Ex drug and alcohol users trained to support people working towards recovery


Up to 4,000 people receiving care for drug and alcohol addiction will be offered extra support from former patients who have been through similar treatment.
Alcohol and Drug Services, run by Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust, have recruited and trained 23 Peer Navigators from Oldham, Stockport, the Rochdale borough and Tameside to help people to know what to expect from the service and support them on their recovery journey.
Volunteers who have been seen by the service themselves, or who have had family members experience drug or alcohol problems, receive training in supporting recovery, confidentiality and the nature of addiction.
The Peer Navigators receive a recognised qualification and ongoing support, training and supervision from the services they volunteer in.
People coming to the Alcohol and Drug Service are offered a named Peer Navigator who can help them to understand what to expect from the service, signpost them  to further support and give them advice on how to stay drug or alcohol free in the long-term.
One of the Peer Navigators is Sue Gwynne, 63, from Audenshaw, has been recovering from drug and alcohol addiction for seven years.
She said: “The training I have received means I know what services are available for people and how to support them while respecting boundaries and confidentiality.
“I can help people going through the same things I went through and make sure they have the support they need to recover.”
Vicky Constantine, Service Manager for Oldham Alcohol and Drug Service, said service users often felt more comfortable talking to Peer Navigators about what to expect.
She said: “We know engaging with alcohol and drug support services can be a daunting experience for some people but talking with the Peer Navigators about their experiences can provide valuable reassurance to service users as well as signposting them to further support.
“Both staff and Peer Navigators support service users every step of the way to give them the best possible chance of long-term recovery.”
The services see up to 4,000 people at any one time and offer one to one and group support, needle exchange and advice on reducing harm to health caused by alcohol or drug use.
For more information visit /your-services/drug-and-alcohol-services