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Definitions of mutual aid



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Definitions of mutual aid

  1. 1. Definitions of mutual aid
  2. 2. What is mutual aid? (Faces and voices of recovery 2015; NTA 2015) • Mutual aid is the process of giving and receiving non-clinical and non-professional help to achieve long-term recovery from addiction. • It can be differentiated from the term ‘self-help’ because it emphasises the sharing of help, rather than implying a person needs to help themselves. • Mutual aid lies outside formal service provision but is a fundamental help to many people. It is important that practitioners can facilitate access to mutual aid.
  3. 3. What is mutual aid? (faces and voices of recovery 2015) • Examples are: – Alcoholics Anonymous – Al Anon (for families of alcoholics) – Alateen (for teenagers in families) – Narcotics Anonymous – SMART Recovery – Cocaine Anonymous – Informal groups – There are loads more, many locally generated and based
  4. 4. What is mutual aid? • It can be structured by the 12-step approach (Minnesota model) to addiction which advocates a progression of steps toward recovery. • This approach aims for abstinence and acknowledges that the person is powerless to recover on their own. • Some people find references to God difficult to work with. • Go to the Alcoholics Anonymous GB site for more on the 12 steps. Steps-of-AA
  5. 5. What is mutual aid (cont.)? • SMART Recovery is a different approach which emphasises self reliance and a person’s own strengths. • It also emphasises a collaboration between professional services and mutual aid. • Go to the SMART website and view the short video ‘Welcome to SMART Recovery’ • If you have seen the two websites for AA and SMART, you may have noticed that SMART can work in collaboration with professional services, and uses evidence based practice to underpin its ideas. • There is no one mutual aid approach better than another in the principles of recovery: it is what works best for the individual.
  6. 6. Evidence for mutual aid (Fiorentine & Hillhouse, 2000; NICE 2007, 2011, 2012) However, there is evidence that mutual aid works best when combined with professional services. This combination reduces relapse from the level of health and well being the person has achieved.
  7. 7. References • Faces and voices of recovery (2015) Guide to Mutual Aid Resources. Available at: • Fiorentine R & Hillhouse M (2000) Self-efficacy, expectancies, and abstinence acceptance. American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 26(4), 497-521. (18.67) • National Treatment Agency (2015) Drug Treatment and Recovery. Available at: • National Treatment Agency (2015) Helping clients to access and engage with mutual aid. Available at: • NICE (2007) Drug misuse: psychosocial interventions. Clinical Guidance 51. • NICE (2011) Alcohol use disorders: diagnosis, assessment and management of harmful drinking and alcohol dependence. Clinical Guidance 115. • NICE (2012) Quality standard for drug use disorders. NICE Quality Standard 23.