Recovery communities where former addicts offer support to drug users have been set up in Scotland.

Glasgow is now home to a number of these communities with up to 1,500 people who have misused substances in the past taking the role of mentor to those still struggling to kick the habit.

One of these volunteers, 45-year-old Ronnie Hart, told Glasgow’s Evening Times that he had started misusing solvents when he was just 11 and eventually progressed to abusing heroin. He now uses his experiences to offer advice and support to addicts at a crisis centre in the Possil area of Glasgow.

In an interview with the newspaper, he said: “I can look someone in the eye and say ‘I know how you feel.’ I know everything they have gone through because I’ve done it all myself.”

He said his addiction had caused him to lose everything, including his career and it damaged his relationships with family members.

He said: “I had periods of working but found that even in my employment I couldn’t stop taking drugs. It ate into every area of my life and overtook it.

“I lost every skill I had. I was a show repairer to trade. My addiction got so bad, I couldn’t hold down a job.”

Support is part of wider addiction services

The deputy leader of Glasgow City Council said the recovery communities were a valuable part of the addiction services on offer in the city.

He said: “It is remarkable how those affected by addiction have responded to possibilities offered by these communities. The recovery communities are helping to rebuild lives across the city.”

Drug testing often plays a part in the recovery process as it can monitor an individual’s progress. In fact, sometimes just knowing that they may be asked to take a drug test can be enough to keep a recovering addict from relapsing.

AlphaBiolabs works with employers all over the UK offering workplace drug testing services to help reduce the risk of employees misusing substances. As well as random drug tests, we offer post-rehabilitation drugs tests which can be used as part of a staff member’s return to work after an incident or absence related to substance abuse.

The tests can help the employee prove that they are no longer taking drugs, which will help rebuild trust and confidence with their bosses and colleagues.