Message from David

P4081202A major focus of this website is to help people understand how they can recover from addiction. How to initiate the process of recovery and how to maintain recovery despite the day-to-day struggles and obstacles we all face.  How to live without resorting to the use of substances as a coping mechanism.

Some of what appears on this website will be relevant to people taking their first steps on their journey to recovery. This might involve a person using clean needles and syringes for the first time, or involve a person realising the damage that their drinking is doing to themself.

Other content will be oriented towards people who are much further along in their recovery, who are looking for things that can facilitate their recovery journey and daily living. This content may be focused on spirituality or recovery coaching, for example.

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Family members

Film clips showing that family members of a person with drug and alcohol addiction develop their own problems from which they need recovery. [3 clips]

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Adam’s Recovery Story: ‘A moment of clarity’

After spending years locked into an addiction to amphetamine, cannabis and alcohol, Adam’s recovery took him to the other side of the world, where he lives happily with his new family.

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Impact of substance use problems on the family

This research aimed to look at how a loved one’s substance use problems can impact on the health and well-being of parents and siblings (1,400 words).

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Anna’s Recovery Story: ‘Should I or shouldn’t I?’

Through his heroin addiction and recovery, Anna’s brother has taught her so much about life, including the most valuable lesson she could ever learn – you can get through anything.

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Books to facilitate your recovery

I love reading and I have a large collection of books on recovery. Here are six books I believe are invaluable in facilitating recovery.

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‘Stigma’ by Peapod

blog-14-06-2013-image1We all know that people with substance use problems and their families are stigmatised by many people. Here, Peapod blogs about stigma on Wired In To Recovery in 2009.

‘My dictionary defines stigma as “a mark of disgrace or infamy; a stain or reproach.”

It’s a problem for addicts like us. I’ve been subject to it a few times in both active addiction and in recovery. Recovery is such a good news story. Why do recovering addicts still suffer from stigma?

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‘Never give up hope’ by Elizabeth Burton-Phillips

Never give up hope by Elizabeth Burton-PhillipsAnother of my favourite blogs from Wired In To Recovery, from December 2009.

“Like most grandparents, I can’t resist showing off pictures of my beautiful little grandson James, sitting with his adoring father Simon. But for me, the joy runs even more deeply than most, contrasting as it does with the devastation my family experienced almost six years ago.

At the age of 13, my son Simon and his twin brother Nick began experimenting with drugs by smoking cannabis. They sampled increasingly dangerous drugs over a period of 14 years, culminating in injecting heroin. One February day in 2004, after a huge drug-fuelled argument, Simon went to make peace with his brother and found that Nick had hanged himself.

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Ed Mitchell – Lost & Found

A new documentary on the latest steps to recovery of former BBC and ITN broadcaster, Ed Mitchell, is broadcast exclusively on Inexcess TV – marking Ed’s return to television and first employment following his battle with alcohol and homelessness.

In his new role as editor at Inexcess Television, Ed produced and directed his latest documentary, Ed Mitchell: Lost and Found, the second programme to be broadcast on Ed’s life story, from living as a white-collar tramp to his subsequent recovery from alcoholism.

‘Experiences of a mother of two young heroin addicts’ by Mark

IMG_4069A very moving blog which first appeared on Wired In To Recovery (WITR) in May 2009. Mark blogged regularly on WITR until the community closed.

“We found my 20 year old brother dead of an overdose. He had just kicked the habit so tolerance was low. He started a job and the first payday was his last.

Mum wrote this after I got clean. Copy and use it anywhere it can be of use.”

‘What is it like being the mother of an addict? (Experiences of a mother of two young heroin addicts)

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Ian and Irene’s Story, ‘Living through our son’s addiction and death: Our journey to recovery’

After losing their son Robin to a heroin overdose, Ian and Irene set up a support group to help family members avoid some of the problems they experienced.

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Kevan’s Recovery Story: ‘He’s a loser and will never be any good’

 After 25 years of problem drinking and eight years in and out of psychiatric hospitals, Kevan runs NERAF which has nearly 100 staff and volunteers and provides a support service across the north-east of England.

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Must-read books: ‘Tweak’ and ‘Beautiful Boy’

P4081216Five years ago I read two remarkable books by a father and son. There was only one way to describe these books – they were an emotional roller coaster.  I read one straight after the other, hardly putting them down.

I was wrapped… and I was drained! I felt despair… and then hope. I learnt so much from these books. I cannot recommend them highly enough.

The two books were addiction Recovery Stories, written by Nic and David Scheff.  Here’s what the back cover of Nic’s book Tweak had to say:

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Impact of substance use problems on the family

P1010665This piece of writing, which you can find in the Articles section, was based on a piece of research we conducted ten years ago. Hard to believe!

‘In November 2004, I wrote an article, entitled ‘Family Misfortune’, for the magazine Drink and Drugs News in the UK, that focused on the impact that substance use problems can have on the family. The article was based on a piece of research that Gemma Salter and I conducted with family members (primarily mothers) of people who were experiencing substance use problems.

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‘My Recovery: A seminar opening speech’ by Adam

IMG_3279Some of you in Perth will remember Adam Brookes. I met Adam a few years ago and he quickly became someone very important in my life, a really good friend. Adam is more than that, he is like part of my family. My children love him and my partner Linda feels very close to him.

I also saw that Adam had that something special, that empathic and caring nature that helps people get better. I knew that he was going to help many people.

Adam moved to the UK (Mosley, near Manchester) in December 2011 and was married to Jemma the following month. They now have two beautiful twin girls, Summer and Tegen, born on 2nd April this year.

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Reflections on Kevan’s Story (Part 3)

Kevan MartinHope you’ve been following Part 1 and Part 2 of my reflections on Kevan’s Story. I’ve been highlighting some of the processes occurring in Kevan’s recovery.

We’ve seen changes in his thinking and behaviours, and followed the lifestyle changes that Kevan made. We’ve seen how Kevan’s confidence in himself has grown over time and as the changes have occurred.

What is absolutely clear is that this recovery process was driven by Kevan. It was something he did, not something that was given to him by someone else. In fact, he spent many years in and out of a psychiatric hospital and no one suggested to him that he had a drinking problem. When he did meet with a drug and alcohol counsellor, the advice he was given was nonsensical!

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Reflections on Kevan’s Story (Part 2)

DSC00130In yesterday’s blog, we looked at how Kevan’s thinking started to change in the early stages of his recovery after 25 years problematic drinking – and eight years in and out of psychiatric hospital.

After a chance discussion with a vicar, he ‘realised’ that he was in mourning for his friend alcohol. He missed his friend so much, even though he knew he was much better off without it.

Most importantly, Kevan began to understand that he was responsible for his addiction to alcohol and was also responsible for overcoming his problem.

After nine months without drinking (and still on Antabuse), Kevan’s thinking was becoming clearer and he was coping with things easier. He was now developing a hatred for alcohol!

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‘Intervention Keeley Style’ by William White

IMG_2494Some Stories are just straight out funny! Whilst working my way through Bill White’s writings on his website, I came across this little gem he wrote in 2004 as part of his History Corner series. The article made me laugh, so I thought I would lighten your day.

‘The most famous and controversial treatment for addiction in the 19th century was Dr. Leslie Keeley’s Bichloride of Gold Cure. Dr. Keeley franchised his cure procedures through more than 120 Keeley Institutes scattered across North American and Europe. These Institutes became the preferred drying out institutions for the rich and famous in the 1890s.

But the problem then (as today) was this: Even where there are financial resources to pay for such treatment, how can the afflicted person be convinced to enter such a treatment institution?

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