A SUPPORT group for people in Worcester who have been addicted to prescription drugs has started meeting again after lockdown.

Worcester Withdrawal Group, which meets fortnightly at the Friends Meeting House, had to switch to weekly Zoom meetings during lockdown.

Stuart Bryan, who leads the group, said: “We felt participants needed more frequent support due to the isolating and anxiety provoking nature of lockdown.

“It has worked better than we thought on Zoom, which has been aided by having an experienced counsellor facilitating the meetings.

“Previously the sessions were peer support, but we felt we needed a facilitator in place to give the group more structure and boundaries and this has definitely improved the quality and nature of the meetings.

“We have now returned to the FMH fortnightly as pre-lockdown, but decided to keep the Zoom sessions going in the weeks in-between to offer more support, especially to those who may be housebound or have travel difficulties.”

Since starting the group in October 2019, the group has had seven participants and typically gets three or four attendees to each meeting, so there is room for new members. The online group is free to attend and pay by donation at FMH to help pay for room hire.

There is no expectation to attend regularly and this has been useful as participants can often be too unwell to attend every session.

Previously the group was for people experiencing dependency and withdrawal issues with anti-depressants, benzodiazepines and sleeping pills, but now it has been widened for any prescribed psychiatric medication.

While they offer support and advice on managing and coping with symptoms, the group does not give instruction on tapering as this is between the person and prescriber. For more info’ please contact Stuart Bryan at stuartbryan@btinternet.com.