One year after opening the Adelaide Street Addiction Centre at the back of York House Surgery in 1994, the team fashioned a questionnaire of 10 questions, to ask if they and the centre were doing an okay job. The results greatly surprised them.
Q10. What about the centre gets up your nose?
A10. The other patients.
The answers to the first 9 questions were so positive the response that the team could not for shame use the questionnaire ever again, believing others would take this as self-indulgent. Over time these answers and the questions themselves have been forgotten, not so question 10 and answer 10.
It was thought at that time that those with alcohol problems were a group who got on well together, and this group didn’t like the group with drug problems who were another group who got on well together. This myth was well and truly dismissed as historic academic fallacy.
At the centre were about 400 adults; about 200 with addiction to alcohol and 200 addicted to drugs, this not counting nicotine in tobacco the hardest of all to quit! It became apparent that many wanted to quit “their habit” and of those most gave abstinence a trial; almost all failed after a period of time, often short.
So if you were bang at it, your addiction, you could get treatment for it, if there was money left in the local kitty for detox you could be admitted to hospital or clinic for a few days, but then, you were on your own! Desk top research revealed that the process from quitting to freedom took 7 years, and we knew that during this long time there was no help. This was the reason the Recovery Republic was started; it opened on 24th July 2012
In the team were those both staff and volunteers with “lived experience” in that some had experienced problems of drugs and or alcohol. So when the Recovery Republic opened they especially were aware of the fact that the new detoxed members were not one or two groups but quite disparate individuals. It was these people and the new members who realised the importance of “Social Glue” to help bind them one to another thereby to gain a sense of “Being becoming, belonging”.
Coming across the Quaker booklet “Advices and Queries” they quickly copied bits from it and set down every week for a few months to fashion it into a working document. It quickly became a communal course of six weeks. It was modified almost every time it was used for about three years and less so as time went on. It is now in its fourth edition.