ThemesOur Themes section includes films of our interviewees that are focusing on specific topics related to recovery, addiction, treatment, and sometimes other matters.

The films have been created by re-editing our original film into short (almost always less than three minutes) clips, and then 'linking' the appropriate clips by using YouTube Playlists. The Theme films are compiled from material involving one or more of our interviewees.

31st March 2024

The Magic at ARC Fitness: Gary Rutherford

Gary says that the team of people at ARC have contributed to the magic and success of the organisation. All but one person have been there from the start of the journey. Team members work in areas where their strength shines through. They get the fact that ARC is...
31st March 2024

Funding ARC Fitness: Gary Rutherford

However, ARC has to do a great deal of fundraising. For example, in 2021 they organised a No Shame campaign, during which Gary ran five marathons in five days wearing a weighted vest that represented ‘shame’. He fractured his leg on the second day but continued running for the rest of the challenge. Typical all or nothing, ‘Man must finish this mentality and not walk right for 18 months.’
31st March 2024

An Identity Shift: Gary Rutherford

‘… my identity started to shift from being somebody struggling with addiction, to being somebody who focused on their health and who loved to run. And I was surrounded by people who saw me through this different lens, and that was refreshing for me because I had always been under the impression throughout my recovery that this long-term condition was going to follow me...
25th March 2024

Discovering Bill White: Tim Leighton

Here is a short Theme clip taken from Tim's interview with Wulf Livingston. Tim describes his discovery of Bill White as an ‘Aladdin’s Cave moment’. He started reading Bill’s writings in the early 2000s, and views him as writing so sensitively and wisely ‘about virtually everything’ relating to recovery, treatment and addiction.
25th March 2024

Addiction, Recovery, Meaning & Identity: Tim Leighton

Tim emphasises that addiction can be very damaging—it damages relationships, self-esteem, and social capital. There is some sort of legacy when you come out of addiction that needs to be mended. A very big hole where addiction used to be. In a way, recovery is about filling...
23rd March 2024

Government Strategies & Failures: Tim Leighton

The UK’s first drug strategy, Tackling Drugs to Build a Better Britain, was based on an attack on drug-related crime. Drug problems were treated as a criminal justice, rather than a health, issue. Huge numbers of people were put on opioid substitution (mainly methadone) treatment.
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...