What to expect when you first enter service

Female Recovery Worker shaking the hands of a person she is suppoting

Share this post

In this post

Starting a recovery journey can be daunting and that’s why it’s so important to us that we create welcoming, safe, respectful environments in our hubs and beyond.

The initial referral

Once you reach out to ask for help the first thing that will happen is that you will receive a call back from one of our friendly staff. This call takes about 15 minutes. During the call, you will be asked some basic information like where you live, your date of birth and your GP surgery so that we can get your details onto our system and start you on your journey with us. We will speak with you about confidentiality and consent, so that we know exactly who you may want to support you. If you are an alcohol client we’ll also need to do a questionnaire to help us assess how risky your drinking is. Where appropriate we may signpost you to other organisations with whom we work in partnership like Livewell Dorset and One Small Step Devon. We know how frustrating it is to tell your story over and over to different agencies, so wherever possible we will work in a partnership way to ensure that all your housing, mental health and employment needs are met.

The assessment

Approximately 7-10 working days after your initial call, you’ll have a comprehensive assessment call with one of our recovery workers. This can be face to face or by telephone. This assessment lasts about an hour. If you require a prescription of methadone or buprenorphine you will be assessed sooner to ensure that there is no interruption to your medical routine.

The call will look at all aspects of your life from criminal justice, mental health, social support needs, infection status for things like HIV and Hep C and we’ll look to see how we can best support you. Between you and the assessment worker, you’ll come up with a care plan and you’ll sign a contract with a suggested treatment end date. This can be extended later if your treatment takes a little longer. Your care plan will detail what groups you will attend, how often you will see your recovery worker and what other support tools you need. It is normally reviewed every 3 months. The assessment call will score you on your psychological and physical wellbeing as well as on your overall quality of life and gives us somewhere that we can begin to measure any improvements that you make.

After the call you will be sent a text message thanking you for your time on the assessment and giving details of any actions that were agreed. The text will include the numbers of any crisis organisations if you have requested these plus our telephone number for questions. You’ll also get login details for Breaking Free Online, an evidence-based tool that helps you to manage both drug and alcohol use.

All new cases are discussed among the local teams and then you will be allocated to a recovery worker who is best placed to help you. This normally takes a week or so but can take longer depending on how many people are referring into our service at the time.

Your Recovery Worker

Your Recovery Worker will call you to introduce themselves. On this call, they will check over your care plan with you and check to see that you are happy with the goals that you have set yourself. You can decide how regularly want contact – it could be weekly or fortnightly and then you’ll set your first treatment date.  Now the face to face work, and road to recovery begins.