RECOVERY STORY 9

Hugh is a 41 year old male from the Port Glasgow Inverclyde.  He referred himself to Moving On Inverclyde in October 2016 for support with problematic Cannabis and Alcohol related issues having had various past unsuccessful attempts to control usage.   Hugh initially got involved by completing Moving On’s two day cannabis recovery workshop where he gaining information, advice and support to help him reduce and stop using cannabis.  Hugh reported feelings of Anxiety, social isolation and depression related to his use of cannabis and was looking for a new direction and wished to develop his interests in IT to improve the quality of his lifestyle.

Hugh reported he enjoyed the workshops at Moving On provided saying it gave him a clearer understanding of the risks associated with cannabis use.  He was though initially reluctant to access fuller services as he was uncertain about his ability to follow through and make the changes he wanted  to.  He was also anxious about being in groups with other people and strangers who may perhaps still use drugs, but felt happier when staff team reassured him that people presenting at groups under the influence are never allowed access to group sessions.

Following the workshop,   Hugh requested further support to access the Moving On Smart Start program and over the structured recovery programme activities, he took a much more active part in all the group based elements of the program.  Hugh says he liked the Smart Start groups and particularly the sessions that focused on relapse prevention skills, recovery planning, and motivation enhancement.  He continued with the program and grew in confidence and feels his optimism continue to grow around the possible future he could have.  Hugh contributed well giving and receiving encouragement from peers in the safe space the group environment provides.

Hugh says   “I didn’t want to be around people who were neck deep in their addiction. I was pleased that all the people attending the groups were as focused about change as I was”.

Hugh expanded his involvement to take part in the full range of therapeutic activities including physical fitness sessions, Acu-Detox, Art sessions Evening SMART recovery groups and complementary therapy sessions and working with his key-worker Hugh identified appropriate support in the community to build on the skills he learned during group sessions.  Hugh became more aware of his signature strengths curiosity, sense of humor, good nature and an enthusiasm for learning.

He found that replacing his times smoking cannabis with purposeful activities really helped and he was eventually supported and provided with advice and information to apply for further education courses. Hugh also made good use of the gym cards at weekends and evenings to improve his fitness and well being.

On completion of the Smart Start Phase Hugh accessed the ‘Next Steps’ phase of the Moving On program during which he was further supported to develop interpersonal and recovery skills utilizing his personal strengths to maintain abstinence from cannabis.  During this phase he worked collaboratively with the Moving On team and other supporting agencies in accord with his agreed recovery outcomes.  Hugh maintained regular contact with his Key worker from the start of his program to completion and through the program worked with the Moving On team to identify pathways for employment, further education and training.  The information, advice and support enabled Hugh to make an informed choice about his future goals once he completed the Recovery program at Moving On.  He finally stopped using cannabis after a period of managed reduction and reported a positive change in his sense of emotional well being and a renewed sense of direction in his life.

Hugh gained a lot of confidence from supporting his peers in the use of Computers helping and guiding his peers to set up email accounts and research local services.

He states : “At first it was all about recovery, but I came to see that my time at Moving On was about a total lifestyle change. I changed my way of thinking how I saw myself and my capacity to change”.

At his formal exit review Hugh reported feeling more motivated, confident and focused on working on developing his goal of gaining qualifications to work in the IT sector.  Hugh also noted an improvement in his physical and emotional health, relationships communication and decision making skills.

Today (August 2017) Hugh is attending college studying for an HNC Technical Support and regularly meets his Key worker to continue receiving support recovery in an aftercare setting. Hugh is enjoying the experience of going to college and he is looking into giving something back by becoming a volunteer IT tutor with the local Community Learning & Development service.

UPDATE: December 2017…  Hugh states:  Since leaving Moving On I have started further education. i have completed block 1 of my HNC and passed ALL subjects, something I previously thought would not be achievable for me!    My confidence and well being are good. There is still some work for me to fill my time meaningfully. but overall I know this is something I can achieve myself.

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