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Monday, 02 October 2017

New Drug Recovery Game aims to help social care staff understand the recovery journey

Written by The Editorial Team

Researchers from City, University of London have launched The Drug Recovery Game, a new board game designed to help frontline health, social and community care staff understand the realities of drug recovery.

Staff working with people who have an addiction aren’t always addiction specialists. They may not have a full understanding of the nature of the recovery process, or the ups and downs a person might go through in everyday life. The Drug Recovery Game, which is produced by Focus Games, helps them to understand that recovery can be long and difficult path, rather than a smooth straight road.

By understanding the ups and downs of the recovery process, frontline staff will be better equipped to work effectively with people who are in the process of giving up drugs or alcohol.

Originally created by Lorna Saunder, Lecturer in Mental Health at City, University of London, with support and funding from Research and Enterprise at City, the Drug Recovery Game is designed to provide an overview of the journey that a person takes when trying to give up any substance.

Speaking about the game, Lorna Saunder, said: “I created the Drug Recovery Game to demonstrate the complexity of recovery from drug use. The game is designed to encourage players to explore their understanding of both the theoretical knowledge they need to work with people using substances, but also to develop their compassion and understanding of the myriad of factors which contribute to and hinder the recovery from using substances.”

In the game, players compete to reach the top of “Recovery Mountain”, answering and discussing questions to improve their drug and alcohol knowledge. Their journey to achieve recovery is helped or hindered by “Recovery” and “Trigger” cards that present situations that can trigger a relapse, or lead to a positive change in behaviour.

The game is suitable for anyone in health, social and community care who has contact with individuals recovering from addiction. It is suitable for qualified staff and students. It takes just 30 minutes to play and is an engaging and memorable way of exploring the drug recovery journey.

The Drug Recovery Game is published by educational games specialists Focus Games Ltd, and is available for purchase through their website at

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