From our pilots – Oxfordshire

The view from Lifeline, the provider of the Oxfordshire Recovery Service

‘I’ve been in trying to get out of [the cycle of addiction] for 30 years, and this has been the only thing which has helped’.

Lifeline Oxfordshire was launched in April, and provides abstinence-focussed drug and alcohol recovery services tailored to the needs of service users, including group-based therapy, alternative therapies, employment and education support and training. Clients are helped to address the issues surrounding drug and alcohol use and can be referred to appropriate counselling support.

The majority of clinical service users are prescribed Methadone administered by the Clinical Recovery team, and a substantial number of service users are reducing their prescription and working towards abstinence.

The community alcohol detox process has been in place since the launch, and is able to reach service users needing an alcohol detox throughout Oxfordshire. The full time community alcohol detox support worker is able to meet one to one with detox clients, and provide a full wrap-around service to support the community detox.

‘I just needed to talk to someone as I was scared I was going to pick up again. I came to the Recovery Hub knowing that there was a group starting, and the group helped me stay clean’.

The 12-Step community rehab program celebrated its first graduation in August with four members who had successfully completed the 12 week programme. Dave Eaton, the rehab facilitator stated that

‘this has been a very successful first community rehab in Oxford. We have had an 80% success rate, and the next rehab is already full with applicants’.

‘There’s something to do here every day, which has really helped me develop a routine – it’s really good’.

There has been an increase in social activity:

The Recovery Hub celebrated the Queens’ Jubilee and their own recovery successes in June. The Hub was decorated and cakes, sandwiches, recovery groups and games provided. One service user commented

‘the centre open on Bank Holiday was really helpful and it was nice to celebrate and have some fun in a safe environment with good people’.

The Donnington Bridge Canoeing Slalom and Sprint competition saw Team Lifeline complete against five other local charities. The team was made up of seven determined service users, some of whom has never tried canoeing before. After a brief training course they soon became the firm favourites, and finished first in the overall endurance race. The day was so enjoyable that the team have decided to have regular canoeing days and have formed a fundraising group to raise the money needed to rent the equipment.

Education, Training and Employment (ETE), and community reintegration support has grown considerably with sessions targeted towards providing benefit support, CV development, employment support, volunteering options, mental health support, and training needs/support.

Six service users took up ETE opportunities, and four service users progressed into volunteering/mentorship. Furthermore, nine service users have been sign-posted to 10 local agencies, enabling joint work between the Recovery Hub and other agencies with the best possible support being offered to service users.

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