Reducing harm caused by alcohol


Insights from People in Recovery

In addition to statistics and quantitative research, policies should be shaped through engaging with people with lived and living experience. By understanding their experience and taking their views into consideration we can develop effective policies to support others and influence harm reduction and prevention.

Marc Buchanan, our Engagement and Partnerships Coordinator, has been engaging with people in recovery, such as Rod Anderson, who shared the following, powerful statement with us:


"People in recovery often have limited influence over organisations’ decisions and few opportunities to say how they would like services to be different. Many organisations invite people to discuss and make decisions about what a service should look like, when, how, by whom it should be delivered, who it should reach and how to reach them. Occasionally these views are implemented, often they are not and they are sometimes viewed as being tokenistic. When it comes to shaping alcohol policy, this seems to happen even less. And yet, as a person in recovery from problematic alcohol use, the solutions to policy issues seem glaringly simple, yet even more glaringly unpalatable to policy makers. I don’t have all the answers, but I have valid views around why my own alcohol use spiralled out of control and my colleagues in recovery have a richness of options on the issues, many more intelligent than mine – we have some answers –  is anyone listening?”

Rod Anderson

Chief Recovery Officer, Recovery Coaching Scotland


To get in touch and share your views, please contact Marc Buchanan.

To find out more about Marc's engagement work with people in recovery, please take a look at his blog post.