On Friday 27th July, we were delighted to welcome John Penrose MP who is the local MP for Weston-super-Mare, first elected in 2005. He is Patron and President of numerous local charities in the Weston-super-Mare area, predominantly in the health sector.

Ian Middleton (CEO) accompanied John and they had an in-depth, interesting discussion about the Harm Minimisation vs. 12 Step abstinence based methods to treat addiction. It was agreed that harm reduction was like kidney dialysis in that it may keep the person alive but, unlike abstinence, it is not a long term solution .

The programme at Broadway Lodge is based on the 12 Steps and this method has many benefits which were highlighted in the meeting and include:

  • Long-standing evidence that practising the 12 Steps, as part of an ongoing commitment to fellowship meetings, is one of the most effective means of establishing and maintaining recovery.
  • Teaches participants to find support in a community while embracing accountability, practicing humility, acknowledging mistakes and seeking forgiveness.
  • Timeless principles - The 12 Step plan incorporates sound principles that improve relationships, restore wholeness and take the focus off of “self.”
  • Encouragement & camaraderie – 12 Step participants have instant peer support, build a rapport with the 12 step community and give people the opportunity to enjoy fellowship and establish friendships.
  • Being immersed in a community of people who are your peers based on shared struggles with addiction is a valuable benefit you might not get from treatment such as outpatient counselling.

Contrary to some people’s opinions of the 12 Steps, clients do not need to practice religion to successfully participate in the programme. You can read our blog about why the 12 Step programme is so successful here.