Charity praised for pioneering project helping veterans recover from drug and alcohol addictions
PUBLISHED: 10:14 12 July 2017 | UPDATED: 10:14 12 July 2017
Ex-military personnel in Weston-super-Mare are more likely to recover from alcohol or drug addictions than across many other parts of the country, research suggests.
Addiction charity Addaction, based in the Boulevard, is one of the only places to offer the Right Turn initiative, which is specifically aimed at veterans.
Addaction’s scheme works on the basis that the comradeship of the military can be used to support recovery.
Veteran Chris Moor, who spent 12 years in the army, said: “When you’re chatting to another veteran, it’s like we speak a different language to other people.
“When you have been in a situation when your life depends on your friends, it’s unlike anything you experience as a civilian. Other people don’t understand.
“There’s a huge drinking culture in the forces, which probably helped my alcoholism along. I’ve been in recovery 17 months now and the Right Turn project at Addaction North Somerset has also helped me access other veteran services in the area.”
The new research shows a number of positive outcomes for veterans who took part in the Right Turn programme, with 65 per cent of them starting further education and training and 86 per cent feeling more confident about their lives.
Jon Murray, associate director at Addaction, said: “Right Turn was launched by ex-service staff at Addaction who understood that the experiences of people who served in the Army, Navy or Air Force could be both an asset and a barrier to recovery. It was conceived by veterans for veterans, and that’s how it still works today.
“As this important report shows, it’s having a profound impact. We’re proud of the results shown here, and pleased to have such clear evidence that the Right Turn approach should be expanded further.
“Behind these findings are individual people’s lives, each with hopes and aspirations for the future. We’re delighted that Right Turn is helping to make them a reality.”