VIDEO: Surge in number of people seeking help to tackle addiction
A pioneering new drugs and alcohol counselling programme in Bristol has seen a surge in the number of people using the service to tackle addictions.
Over the past 18 months the SMART programme (Self Management and Recovery Training) has gone from one to ten groups in the city.
Bristol was the first city in the UK to adopt this successful American approach to addiction recovery and groups now run from Monday to Friday across the city.
Funded by Safer Bristol the free SMART service works alongside other support groups, but offers a peer led approach by people who have already gone through the programme.
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Sue Bancroft of Safer Bristol says beating addiction is not simply a case of someone deciding to stop: “It's very hard, and I would say by now in mid January how many people who were going to give up cigarettes, stop drinking so much and exercising more have already stopped doing that?
"Now imagine you have something you are taking into your body which has a physiological effect which means your body cannot do without it.
"It's much harder. All of us make lots of resolutions and lots of people with alcohol and drug problems make resolutions. What we need to do is support them in those resolutions.”
In this video ThisisBristol meets Tina Cameron who, having successfully completed the SMART programme, is now helping more people across Bristol take the first steps towards recovery.
SMART and Safer Bristol are holding an awareness day at the Galleries shopping centre on Thursday 17th January. The event will run from 9-5 on the ground floor and will offer advice on joining the free SMART programme.