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News from City, University of London
Drug Recovery Game
Focus Games
Focus Games
Health Series: Announcements

New Drug Recovery Game to help staff understand the recovery journey

Game helps healthcare professionals understand that recovery can be long and difficult path


Researchers from City, University of London have launched Drug Recovery game™, a new board game designed to help frontline health, social and community care staff understand the realities of drug recovery.

Staff working with people who have an addiction aren’t always addiction specialists. They may not have a full understanding of the nature of the recovery process, or the ups and downs a person might go through in everyday life. The Drug Recovery game™, which is produced by Focus Games, helps them to understand that recovery can be long and difficult path, rather than a smooth straight road.

By understanding the ups and downs of the recovery process, frontline staff will be better equipped to work effectively with people who are in the process of giving up drugs or alcohol.

With the help and guidance of the Research and Enterprise Directorate, an intellectual property license was granted to Focus Games Ltd. Academic Enterprise further provided proof of concept funding to support the project.

Speaking about the collaboration, Tia Khan said:

“We were very pleased to assist Lorna in her great work for the Drug Recovery game™, proof of concept funds facilitate great research to become a reality and create impact in the wider community.”

Originally created by Lorna Saunder, Lecturer in Mental Health at City, University of London, the Drug Recovery game™ is designed to provide an overview of the journey that a person takes when trying to give up any substance.

Speaking about the game, Lorna Saunder, said:

“I created the Drug Recovery game™ to demonstrate the complexity of recovery from drug use. The game is designed to encourage players to explore their understanding of both the theoretical knowledge they need to work with people using substances, but also to develop their compassion and understanding of the myriad of factors which contribute to and hinder the recovery from using substances.”

In the game, players compete to reach the top of “Recovery Mountain”, answering and discussing questions to improve their drug and alcohol knowledge. Their journey to achieve recovery is helped or hindered by “Recovery” and “Trigger” cards that present situations that can trigger a relapse, or lead to a positive change in behaviour.

The game is suitable for anyone in health, social and community care who has contact with individuals recovering from addiction. It is suitable for qualified staff and students. It takes just 30 minutes to play and is an engaging and memorable way of exploring the drug recovery journey.

The Drug Recovery game™ is published by educational games specialists Focus Games Ltd, and is available for purchase through their website at

Find out more at
Twitter @RecoveryGame

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