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  • Q&A with Craig & Oscar - Peer Support Workers @ Addicted Australia

    Join us as we talk all things addiction and recovery prompted by Addicted Australia and the Rethink Addiction campaign.
    OG1990
    Junior Member
    Posts: 8
    Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:27 pm

    Re: Q&A with Craig & Oscar - Peer Support Workers @ Addicted Australia

    Thu Dec 10, 2020 3:12 pm

    Hi [mention]Hellohellohello[/mention]

    There were some challenges in the start but I found that the more we focused on the similarities and not the differences the easier it became. That is, looking at the underlying condition of addiction which is the same in all of us rather than focusing on specific manifestations of addiciton and how they differ from others.
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    Craig PW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 72
    Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2020 1:35 pm

    Re: Q&A with Craig & Oscar - Peer Support Workers @ Addicted Australia

    Thu Dec 10, 2020 3:15 pm

    Hi [mention]tea123[/mention]

    Call SHARC..............they have an awesome Family Support line and it's run by peers from the family perspective. DirectLine can also be a great support for families and provide details on organisations, etc who can help.

    It's such a fine line between enabling and supporting sometimes and there's no right or wrong answer as to how to handle things

    Personally, the thing I say is that families have to maintain their boundaries and protect themselves so if safety is a concern then action needs to be taken. I think the hardest thing though is that you can't force someone into treatment, they have to reach that decision on their own. That doesn't mean that they shouldn't be held accountable for their actions though.

    If they are able to go on the journey with them and assist with driving them to appointments, talking to counsellors, etc then great.........but it can't all be a one way street.

    Families need to support themselves too and may need to speak to their GP or Psych or counsellor, etc to make sure they are looking after themselves in the process. Too often the focus is on the person living in addiction and families forget to look after themselves.

    Maintain your boundaries, support where you can but don't push yourself to breaking point in the process............and support yourself
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    Craig PW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 72
    Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2020 1:35 pm

    Re: Q&A with Craig & Oscar - Peer Support Workers @ Addicted Australia

    Thu Dec 10, 2020 3:26 pm

    Hi [mention]Angelgirl[/mention]

    Great work in tipping the booze down the sink!!! Stay focused

    I say talk about it. Own it! Yeah it happens but why did it happen and what can you do to prevent it from happening again???

    The more you stay quiet the stronger its hold gets. Tell people what has happened or the shame inside you will build. Get to an AA meeting - they're back open

    To combat the shame you need to keep moving forwards but you can't do it alone. Talk to your counsellor, sponsor, share at a meeting but don't give up. Relapse is part of the journey but learn a lesson from it. By talking to other alcoholics about it you'll break the shame because we all know the difficulties and have done similar ourselves
    1 x
    Craig PW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 72
    Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2020 1:35 pm

    Re: Q&A with Craig & Oscar - Peer Support Workers @ Addicted Australia

    Thu Dec 10, 2020 3:38 pm

    Hi guys,
    Thank you for such an informative show, my question is - How hard was it running a mixed peer support group with varying addictions and was there much preparation into making sure all topics where relevant to everyone in the group?

    Hi [mention]Hellohellohello[/mention]

    Addiction is addiction in my view but it did have its challenges. I think it's natural to look at the differences of the substances and think there's differences to recovery but in the end ALL addictions cause similar damage to friendships, relationships, finances, work, school, etc...........they have different physical effects though.

    The path to recovery doesn't change as I see it though................it's about figuring out what it is in your life that keeps pushing you back to your addiction. That's how you break the cycle and that's the stuff the group was able to help each other out with.

    We came up with generic topics at the beginning because the underlying causes of addiction are similar, as are the causes that keep us stuck in it. After a few weeks the topics weren't used anymore........it became an environment where we supported each other based on our experiences from the week. This was easier when people got to know each other and the trust had built.
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    Craig PW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 72
    Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2020 1:35 pm

    Re: Q&A with Craig & Oscar - Peer Support Workers @ Addicted Australia

    Thu Dec 10, 2020 3:46 pm

    Hi [mention]Bamboo [facilitator][/mention]

    Stay safe. Have a plan A, B, C & D

    Go to a party early and leave early or maybe don't go at all. Have someone you can call if you're struggling while you're there. Go for a walk around the block or have someone that can go for that walk with you.

    Change catchups to brunches or lunches in smaller groups over more days or go to the parks instead of trying to do it in licensed venues on Friday or Saturday night.

    Get to meetings, talk to sponsors and friends. Don't pretend you're okay when you're not. Own that stuff!! Speak up about it but don't try and do it alone!!

    Just don't push yourself.................protect your recovery. If you're not feeling strong enough then just don't go
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    Craig PW
    Peer Worker
    Posts: 72
    Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2020 1:35 pm

    Re: Q&A with Craig & Oscar - Peer Support Workers @ Addicted Australia

    Thu Dec 10, 2020 3:54 pm

    Hi [mention]HelpfulBee[/mention]

    What are the biggest advantages you've found from doing peer support?

    It's really personally rewarding to help someone on their journey and I learn from every interaction with someone. Sometimes I get things wrong, say or do the wrong thing but hopefully I learn from it and become a better worker. I get growth and satisfaction from each experience and my own recovery benefits because I learn something new about myself from each interaction too

    •At what part of your recovery do you think you can get involved in peer support work?

    Whenever you feel ready but it helps to have a solid foundation under your belt too. I had two years up before I started but I don't think that matters. What matters is that you feel strong enough and secure enough within yourself to help others..................there are some steep learning curves though so make sure you use your support networks

    •What are the best ways to get involved in peer support and to give back?

    Either through employment or through support groups such as 12 step, SMART, etc. The best way to give back is to share your experience. We can only break down the shame and stigma by making addiction okay to talk about and we can only do that by talking about it. Don't be ashamed of where you've been................be proud of what you've been through and how you have started to overcome it!!!

    •Aside from Peer Support are there other ways we can make our journey's meaningful?

    Find your purpose! Try new things or get back to the things you used to enjoy doing. Create the life you want to live...................there are so many opportunities and activities to be a part of
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    Bamboo [facilitator]
    Community Manager
    Posts: 220
    Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:46 pm

    Re: Q&A with Craig & Oscar - Peer Support Workers @ Addicted Australia

    Thu Dec 10, 2020 4:01 pm

    And that's a wrap! A big thank you to [mention]OG1990[/mention] and [mention]Craig PW[/mention] for joining us on the forum today and sharing their peer support insights and personal experiences.

    A lot of great questions from our community, thank you to all that took the time to join us. We hope you found this helpful :)
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    HelpfulBee
    Community Builder
    Posts: 189
    Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:59 pm

    Re: Q&A with Craig & Oscar - Peer Support Workers @ Addicted Australia

    Thu Jan 21, 2021 5:46 pm

    Wow! This has been such an amazing read for me!

    It is so wonderful to have had Craig & Oscar share their own insights through their lived experiences and the work they do as peer workers!

    Has anyone here ever thought about doing peer support once they're a little bit further on the road of recovery?
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    Leonarda
    Community Builder
    Posts: 118
    Joined: Wed Aug 19, 2020 2:21 pm

    Re: Q&A with Craig & Oscar - Peer Support Workers @ Addicted Australia

    Thu Feb 04, 2021 4:33 pm


    Hey everyone and all @GreenOnes @Greg1952 @greysbyou @Grover @Grumpy Cat @joes @Modra6 @Guilty Mum @Gulibalheadspace2019
    I really hope everyone gets a chance to see at least on the episodes of ADDICTED AUSTRALIA and if you missed it, all 4 episodes are on SBS ondemand (for free!!) Nothing beats a bit of free(dom) right!

    But seriously, this series really captures Addiction and the people affected by dependency (whether drugs, alcohol, gambling) and of course significant others too. We have all had experience with dependency in some way or another whether it is about ourselves or whether it's someone at work, or a family member or even a neighbour or distant cousin.... .it is there and it is very real and the best we can do is arm ourselves with understanding, education, empathy and engaging with forums or watching documentaries and so on....

    So do yourself a favour and have a read of the AWESOME questions and comments here but also WATCH the series - TONIGHT!!
    Stay well all x
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