Stories'Stories help us develop empathy. They allow us understand another person’s world from their perspective. Stories give us unique access to the inner lives and motivations of others. They contain so much more information than we can convey in the statement of facts.... Stories enhance our creativity and help us think beyond the here and now.' DrLewis Mehl-Madrona

In this section, we post Stories from our interviewees, using our edited film clips and summaries. The Story may involve a single short film or multiple films.

19th February 2024

Integrated Family Support Services (IFSS): Rhoda Emlyn-Jones

The idea was that Community Psychiatric Nurses (CPNs), drug and alcohol specialists, social workers, occupational therapists and health visitors would form one team. The team would look at new referrals and only one person would visit the family, since they were all doing the...
19th February 2024

Option 2: Rhoda Emlyn-Jones

They developed their approach, looking at Home Builders—a home- and community-based, intensive family preservation services treatment programme in America—and various psychological therapies that worked. The service name Option 2 was decided upon, since it said to colleagues ‘at the point that you are about to remove...
19th February 2024

It Goes Back To My Childhood: Rhoda Emlyn-Jones OBE

Alun provided so much support for people with alcohol-related issues. There are still three rehabs existing in Wales because of him. He did all this voluntarily. He used to bring home people who had nowhere to live and were drinking on the streets. Rhoda and her sisters used to... 
7th December 2023

My Life as a Chef: Wulf Livingston

Wulf’s first serious ‘career’ was as a chef. He reached the stage where he was asked to manage a whole hotel and kitchen. People have often asked him how he got from working as a chef to being a social worker. There were two main paths to this journey. Firstly, catering colleges asked Wulf if he would take on lads who would find...
7th December 2023

Working in the Welsh Treatment System: Wulf Livingston

I first met Wulf in Colwyn Bay in 2000 when he was working with the treatment service CAIS. Over the course of a number of meetings in those early years of the new millennium, I found Wulf to be very well-informed and someone who really cared about the people he was...
5th December 2023

Medical Treatment: David McCartney

Dr. David McCartney describes first receiving help for his drinking problem when he was referred to an addiction psychiatrist. He had to initially undergo a detox, as he was drinking dependently and it would not have been safe for him to stop drinking without medical assistance. This was one of the most unpleasant experiences of his life.
30th November 2023

Demoralisation in a Treatment Service: Huseyin Djemil

There were things they could do that would help not just their clients, but also themselves. Huseyin found though his questionnaire that many of the practitioners were thinking of leaving, despite only being in the job for six months. And they had taken over from someone who...
22nd November 2023

Working in the Treatment System: James Deakin

James Deakin spent a number of years working in the mental health and addiction field before deciding that he had become disillusioned by the organisations and the commissioning process. At the same time, he loved working with 'clients' and was inspired by people like...
20th November 2023

A Miraculous Discovery!?: David McCartney

After a few months, David stopped taking his pills. He thought he could have a social drink, but this turned out to be a disaster. He went back to work, but the craving continued. One day, David found that if he took codeine his craving for alcohol disappeared. He thought he had...
17th November 2023

Recovery Advocacy & The System: Wendy Dossett

When you are independent of the system you are treated with less respect, and even disrespected by the system—‘you don’t know what you are doing, you are a bunch of amateurs, you’re not professional, or you’re not subject to any regulations…’ You are dismissed for speaking out...
16th November 2023

Luck, Legwork & The Future: Marcus Fair

Eternal Media are developing a variety of things for the future, including the new building space and gardens, purchasing lots of tents for filmmaking retreats, and starting a variety of new projects. They are committed to doing a number of recovery-related activities, like the...
10th November 2023

Changing Face of Treatment and Recovery: Wulf Livingston

Recovering people were taken on in treatment services as peer supporters or support workers. Now that recovering people had jobs within the treatment system, they couldn’t advocate for radical recovery in the same way they had when they were outside the system.
7th November 2023

Inspired by Natalie’s Story: David Clark

‘There were about fifteen people in my first group session, one of whom was an ex-heroin user who had been clean for about 16 years. She came over to talk to me and I was in awe. She had done exactly what I was doing and she had gotten through it. From that moment on, I didn’t feel so alone. She had done exactly what I was doing...'
3rd November 2023

Prison Detox Unit: Huseyin Djemil

When he worked as Drug Strategy Co-ordinator for the seven London Prisons, Huseyin was asked to review the detox unit at Wormwood Scrubs prison. He found awful conditions in the unit and made a number of recommendations for improvement which were taken up by the prison. Huseyin describes the resulting 55-bed...
1st November 2023

A Disease of Obsession: Marcus Fair

Marcus says that he felt very committed as an addict. It wasn’t a hobby. The longer he goes on in his recovery, the more he realises that his addiction ‘had nothing to do with drugs whatsoever.’ It was a symptom of the disease of obsession. He could see this obsession during his youth, be it for food or chocolate, then computer games...