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Information campaign
Promotional feature
With 260,000 people across the UK dependent on
opioids, and only 166,000 people engaging in
treatment, there is an ongoing need for quality
information on opioid dependence and the options
available for tackling this chronic disease
1
. Heroin
addiction remains at large, affecting 81 per cent of
adults seeking treatment for drug dependency in
England between 2011 and 2012
2
.
My Recovery My Choice
is a growing awareness
campaign that was launched in 2012 to offer opioid
users and their family members meaningful support
through clear and relevant information.
My Recovery
My Choice
aims to help opioid users make an informed
choice regarding their treatment, should they wish to
tackle this complex medical condition and take steps
towards their own recovery. Widely accessible
through an engaging, highly visual, user-friendly
website, a printed booklet and additional supporting
materials are also available to download at
http://www.myrecoverymychoice.co.uk.
The focus of the
My Recovery My Choice
campaign has
evolved from the belief that it is a person’s right to
decide if and when they want treatment. From
discussing how to spot the signs of dependence and what
dependence is, to tips on maximising the chances of
treatment success,
My Recovery My Choice
hopes to help
people develop a greater understanding of dependence
as well as the associated harms to health. This year sees
My Recovery My Choice
being enriched with additional
information on the health risks associated with drug-
taking behaviour and sharing practical tips on staying
healthy. How to minimise harm and reduce the risks of
commonplace comorbidities, such as blood-borne
diseases, will be covered. A recent news article reports
that just 3 per cent of hepatitis C infected people are
treated each year, despite it being a curable disease,
highlighting the urgent need to raise public awareness of
this virus, which affects around half of all injecting drug
users
3
. As such, the detailed focus will be on hepatitis C,
developed under the guidance of Charles Gore, the chief
executive of the Hepatitis C Trust. Upon completion, the
campaign hopes to gain endorsement from this
prominent organisation, bringing information and
support to a wider number of beneficiaries.
My Recovery My Choice
seeks to empower people
and provide confidence for each individual’s journey by
providing meaningful knowledge regarding the types of
treatment available in the UK. The need for
individualised recovery, as influenced by the wants and
needs of the patient, is identified and information on
both medically assisted and non-medically assisted
options is provided. The campaign also recognises that
it is not only the drug user who is affected by heroin or
opioid use, as friends and family members often
struggle with the knowledge that their loved one is
dependent. On the website, they can find advice, details
of support groups, and videos from patients and
parents who have experienced the recovery process.
This past year has seen
My Recovery My Choice
strengthened by endorsement from the Kenward
Trust, UK Recovery Walk, Phoenix Futures, Delphi
Medical and Cranstoun, increasing the current
campaign endorsement to 20 national drug support
organisations. Additionally,
My Recovery My Choice
has
featured at four conferences across the UK in 2013,
serving to engage local user groups and share
campaign assets, and more than 86,000 materials have
been distributed, including informative booklets and
attention-grabbing posters, postcards, leaflets and
wallet cards.
Encouragingly, two thirds of website visitors who
have submitted feedback have felt better informed about
opioid dependence and more confident in their decisions
around tackling it. Overall, to date, the campaign has
been credited with outstanding feedback:
‘The most important drug resource in the UK today.’
‘Great resource for people with concerns about their
own or a friend/family member’s addiction, and great
advice for those looking to enter drug treatment.’
‘Good to see such a balanced approach.’
My Recovery My Choice
is an evolving initiative and
we are always looking to develop and improve the
campaign. If you have any suggestions on improvements
that can be made to the site or have a story that you
would like to share, we would love to hear from you.
If you are part of a community drug organisation and
would like to represent
My Recovery My Choice
at a
conference in England, Wales and or Scotland, please
get in touch. Similarly, if you would like to endorse
the campaign with a logo or backlink to the website,
please email
mrmc@pcmscientific.com
The information on
My Recovery My Choice
is for
educational purposes only and should not be a
substitute for the advice of a medical professional.
The website and related materials were produced by
PCM Scientific (a medical education company) and
the Alliance, who redrafted a set of internationally
available materials to make them suitable for the UK.
Undertaken in consultation with other partners, this
is an ongoing process. The creation of these
materials was made possible through an educational
grant from RB Pharmaceuticals Ltd.
www.myrecoverymychoice.co.uk
References
1. www.emcdda.europa.eu
2. www.nta.nhs.uk/news-2012-annualstatistics.aspx
3. www.hepctrust.org.uk/News_Resources/news/201
3/March/The+Hepatitis+C+Trust+warns+lack+of+pla
nning+in+hepatitis+C+services+risks+future+chaos+a
nd+huge+hea
Twoyears on, LouiseWestonupdates us on theprogress of aneffective information campaign
www.pcmscientific.com
My RecoveRy My choice
26 |
drinkanddrugsnews
| March 2014
www.drinkanddrugsnews.com