Inspirado Hubs Ltd is a social enterprise that supports people with substance use problems or in recovery from addiction through conversations over a specially designed board game.
The name 'Inspirado' is the Spanish translation for inspired. It is also the name adopted for the revolutionary board game set out to inspire players to stay motivated on the journey to recovery. It was developed with and for people in recovery to support the treatment of addiction.
The motive of the project is to support the promotion of peer-led and recovery-focused conversations within local communities, virtual communities and, prisons worldwide.
Relapse Prevention: The overarching theme of gameplay is relapse prevention. Players prevent a lapse or relapse by either discussing their thoughts/feelings or strategically play a recovery plan card or roll the behavior die.
Recovery Capital: Players gain tokens (i.e. morale chips) anytime they respond positively to illustrated alerts and events during gameplay. Tokens/morale chips in Inspirado represent recovery capital. Guided by recovery capital worksheets, players discuss relevant aspects of their recovery capital.
Recovery Planning: Players respond to illustrated alerts and events with either recovery plan cards or the behavior die. Players also share relevant aspects of their recovery plan when they encounter an illustrated alert or event during gameplay.
Strength-Focused: Inspirado recovery board game inspires players to respond to alerts and events during gameplay from a place of strength by playing, sharing or discussing aspects of their recovery plans. A strengths-based recovery plan workbook is also available as a take home resource for players. The workbook is available on the e-Learning hub and new subscribers.
Motivation Building: All the features mentioned above are motivational features that empower and promote behavior change. A prominent feature of Inspiradoian gameplay is the reading and discussion of inspirational quotes to motivate change.
The Inspiradoian Science
Inspirado recovery board game is a relapse prevention resource that adopts an asset-building approach to recovery where players build up recovery capital after carefully reviewing their individual recovery plans to successfully complete the game.
The theoretical framework of the game design is primarily founded on Prochaska and DiClemente's cycle of change, B.F. Skinner's operant conditioning, Cognitive Behavioral approach and B.J. Fogg's behavior model.
THE INSPIRADOIAN ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN
Prochaska and DiClemente's cycle of change theory informed the design of the structural design of the tiles on the board. Players start from the precontemplative state which is the centre of the board then travel through a non-lineal path until they complete in the maintenance phase of change.
THE INSPIRADOIAN MECHANICS
B.F. Skinner's operant conditioning theory frames the Inspiradoian mechanics of interactivity with game elements and co-players. Within every gameplay, players encounter either alert cards or event tiles, exhibit a behavioral response with either the recovery plan cards or the behavior die or talk about the alert or event, which consequently lead to the gain or loss of token(s) (i.e. recovery capital). These alerts and events are illustrated simulations of recurrent incidents within the addiction-recovery communities.
The design and inclusion of the behavior die is an attempt to address how feelings affected behavior change. Founded on the CBT model, players experience through gameplay the impact emotions have on both their thoughts and behavior.
THE INSPIRADOIAN APPROACH TO RECOVERY PLANNING
Recovery planning through the lens of Fogg's behavior model (FBM) reinforces the need for setting realistic or SMART care plans, because it provides a framework to examine, the different types of motivations, intrinsic and extrinsic abilities and triggers/ prompts.
For the design of the recovery plan cards, B.J. Fogg's behavior theory offered an excellent theoretical framework.
FBM proposes that the adoption of tiny habits is the key factor to sustainable behavior change.
Compared to big behavior changes, FBM supports the adoption of tiny habits because they;
are easy to do
require little motivation
can be repeated over a long period of time - a potential precursor for sustainable behavior change.
Additionally, the model purports that the likelihood of occurrence of any particular habit is dependent on the presence of all three elements namely; motivation, trigger/support/prompt and the ability. In contrast, the model suggests a behavior is unlikely to occur in the absence of any one of the elements. Lastly, the model proposes an immediate celebration or reward after performing a tiny habit.
In practice, FBM suggests the pursuit of a step-wise reduction in drug consumption instead of the expectation of total abstinence right from the onset. The model proposes a gradual increase in intensity of practice of the new behavior over a planned period until the expected behavior is achieved. FBM supports the inquiry into client's motivation, abilities, support network and triggers/ prompts to problematic behaviors at initial assessments; a common practice in most treatment centres worldwide.
Exhaustive details with illustrations on how the Inspiradoian approach to recovery planning can be applied in practice is available on the e-Learning platform.
Electronic formats of this document will also be made available all new subscribers to the website.
In the context of the game, it is assumed players already have any two of the behavior elements at any given time. A player's task is to play one element to activate the behavior OR play limited or lack of an element to deactivate behavior.
Within an Inspiradoian gameplay, players gain recovery capital when they activate positive behavior and deactivate negative behavior. Players lose recovery capital when the opposite happens.
The Inspiradoian Effect
Since its inception, Inspirado Hubs' activities has mainly been outreach within deprived communities and a number of prisons worldwide, donating board games and delivering training workshops on how to effectively use the intervention.
Working closely with local communities and governmental agencies, the project is currently supporting the setup of conversation cafes within local communities and prisons worldwide.
An online version of the board game has also been made available during the COVID-19 pandemic to support isolated individuals during the lockdown. Virtual training sessions are available to interested groups.
A review from a women's refuge project described Inspirado recovery board game as an exciting innovation and has adopted and incorporated game as part of their daily program. The case manager added, "Inspirado offered a fresh approach to addressing recovery and relapse prevention in a fun, non-intrusive manner".
The evaluation report from the refuge stated that participants repeatedly spoke about the game and used their experiences of Inspirado as reference at other therapeutic sessions. Some of the remarks from participants are as seen below:
‘It’s nice to think about addiction in a different way’
‘It’s been educational and fun’
‘It makes you see things in a different way’
‘Staff playing along with us gives them a different insight into our issues’
‘I like how the ‘interaction’ highlights how other people can affect my recovery’.
Feedback from most HM prisons highlighted similar remarks as stated above, with some long term participants stating the game broke the tendency to have repeated conversations referred to as "jail banter".