FASD Addictions Recovery Support Programs
Recognising that being understood is a catalyst to success in early recovery, the addictions recovery support programs at Whitecrow Village create opportunities for lifestyle changes associated with active addiction and FASD through 12 step meetings, research initiatives, education, and encouragement and appropriate training of existing supportive roles within the greater recovery community. Specifically, Whitecrow programs aim to build a bridge of understanding between people with FASD and the mainstream recovery community. Whitecrow Village Addictions Recovery Support Programs encompass:
Whitecrow Village is working to broaden the understanding of addictions in the context of FASD through 12 step meetings, training for the mainstream recovery community, and the development (and adaptation) of multi-media materials for agencies, facilitators, and program participants. Continuing to research the implications of FASD for addictions recovery, the Whitecrow Addictions Recovery Support Programs strive to create a more understanding recovery community in which persons with FASD and addictions issues can find effective support on their walk together toward sustained success.
12 Step Meetings
Modified recovery support meetings based on the 12-Step program and adapted to meet the needs of persons with FASD are currently offered at all Whitecrow Village L.I.F.E. Sessions. When we first started to facilitate these 12-Step meetings at our L.I.F.E. Sessions, the response from participants was overwhelming. The meetings created enthusiasm and hope for those who attended while fostering a sense of community that was cultivated from understanding and compassion. What became apparent was that many in the L.I.F.E. Session meetings had attended 12-Step meetings in their communities but found them to be confusing and/ or over stimulating. Some community meetings had over 50 people in attendance, and the approach to the 12-Step fellowship was based on spiritual principles and abstract concepts; with the expectation that, if a person wants recovery, they will follow the suggestions of the program to the best of their ability. The missing piece in all of this was the lack of understanding of those with FASD on the part of those in the 12-Step fellowship. The 12-Step meetings offered at L.I.F.E. Sessions addressed these missing pieces; this model is now being piloted on an ongoing basis outside of L.I.F.E. Sessions.
Learn more about our unique Addictions Recovery Support Group Model.
Consultation and Mentorship
The Whitecrow Village Addictions Recovery Support Meeting Model serves as a blueprint for Whitecrow's work with local agencies toward guiding and assisting in the design and implementation of similar support meetings in their own communities. By sharing an inclusive model for recovery support meetings, Whitecrow strives to educate community partners toward building an addictions support program that is a fit for those who are affected by FASD. As participants and members of the existing addictions recovery community develop personal connections and a common understanding and appreciation, the hope is that the need for exclusive FASD-specific recovery meetings in time will decrease.
Research and Publication Initiatives
Whitecrow Village intends to spread the knowledge, experience, and understanding gained through the Addictions Recovery Support Program to the national and international recovery movement through literary and other publication of our results. By making our own contribution to this burgeoning area of study while also striving to encourage other researchers in the addictions field to begin to investigate the unique interactions of FASD and addictions, Whitecrow Village hopes to bring a greater awareness and understanding of the brain differences of persons with FASD into models of recovery support.
I was given one on one support when I needed it, and things were explained to me, sometimes more than once so I really understood the recovery process, suggestions were made, but I wasn't told what to do, I was left to see the truth for what it really was. I have hope for the future and, for the first time in my life, I am excited about the future, not afraid of it.
L.I.F.E. Sessions Participant, 2007
I have been working with mothers with addiction issues, in one capacity or another, for the past 16 years. . .I have observed that, because of the safety at the [L.I.F.E. Session], Whitecrow is sometimes the first time a woman has ever felt comfortable enough to talk openly about her addiction.
FASD Key Worker, Victoria, BC
At Whitecrow, the [12 Step] program was explained to me and broken down so that I could better understand what it had to offer and how I was going to work towards sobriety.
L.I.F.E. Session Participant, 2007
The personal experience of the adults with FASD and the people with whom they work at Whitecrow makes this organization a particularly powerful learning opportunity and an emotionally safe place for many of the youth and young adults who attend to begin addictions recovery. . .I believe this model can be devloped into a powerful tool useful for many other addiction recovery programs.
Substance Abuse Counsellor, Prince George, BC
This gift of being able to attend an AA meeting at the end of the day is so important and necessary for all of the recovering alcoholics/addicts who are here. The group is small and consists of people who get to know each other well over the week, so it is safe and comfortable to talk openly about addictions, FASD, and its effect on us and on our children.
L.I.F.E. Sessions Participant, 2006