New service to help serving soldiers overcome addictions

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New support service helping soldiers combat the negative impacts of excessive drinking

Historically the armed forces had a culture that accepted heavy drinking amongst their personnel. Alcohol was an important and required part of the ‘team-bonding’ process in many units but times have changed. The military now acknowledge the negative impacts that can result from too much heavy drinking. In line with our wider society, they are working towards changing that past acceptance, both for individual health reasons and to enhance overall operational efficiency.

Catterick Garrison now has a new service which supports soldiers to change their habitual drinking and consequently, address the negative and problematic health and social issues. Starting from the 16th Oct, serving soldiers can gain support from a bespoke and structured self-help support group, designed specifically for military personnel.

Delivered under a partnership between UK SMART Recovery (UKSR), DISC and the Army Welfare Service (AWS) at Catterick, this resource is being delivered specifically for serving soldiers.

Craig Bosomworth, Lead Practitioner at DISC said; “mainly due to cultural differences and stigma or embarrassment, some soldiers found it difficult to engage with the usual civilian support networks, this will mitigate against that.”

This local service, the first part of a national project, will be evaluated over the coming twelve months.

Dave Hasney, UK SMART Recovery National Co-ordinator (England) said; “past evidenced success shows, SMART will provide a valuable tool for those soldiers who want to reduce their drinking.”

SMART, in conjunction with DISC and the AWS will help participants to understand; past heavy drinking is something they can escape from. Irrespective of all the peer pressures and historical factors involved, each soldier can and should exercise their own individual ‘power of choice’ when it comes to drinking.

Dave continued; “SMART works and soldiers can now engage in a bespoke peer network of self-help and mutual-aid that they feel comfortable about.”

Assuming successful outcomes and in time, UKSR hope to develop and deliver the same service for all military personnel across the United Kingdom.

Serving soldiers in Catterick Garrison, who want to find out about this new confidential service, should contact their unit Welfare Officer or the Garrison Army Welfare Service main office for more information.

Photograph (L-R): Craig Bosomworth (Lead Practitioner, DISC), Corporal Danielle Hodgkinson (Community Psychiatric Nurse DCMH), Dave Hasney (National co-ordinator UK SMART Recovery)

Further Information: please contact Dave Hasney via 07494 376004 or 0330 0536 022 or email at

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