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...
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...
27th October 2023

On Being Straight: James Deakin

Living in Bangor, James decides he has to go straight. He pictures himself where he’d like to be and behaves in the appropriate way. ‘What would a straight person do in this situation?’ He gains a peace of mind from being legitimate. He doesn’t have to worry about anyone kicking in his door at six in the morning.
11th October 2023

People Need Choice & Opportunity: David McCartney

David experienced a sudden and profound change in the quality of his life, and he felt an immense gratitude for ‘having another shot of life’. At one stage, he couldn’t have cared if he had gone to sleep and not woken up. He then suddenly had his enthusiasm and spirit back...
22nd September 2023

Stigma & Kintsugi

Huseyin Djemil describes working in a rehab where staff used to put a cover story together for residents so that when they left they didn’t have to reveal their past. He found that difficult and later said to residents, when he became temporary CEO of the rehab, ‘Do you really want to start your new your new life with a cover story...
21st September 2023


Shame often plays an important role when a person is developing and/or has developed a drinking problem. In the first clip here, David McCartney describes how shame was part of a major epiphany in his life. He was asked by a woman if he would see her brother and talk about his drinking problem. On the way home after seeing her...
20th September 2023

Mutual Aid, Part 1

Wendy Dossett points out that at mutual aid group meetings, no-one is better than anyone else. 'Everyone has done the same shit.' At the end of the clip, she says, ‘But for navigating a path to recovery from addiction, the central kind of emotional journey that that is, you’re so much better off with somebody who’s trod that path...
19th September 2023

Recovery Friendly Universities: Wendy Dossett

This Recovery Friendly University Pledge is an official commitment to welcoming and supporting people in recovery, valuing the contribution they make, reducing the barriers to university for people in recovery, and fostering a supportive environment that enables...
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...
11th September 2023

The Nature of Addiction Recovery

Recovery is the experience (a process and a sustained status) through which individuals, families, and communities impacted by severe alcohol and other drug (AOD) problems utilize internal and external resources to voluntarily resolve these problems, heal the wounds inflicted by AOD-related problems, actively manage...
10th September 2023

Filling a Void & Sewing for Kenya: James Deakin

James could feel the buzz and vibe in the room where Linda was working away with ‘a load of hardened former heroin users who had spent half their life in prison.’ One of the lads said, ‘For the first time in my life I actually feel like I’m contributing to someone else who is worse...’
8th September 2023

Factors That Facilitate Recovery

Wendy Dossett and Wulf Livingston discuss various factors at an individual, system and societal level that help people recover from addiction. These factors include the power of community; having an environment where choices are available, as well as signposting, communication and collaboration; and an environment...