Recovery Force for Armed Forces

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Why are former members of the armed forces at higher risk of alcohol abuse, homelessness and imprisonment?

Is it more difficult for ex-service personnel to succeed in treatment for their addiction?

Is there a need for a specialist residential addiction treatment programme for veterans, and what would it look like?

What are the support needs of families impacted by the trauma and alcohol abuse of current and former military personnel?


These are the questions which the Nelson Trust is committed to answering with the launch of Recovery Force, our dedicated recovery service for the armed forces. In its first phase, Recovery Force will undertake research, consultation and development work, with the goal of addressing the high prevalence of substance misuse amongst the five million military veterans in the UK.

To lead this work, a new Armed Forces Development Officer, Stan Sanders, has been appointed. "I was in the RAF for nine years serving some of my time with 39 Squadron at RAF Wyton, three years in RAF Rheindahlen (Germany) then spending the last few years of my service at 41 Squadron in RAF Coltishall. The experiences still influences me today".

 "My understanding of the Armed Forces, combined with many years' experience as an addiction counsellor, allows me useful insights into some of the needs of the clients who could ultimately benefit from a new service. My job involves finding out what veteran specific treatments are out there already, seeing what could be improved on, designing a programme specific to veterans needs and then setting up a residential unit and delivering it. Any programme for veterans will need to be trauma-informed and be able to manage people who have mental health problems in addiction to addiction, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)."  

"Finally, any such programme must include a well-developed and effective family service which is able to support and help those who are affected by domestic abuse and family breakdown. Everyone deserves the best possible recovery. It is our goal to develop a service that will provide that".

If you are interested in supporting Recovery Force or if you know of service families who are affected by drug or alcohol problems, please contact Stan Sanders on 07721 129809 or email stan@nelsontrust.com