Home > Briefing paper 3: mutual aid.

Substance Misuse Skills Consortium. (2013) Briefing paper 3: mutual aid. London: Substance Misuse Skills Consortium.

PDF (Mutual aid) - Published Version

The briefing papers will provide:
1. a short overview of the topic, produced with input from an expert
2. links to the best evidence-based research and findings from the Skills Hub, the Drug and Alcohol Research Matrices and elsewhere
3. a wider resources section which contains less formal materials such as toolkits, news articles and videos.

Mutual aid is typically provided outside formal treatment agencies and is one of the most commonly travelled pathways to recovery. Mutual aid groups come in many different types, with the most widely provided being based on 12-Step principles, for example Narcotics Anonymous and Cocaine Anonymous. Other forms include SMART Recovery, Intuitive Recovery and locally derived peer support networks.

Engagement in peer-support for those in recovery can be encouraged by practitioners looking to help change behaviour and improve outcomes. NICE clearly recommends that the benefits of these groups can be further enhanced if keyworkers and other staff in services facilitate contact with them, for example by making an initial appointment, arranging transport or possibly accompanying patients to the first meeting and dealing with any subsequent concerns. These interventions can be of benefit to a wide range of people at different levels of the care and treatment system.

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