4th March 2024

How Big You Are as a Problem: Rhoda Emlyn-Jones OBE

We have fallen into the trap of releasing resources only when people can be defined as a big problem. So, if that's the way to get service and release resources to people, then the conversations between professionals and between professionals and the citizens are all about...
3rd March 2024

What Helped Most?: Rhoda Emlyn-Jones OBE

'Give people no more, and no less than they need to take that journey through to an outcome they've been able to articulate with you, that they've never been able to articulate with anyone else because no one’s listening. So we really need to create that momentum, don’t we...
3rd March 2024

What Helps Families Create Sustained Change?: Rhoda Emlyn-Jones OBE

'One of the big things that makes such a big difference is having an approach that is inclusive. That includes the person, the network, the family.' Rhoda points out that our personal wellbeing is tied up with our sense of belonging, with who is around us, and being loved...
8th December 2023

Nature of Recovery, Part 3

Dr. David McCartney is asked what one word best describes the essence of recovery. 'Hope,' he replies. 'Of course, you can't prescribe hope, it doesn't come in a bottle...' James Deakin makes an interesting point derived from his observations at North Wales Recovery Communities: The more intelligent you are, the more...
1st December 2023

Identity: Dr. David McCartney

Dr. David McCartney describes that as his drinking problem was becoming worse he developed the ability to split what he was drinking from what his patients with alcohol problems were drinking. The amounts weren't that different. However, David rationalised that he couldn't have a problem, as he was in a suit and seeing...
28th November 2023

Recovery Advocacy, Part 3

After seeing one person deciding to take the journey to recovery (successfully) after visiting the Towards Recovery cafe and talking with half a dozen people, Huseyin Djemil wondered what would the impact be of having a recovery conference in Henley. The first Towards Recovery conference took place in 2013.
24th November 2023

Mutual Aid, Part 2

James Deakin points out that members of North Wales Recovery Communities (NWRC) are given a variety of mutual aid options. If the person can't relate to the 12-Step approach, they can try Smart Recovery, and if that doesn't work they can try CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) or ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Theory).
15th November 2023

The Power of Hope

David McCartney describes how a doctor on the British Doctors and Dentists Group helpline told him about his recovery. That story connected with David in a way that the tablets he had previously been prescribed for his addiction had not. The story gave him hope. When asked what he felt was the essence of recovery...
9th November 2023

12-Step Fellowship, Part 2: Wendy Dossett

Wendy has studied the concept of 'Higher Power' for a long time and the key message that she wants to get out there 'is the diversity and creativity of people who engage with that concept and how they interpret it.' These people are not sitting back and accepting a 1930s concept...
2nd November 2023

Recovery Advocacy, Part 2

Wendy Dossett and Wulf discuss the problems of trying to be an addiction recovery advocate whilst working within the system, where financial interests and status are major factors. Wulf believes that the recovery advocacy movement has receded into small communities and off the national stage.
26th October 2023

Descent Into Heroin Addiction

Marcus Fair describes having a disease of obsession—an obsession for certain things, be it food, chocolate or computer games—from the time of his youth. ’Whatever I enjoyed, I kicked the arse out of, until it kicked the arse out of me.’ Marcus went through a progression of substances from alcohol, to gas and solvents, cannabis...
13th October 2023

Building a Recovery Community, Part 3: Wulf Livingston

James Deakin started to set up challenges for NWRC members, such as a 100-mile in a week challenge, in order to make recovery visible in recovery month, and to challenge the stigmatisation of people who are addicted, or have been addicted, to drugs and alcohol.
12th October 2023

Building a Recovery Community, Part 2: Wulf Livingston

Wulf points out that critical to the success of NWRC is that members have access to plenty of free environmental space on their doorstep. No-one has charged them for taking a walk on a beach or going up a mountain. It is more difficult to create a similar entity in a large city...
11th October 2023

Building a Recovery Community, Part 1: Wulf Livingston

The first of a three-part Themes series focused on building a recovery community, with my colleague Wulf Livingston using developments over time at North Wales Recovery Communities (NWRC) as an example. In 2015, Wulf was asked by James Deakin, the Founder of NWRC...
9th October 2023

Giving Back, Part 2

James Deakin emphasises that people with addiction problems cause a large cost to society, so it’s important that when they’re getting well they give something back. As he started to help others, he realised that there was so much value to giving back, and to be recognised as a positive, upstanding member of the community.