In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Breaking Free Group has launched an initiative to make Breaking Free from Substance Use, its evidence-based digital intervention for drug and alcohol dependence, available free of charge to substance misuse treatment and recovery services across the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Gibraltar and Canada.
In the UK, this initiative is being rolled out by organisations including the NHS Substance Misuse Provider Alliance (NHS SMPA), Substance Misuse Management in General Practice (SMMGP), Scottish Government and Collective Voice, the national alliance of drug and alcohol charities.
Additionally, access to the Breaking Free from Substance Use programme is being made available to service users via treatment providers in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Gibraltar; and to people being released from prison via the Ministry of Justice and Community Rehabilitation Companies.
In Canada, at federal level the Opioid Response Team at Health Canada has cascaded access to the intervention directly through its network of addiction services and healthcare providers across all provinces, assisted by the Community Addictions Peer Support Association (CAPSA) and Canadian Centre on Substance Misuse and Addiction (CCSA). Ontario Health and Provincial Health Services Authority in British Columbia are also helping to maximise the reach of the initiative at provincial level.
Dr Jonathan Ward, Managing Director of Breaking Free Group, said: “The social distancing measures imposed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are causing severe disruption to drug and alcohol services and preventing many people from accessing the interventions and support they need. We have therefore decided to make our online programme for substance dependence available free of charge to service providers. This is intended to support people who can no longer access one-to-one counselling, group interventions or peer networks, and help to alleviate the pressure on services, which are rapidly having to adapt how they operate and prioritise service users based on need. We are intending to keep extending this free access on a month-by-month basis throughout the COVID-19 crisis. We are grateful to all the stakeholders that are helping to drive out this initiative; and would encourage any treatment providers that may not yet have been engaged to contact us directly if they would like to participate.”
Any organisation wanting to learn more about this initiative and get access to Breaking Free from Substance Use for its service users should contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.