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Our Voice

Posted on 9 October 2020

World Mental Health Day – Jake’s Story

There is a well-documented correlation between mental health disorders and substance misuse with one often leading to or causing the other.

Acorn works closely with GP’s and mental health practitioners to provide a well-rounded approach that delivers sustainable lifelong recovery for clients.

Jake’s Story

Recently, Acorn Recovery Projects received a referral from the Drug and Alcohol Recovery Services (DARS) team at HMP Manchester for Jake*, a resident eager to engage with our Reduction and Motivation Programme (RAMP). Jake had recently lost a family member and had subsequently become addicted to prescription drugs.

Jake was also struggling with his mental health, something he attributes to abuse suffered in childhood as well as his prolonged heavy drug use. Jake’s struggle with addiction dates back to when he was just 14 years old and he has spent most of his adult life in jail for crimes relating to substance misuse.

This was the first time Jake had asked to work with a prison’s substance misuse team.
Once Jake was assessed and deemed suitable for RAMP, we explained that due to COVID-19, we would not be running any groups but could offer twice-weekly one to one sessions for 10 weeks.

Each RAMP session consists of a 30 minute one to one with an Acorn member of staff using the newly adapted RAMP workbooks. The workbooks are provided to participants to complete in their cell before each session.

While working with Acorn, Jake has also been working closely with the mental health team, his GP and his DARS worker to ensure he has the best possible support.

Since starting RAMP, Jake has managed to reduce and eventually stop using more than his prescribed amount of medication.

Following this reduction, and after a consultation with his mental health team and GP, Jake decided to change his prescribed medication to prevent himself from misusing in the future.

Thanks to the self-awareness and education gained from engaging with RAMP, Jake has decided that he would like to be released into a structured residential, abstinence-based treatment programme. Jake feels this will be the best environment to help him deal with his drug use and behavioural issues.

Jake continues to make great strides towards lifelong recovery.

*names have been changed to maintain anonymity.

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