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Social Prescribing is a way to improve people’s health, well-being and quality of life by connecting them to activities in their communities. It has been described by many as a community development approach to health and well-being.

The concept has been gaining ground recently and is attracting considerable political interest. It has been included in the latest NHS long-term plan and significant funds have been allocated to enhance the UKs network of Social Prescribing Link Workers.

For decades 12 Step fellowships have been supporting people in their communities, helping them recover from various addictions, compulsions and dysfunctional patterns of behaviour.

Yet, most people, including Social Prescribing Link Workers, whose roles involve facilitating access to community support or mutual aid, have not yet referred a patient or client to a 12 Step fellowship (Poll: NASP Social Prescribing & Addictions webinar, 22.3.22).

Therefore, the APPG for 12 Step recovery repeat our call for strengthening the links between the worlds of 12 Step recovery and social prescribing.

There are many paths to recovery from harmful drug and alcohol use, but the evidence is clear that 12 Step fellowships (AA, NA etc) deserve their place among the range of approaches that must be offered.

Family members of alcoholics and addicts need support too. A compassionate and inclusive approach to helping people recover from addiction must include 12 Step fellowships such as Al Anon (for families and friends of alcoholics), Fam Anon (for families and friends of addicts and substance misusers) or ACA (for Adult Children of Alcoholics and dysfunctional families).

There are also many less well-known addictions and compulsions that can be successfully addressed with the 12 Step approach. In the UK we have over 30 fellowships supporting people in the community with nationwide, immediately available, free weekly meetings. Find out more on our fellowships page.

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