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.
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...
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...
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.
21st September 2023

Drug Addict to Filmmaker: Marcus Fair

On arriving at the prison, Marcus was put in a hospital bed. He was so relieved to be there. One of the prison officers had heard about some of Marcus’s work at TAPE and got him a job doing the prison radio. Marcus loved it. He then did some filming and editing for the prison officer. He was now having the time of his life in prison.
20th September 2023

Addicted to Heroin & Crack Cocaine: Marcus Fair

‘Oh shit, I’ve got to do everything that I did yesterday again today, and that’s the horrible thing about addiction. It’s the same thing, the same crime, the same people, doing the same desperate things living the way you do.’ Marcus points out that when you’re ‘asleep’ after taking...
18th September 2023

Powerlessness, Higher Power and GOD: Wendy Dossett

Wendy describes powerlessness as being a central concept in 12-Step fellowships such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). It is argued that if control of substance use is beyond your own willpower, then there has to be some other power that is going to bring about abstinence.
17th September 2023

My Addiction & Recovery: Wendy Dossett

At that time, her life was unravelling, she was experiencing a lot of suicidal ideation and attempting suicide, and was clinging on to a job with ‘splintering finger nails’. She was living in a mouldy touring caravan in a field, showering in the university she worked at...
13th September 2023

Trauma and Addiction

James Deakin says: ‘For the vast majority of us it [addiction] is self-management of an underlying condition, it’s self-medication, or it’s just using any drink or drug to move away from a set of feeling[s] for a period of time.’ Addiction is often a symptom of a psychological problem, such as the impact of trauma. When people arrive at Penrhyn House, the residential part of North...
11th September 2023

Descent Into Addiction: David McCartney

His personal honesty eroded as he lied as to why he could not go into work. A mountain of shame grew, and his self-esteem diminished greatly, as he was living against all his personal values. He was a man who desperately needed to ask for, and access, help. Instead, he hid behind the...
11th September 2023

Living With Heroin Addiction

In a very short space of time, Marcus Fair was paying £20-40 a day just to feel normal in the morning. Crack cocaine followed, which led to burglaries. Injecting the drugs came next. Marcus travelled around the country buying heroin to feed his addiction. He used to wear out towns, rather quickly, because of the amount of crime in which he was...
8th September 2023

Dealing, Addiction & Torture: James Deakin

James can’t sell his supply of the drug, for which he has not paid. Realising he is in serious trouble, he does a bunk to Bangor in North Wales. However, the dealers track him down and bundle him into the boot of a car. He is shipped back to Manchester and tortured over a period of days.