THE City Mission has established a Launceston support group for 12 to 25-year-olds living with addiction.
City Mission youth and outreach supervisor Tyson Sim said the bulk of people referred into the SMART Recovery program were struggling with alcohol addiction.
The program aims to find the root cause of the participant’s substance abuse issues and identify goals.
“These people are living with trauma, grief, abuse,” he said. “Addiction is very much an escapism.”
The City Mission had received plenty of inquiries and referrals into the program but faced challenges in getting people along, Mr Sim said.
“It’s not mandatory so we don’t get a lot of people willing to put their hands up,” he said.
“A lot are still experimenting and haven’t identified it’s a risk in their life.
“Even those that have recognised that they do need help, it’s not seen as a favourable thing to do among their peer groups.
“Often those people struggling with addiction come from unsupported or disadvantaged backgrounds.
“Only when they hit the lowest of lows, rock bottom, do they consider putting their hand up for help.”
The SMART Recovery model uses a mixture of cognitive behavioural therapy techniques and motivational interviewing to help participants identify their problems and their goals.
City Mission runs the program in weekly 90-minute session and allows people to drop in and out as needed.
The organisation is also working with Ashley Youth Detention Centre to establish the program there.
The SMART Recovery program, run elsewhere in Tasmania and throughout Australia, offers support for people living with all types of addiction.
SMART Recovery Tasmanian, South Australian and Victorian area coordinator David Hunt said the model aimed to empower people to make their own choices.
He said surveyed participants reported good outcomes, including using less of their substance of addiction.
“It isn’t so much about on the amount people drink or the drugs they take but finding the reasons underneath that,” he said.
People interested in participating in City Mission’s SMART Recovery Program can contact the organisation on (03) 6335 3000.