Substance Freedom Forum

Join us as we share experiences, find support, and work towards a healthier, substance-free life together.

We are a community of individuals committed to breaking free from addiction and finding healing. Together, we’ll navigate the challenges of recovery, offer encouragement, and celebrate each step towards a brighter, substance-free future.

You’re invited to embark on this journey of hope and renewal with us. You’re not alone on this journey—let’s support each other in overcoming addiction and reclaiming our lives.

What is Substance Freedom Forum all about?

Details

What are our goals?

Our goal is to build a community of individuals committed to breaking free from addiction and finding healing. We will do this by providing mutual support and fellowship to each other while recovering from addictive substances and associated behaviours.
The Substance Freedom Forum is not in itself a medical treatment but falls under the category of Recovery Support Services. It is not a form of treatment.

Topics we will cover

  • Cycle of Addiction - Addiction can be described as a repeating cycle with three stages that worsens over time and involves dramatic changes in the brain reward, stress, and executive function systems.

  • Smoking Cessation - Why is it so hard to quit smoking? Stop smoking protocols and managing nicotine withdrawal.

  • Diagnostic Criteria - How individuals are evaluated for a substance use disorder based on several equally weighted diagnostic criteria and the implications.

  • 12 Step/CBT techniques - How to juxtapose the 12 step concepts with CBT concepts to show how 12 steps can work with CBT to help keep you healthy and free from one's addiction acting out.

Meet Your Facilitator Ashwani Kumar Anand

Ashwani, as a Peer Recovery Coach and Mentor, focuses on instilling hope and modelling recovery through his personal, lived experience of addiction and recovery to help people achieve sustained recovery.

Ashwani facilitates a process of change through which individuals with substance use disorder can improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential. Ashwani has been in recovery since 1992, when he overcame his illness, regained health and social function, and let those positive changes and values become part of a voluntarily adopted lifestyle.

Ashwani’s recovery has allowed him to successfully complete 44 years in the maritime industry, including a 32 years sailing career that included 16 competent years in command as a Captain of oil tanker ships and another 16 accomplished years in the corporate world working in Ship Management before returning to India. Reaching out for help and the support of mutual aid groups gave Ashwani a second chance to participate in his own life.

He fervently believes lives can be transformed by altered attitudes and lifestyle choices and knows that anyone can reclaim their life to become responsible and productive members of society.

Passionate about music, Ashwani possesses a comprehensive music collection and a deep interest in albums, bands, musicians and songs. He enjoys watching the best in film and performing arts with great admiration and appreciation for the artists, actors and filmmakers. Also an avid reader of fiction, espionage & spy thrillers, spiritual classics, self help, philosophy, psychology, religion and politics

FAQ

Who can join the support groups?

Anyone interested in seeking support and sharing experiences related to the topics covered is welcome to join. This is a support group to connect peers on their healing journey. Our groups are designed for adults of all ages. The group is NOT for training or education and those seeking either should join the relevant programs.

Each support group session lasts for 75 minutes.

The support groups meet once a week.

The cost is 1500/- per month.

It’s okay to listen and participate at your own comfort level. Sharing is encouraged but not mandatory. You can benefit from hearing others’ experiences and insights.

No, our support groups are open and do not have a limit on the number of participants. Everyone is welcome to join and benefit from the shared experiences and support within the group. However we will maintain intimate small groups and create break out sessions if a particular group has large participation.

Yes, there are opportunities for one-on-one sessions with the therapist leading the group. These sessions are available for their actual fee. Alternatively, if needed, the therapist can also refer you to other professionals for individual support.

Unfortunately, once you join a support group, switching to a different group is not allowed. This policy helps maintain consistency and trust within each group.

 If you miss a session, you can catch up with the group in the next meeting. We do not provide refunds for missed sessions, but we encourage you to attend consistently to get the most benefit.

You can expect a safe, non-judgmental space to share your experiences, listen to others, and gain insights and support from peers and the therapist leading the session.

Yes, you are welcome to join multiple groups if you feel that it will benefit you. Each group has its own monthly fee.

​No prior experience or knowledge is necessary. The support groups are open to everyone, regardless of their background or familiarity with the topic.

Absolutely! We welcome feedback and suggestions from participants to ensure our sessions meet your needs and interests.

If you have an emergency, please inform us as soon as possible. While we cannot offer refunds for missed sessions, we will do our best to provide you with notes or resources from the session.

Our support groups are designed for adults. We also offer specialized groups for adolescents if there is enough interest.

We use a secure and user-friendly video conferencing platform such as Zoom or Google Meet to conduct our online support group sessions.

Payments can be made online through our secure payment portal. We accept major credit cards, debit cards, and other common payment methods.

Currently, our support groups are conducted in English. Please let us know if you have specific language needs.

Disclaimer

This group is not therapy/replacement for therapy or any type of medical or mental health care. It is a shared environment to feel supported and learn from experiences of each other.

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