Sunday, 15 June 2008

Personal Story of Chris Hobbs

Chris Hobbs is a member of our Cardiff community of volunteers, who I first met when he came out with us to lunch with Pavel Nepustil, visiting from the Czech Republic.

I remember Chris really struggling to keep awake with the dose of methadone he was being given. As he points out in his Personal Story, he tried to explain to his keyworker that he wanted a lower dose because he was forever falling asleep at home. This was frustrating, since he had a new baby to be looked after, and he felt like his partner was having to look after two of them. His keyworker did not seem sympathetic and was more concerned that Chris would relapse if his dose was reduced.

The words of Kevin Manley come through here – his film is on our YouTube Blog – he emphasised the number of practitioners who just wanted him on methadone, and did not appear to be concerned with his real needs. All practitioners need to understand what treatment is about. I quote from the excellent book, ‘Treating Drinkers & Drug Users in the Community’ by Daphne Rumball and the late Tom Waller:

‘Treatment decision-making that is likely to be most successful is based on decisions made by the service user.’

‘Therapeutic help does not imply that the therapeutic helper takes over and sorts the problem out. Drinkers and drug users must do this themselves, for this not only increases the chance of a successful outcome, it also helps raise self-esteem, and the empowerment of the individual raises personal belief in his or her ability to overcome dependence (self-efficacy).

Other people, however skilled they may be, never make a drinker of drug user better. It is always the client who does the work. Helping professionals can make assessments, point the way, offer suggestions, provide interventions tailored to meet a client’s needs, give appropriate counselling, and do what they can to improve the client’s environment, but success, when it comes, always belongs to the client, never to the professional worker.’

Please spend some time reading Chris’s Personal Story. We’ve also put up some new film on our YouTube channel, which you can access from the ‘Our Films’ Blog.  We look at the physical effects of heroin addiction, including the risks and effects of blood borne viruses.

I’m off to see some treatment agencies in Liverpool and Warrington, and savour some of the recovery atmosphere that has been generated in the North West of England. I’ll try to Blog whilst away, but please bear with me if there are any problems.

PS. Awesome Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band concert at the Millenium Stadium in Cardiff last night! A true icon of rock music!! 

3 comments:

Peter O'Loughlin. said...

'Therapeutic help does not imply that the therapeutic helper takes over and sorts the problem out. Drinkers and drug users must do this themselves, for this not only increases the chance of a successful outcome, it also helps raise self-esteem, and the empowerment of the individual raises personal belief in his or her ability to overcome dependence (self-efficacy).'

Spot on!

'Other people, however skilled they may be, never make a drinker of drug user better. It is always the client who does the work. Helping professionals can make assessments, point the way, offer suggestions, provide interventions tailored to meet a client’s needs, give appropriate counselling, and do what they can to improve the client’s environment, but success, when it comes, always belongs to the client, never to the professional worker.’

Spot on again! Nor can it ever , as some suggest, be coercive.

I see myself as the labourer, because all I do is pass the 'brick's' interspersed with comments about where they might be placed and 'cemented' in.

Anna said...

I am interested in the personal story of Chris Hobbs but the link didn't seem to take me to it.

David Clark said...

Sorry Anna, link sorted.