Published: May 27, 2022 Last updated: August 12, 2023
Soldiers battling alcohol and gambling problems are being offered support to quit their habit.
The British Army is funding the programme Project Reset run by the charity Humankind that works to improve the lives of those with addiction and related issues.
So far the initiative has helped scores of soldiers win their personal war to defeat damaging behaviour and achieve moderation and abstinence.
It’s been hailed a triumph with 79 per cent of serving personnel who sought help for drink problems being successfully discharged as alcohol-free or controlled drinkers.
Organisers say the success rate is far above the national average for such programmes which they calculate at 38 per cent.
Project Reset was developed by Humankind in 2017 in collaboration with their local branch of the worldwide addiction treatment organisation Smart Recovery.
It targeted soldiers based at Catterick Garrison to help them combat alcohol and gambling problems and was initially funded by Humankind.
Its success over the years has proved its value to serving personnel and is now being funded by the British Army to help soldiers and support staff across North Yorkshire.
In addition to Catterick Barracks, the service has been extended to three other bases Topcliffe, Dishforth and Alanbrooke.
As well as supporting individual soldiers, Project Reset also offers education outreach and harm-reduction training across the region.
Soldiers who need further support after accessing Project Reset are offered referral to Humankind’s specialist drug and alcohol service Horizons.
It’s hoped the initiative will eventually be expanded to cover military bases throughout England.
Warrant Officer 2 John Reynolds of the 4th Brigade – who has personally received support from Project Reset – helps deliver the programme.
Alongside Ruth Hansey of Humankind, he also manages a private Facebook Group and monthly ‘walk and talk’ events for soldiers seeking on-going support.
WO2 Reynolds said: “The desire and need for this service continues to grow.
“We continue to see fantastic outcomes and feedback we have received from soldiers indicates that, without our support, they would have left the army or ended up in trouble due to their problematic substance use or gambling.”
The scheme continued through UK lockdowns using video conferencing for groups and one-to-one support and this remains available for soldiers while on an exercise or on leave.
Craig Bosomworth, Project Manager for Project Reset said: “The work and passion our team of specialist recovery workers put into this project is fantastic.
“Without their energy and focus, it would not have supported as many soldiers into recovery.
“The need across the military community has always been there. Now there is great potential to expand this blueprint much further.”
About The Author
Chris Humphreys is the co-founder of The Alcohol-Free Shop and AlcoholFree.com. She was a journalist for more years than she cares to remember. Ex-wife of an alcoholic, enthusiastic amateur musician and a passionate dog lover.