialising in addiction recovery and wellbeing