The purpose of the master's thesis is to add insight into the experiences of experts from experience on the field of addiction knowledge. In my research, I was interested in experiences with different forms of help that my co-speaker had, what strategies they have developed to face life’s challenges, and what gives them the strength to persevere. With the chosen topic, I also wanted to highlight the work of the user self-organized self-help group Kr 'mi and the experiences of its members with the group.
In the theoretical introduction, I present the phenomenon of addiction, the reasons for the emergence of addiction and the consequences that it leaves on the individual. I also describe known forms of help to people who are freeing themselves from addiction. Next, I focus on vulnerable individuals and groups, the mechanisms of social exclusion, and how it reflects on people with addiction problems. Then, I relate to the importance of emancipation in social work and present the concepts and methods of social work, that I consider to be helpful in work with people who have addiction problems. Finally, I discuss the concept of self-help with an emphasis on the characteristics and purpose of self-help groups.
I made qualitative research. By triangulating the data from narrative interviews with two male members and three female members of the Kr 'mi self-help groups and my dairy records, I obtained answers to the above-mentioned research topics. The research showed that for my co-speakers in the process of liberation from addiction it is important to take into account their perspective, not to feel limited and controlled, but accepted. The source of useful knowledge for them is largely the stories of experts from experience. Co-speakers as the most important source of power, experience support from their friends and family. Besides their social network, they mentioned as a source of power their habits and character traits and certain activities that they like to do. An important help in maintaining abstinence, as well as in dealing with everyday challenges, is attributed to the self-help group Kr 'mi. From August 2019 onwards, the group holds informal meetings in nature, which take place in various locations in Slovenia. The group was formed in response to insufficient formal forms of help. Members experience the group as a source of knowledge, as a space for socializing and exchanging experiences, for them it means sports activity and adopting new life routines and habits.