SDS for Substance Misuse Recovery

Self-directed Support for Substance Misuse Recovery : Key Learning Points

  • Stigma is a major issue for people in recovery from substance misuse. Fear of adverse press coverage and public backlash contributes to practitioner and local councillor reticence about fully implementing self-directed support for this group.
  • Many people in recovery from substance misuse and many drugs and alcohol practitioners are still unfamiliar with self-directed support and do not know it can be used as an approach to support recovery. This should be tackled through an information campaign and workforce development. Maximising Outcomes Learning Materials and Pilotlight Substance Misuse Characters
  • Peer workers can draw on their own lived experience to engage with people in recovery, inform them about self-directed support and support them to access it. Two self-directed support peer worker roles were co-designed in phase 1 of this Pilotlight project. Two co-design team members with lived experience were appointed to these roles in September 2016. SDS Peer Workers
  • The need to go through social work to access self-directed support is a major barrier for people in recovery from substance misuse. Peer workers and others in the third sector can establish trusting relationships and encourage and support people to engage with social work. SDS and Customer Recovery Journey
  • Small ‘test budgets’ can give people in recovery from substance misuse the opportunity to experience some choice and control over aspects of their recovery and to build confidence in their own decision-making. They can also dispel practitioner fears that people will make inappropriate choices about how to use their budgets. Test Budgets for Substance Misuse Recovery
  • Self-directed support option 2, in which the person directs their own budget but the money is held by the council or an organisation of the person’s choice, is the missing link to self-directed support implementation for this group.  Statutory, third sector and private providers of drug and alcohol services need to review and adapt their organisational models in order to offer this option. Much can be learned from providers that are already offering this option to other client groups. Ten Top Tips for Substance Misuse Recovery Providers