Addictions Recovery Support Program

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 addiction and FASD through peer support, research initiatives, education, and encouragement and appropriate training of existing supportive roles within the greater community.  Specifically, Whitecrow programs aim to build a bridge of understanding between people with FASD, their friends and families and the mainstream recovery community.  Whitecrow Village Addictions Recovery Support Programs encompass:

  • Support meetings designed to benefit persons with FASD
  • Consultation and mentorship services for local agencies and professionals
  • Research & publication initiatives pertaining to FASD appropriate addictions support materials

Whitecrow Village is working to broaden the understanding of addictions in the context of FASD through peer support, training for the mainstream recovery community, and the development 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

Many Whitecrow Village participants want to continue 12 Step work while attending L.I.F.E. Sessions. Although 12 Step is not a fit for everyone, modified recovery support meetings based on the 12 Step program and adapted to meet the needs of persons with FASD are currently offered at Whitecrow Village L.I.F.E. Sessions.  When we first started to facilitate 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 over- stimulating.  There was a lack of understanding of the brain differences of those with FASD on the part of the 12 Step fellowship.  The 12 Step meetings offered at L.I.F.E. Sessions address these misunderstandings.

Consultation & 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 & 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.

In the works. . .

An Autobiographical Journey through the 12-Steps

A key piece of the Addictions Support Recovery Initiative is the development of material with which people with FASD who are dealing with addictions can identify.  One of the Recovery Support Program team leaders is currently working to translate the abstract concepts espoused by many recovery programs into a concrete understanding of what works for addicts or alcoholics in their quest for a lifestyle change.  Beginning by breaking down the material from AA/NA into smaller more manageable pieces, the material seeks to explain the philosophy of the 12-Step fellowships in focused, specific ways. The material follows the journey of an individual who identifies with FASD as he interprets and applies the 12 step philosophy to his own recovery.  It is by no means the only way for someone to make personal changes in their life, but its model offers hope and potential guidance for individuals with FASD who are working towards positive, healthy changes.

FASD and Addictions – Understandings for the front-line worker

A description of the Whitecrow Village model and experience for understanding addictions leading to principles by which strategies can be devised for addressing the varied ways substance misuse and other addictions present for persons living with FASD.

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 developed 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

It was through the meetings at Whitecrow that I really made the commitment to stay clean and sober. The meetings were small and not intimidating, the atmosphere was always supportive and positive and the people there showed that they genuinely cared about my well being.

L.I.F.E. Sessions Participant