New service to help serving soldiers overcome addictions

Soldiers at Catterick Garrison trying to recover from alcohol and gambling addictions now have a new chance to overcome their problems.

Communities’ charity DISC is leading the UK’s first SMART recovery programme specifically aimed at helping serving soldiers.

Experts from DISC’s North Yorkshire Horizons’ drug and alcohol misuse service are working in partnership with addiction recovery programme SMART to offer specialist sessions at Catterick Garrison to help the personnel.

Craig Bosomworth, Senior Practitioner at North Yorkshire Horizons, said:

“We are really excited to be in partnership with SMART Recovery, delivering this pioneering support group.

“We work regularly with serving personnel to support them will alcohol related issues and creating a SMART group in the Garrison will only bolster that support and recovery.”

He said North Yorkshire Horizons’ staff have already been offering one to one sessions to soldiers for alcohol related issues.

And he added: “This has identified the need for a mutual aid group to bring these soldiers together, which reduces their isolation and gives them the opportunity to meet other peers experiencing similar issues.”

So far, six soldiers – all aged under 30 – have attended the sessions. DISC Recovery Coordinator Ruth Hasney, who runs the group, said: “As soldiers they are conditioned to be strong, but in our sessions they check in by saying why they’re there.

“They really open up and give their heart and souls. There is a lot of guilt and shame. And they’re really supportive of each other.

“The most difficult step is to ask for help and acknowledge that there is an issue.”

The sessions are only open to serving personnel and are held from 6pm to 7.30pm, every Monday, at the Army Welfare Service building on Smuts Road, Catterrick Garrison.

PHOTO: Craig Bosomworth and Ruth Hasney.