About Alternat+ves

Dave and Tina - Who we are.

We live in the UK and both recently (2021) retired from our full-time jobs. Dave was an engineer and Tina has had various jobs in the health and education sectors. We have both had to overcome many difficulties in our lives, so the arrival of our two amazing boys was a very happy time for us. Our own journey of recovery, from the effects on our family of our eldest lad's co-occuring conditions, started in 2008. We have attended hundreds of family and friends peer support goups run by Al-anon, UK Smart Recovery and a local charity called Datus. The support their volunteers have given us has helped us get our lives back and find new purpose. Thank you and keep doing what you do guys, you help so many.

Once we were back on our feet, we naturally wanted to give back and started volunteering so that we could help others. We have taken our turn presenting to Al-anon groups and also manned their out-of-hours UK National helpline. We then both completed the UK SMART Recovery training, for both facilitating recovery sessions, for those seeking recovery from substance use disorders, as well as the additional training for facilitating their family and friends support groups. Dave has co-facilitated the Monday night online SMART Family and Friends group, whilst we have both facilitated face-to-face SMART Family and Friends meetings in the West Midlands. During the first two years of Covid 19 we facilitated the parents meeting for SMART Recovery USA and Canada. We have now moved on to facilitating our own meetings using the latest Invitation To Change (ITC) approach developed by the Center for Motivation and Change in New York.

We also attend NA, LifeRing, Recovery Dharma and SMART recovery groups when we are able. Dave worked close to a CGL Recovery Centre and was able to attend three SMART sessions per week in his lunch hours in order to gain an understanding of the difficulties faced by people in recovery. One of the three groups was run by a Datus employee explaining the family side of addiction to those in recovery, which was really beneficial to everybody. This gave Dave the confidence to facilitate the groups when needed.

We learn so much from so many attending the various groups, which we both appreciate. Our group, Alternat-i-ves integrates the wealth of knowledge we have gained. We are always humbled by the support of people who attend our groups and the positive comments given to us. We are proud in what we have achieved so far in being able to provide free support by families for families at very little cost to us except our time and commitment. Our greatest aim would be to inspire others to the same.

Contact details are:

Our email address is: alternatives@gmx.com
Our phone number (WhatsApp if outside UK) is: 07982 815783

Please check the UK time and message us if we can't answer. Because of the danger some families are in, we won't ring you back unless you let us know that it is OK.

Any personal information trusted to us will always be dealt with sensitively and confidentially ie we won't be passing on your name, email address or phone numbers without your consent, in line with our understanding of current GDPR Regulations.

Our Mission Statement

Our aim is to combine the zero cost and longevity of traditional step groups with the best modern recovery methods used across the mental health and addiction services.

Our groups are peer volunteer lead. Group facilitators have direct experience of caring for loved ones with substance use dependancy.

We use the term "family" to cover anyone that is concerned and cares about another's well-being. So for "family" please subsitute partner, son, daughter, sister, friend, neighbour, sponsor, care worker etc. You may also come across phrases like "Concerned Significant Other" (CSO) in books, but we rarely hear these terms in group discussion.

Family members struggle with the same issues, regardless of which drug their loved one chooses to use. So in these groups we don't discriminate against our members because of their loved ones's choices. Families dealing with alcohol, drugs, gambling and other addictive activities are all welcome.

Three quarters of our loved ones with substance use dependancy also have underlying mental health issues. They often fall into the gap where they can't get support. We aim to learn the best way to help these people, no one is on our "too difficult" pile!

Whilst we support and may recommend them, we are no longer affiliated with other recovery groups such as SMARTRecovery, Alanon, AA, NA etc. All our resources go into family support. We don't require funding and won't be employing anyone or charging licence fees. We don't need to send out "please donate" emails, use internet cookies or paid advertising.

We plan to use the same open source model that makes the internet work. We will generate and freely share our own support guidance on the internet based on our experience of what currently works best in our peer support groups. We welcome support and guidance from professionals and other groups if it can be freely shared online and in our groups.

IP address lookup

If your work PC can't access this site (you are currently using your phone) copy www.alternat-i-ves.org into the box here WhatisMyIPAddress.com"
Now copy the IPv4 result number (including the 3 dots) into your work PC's Browser address bar and this may solve the problem.