Addiction & The Cost of Living Crisis

Addiction & The Cost of Living Crisis

Positive change

Addiction and financial hardship are often seen as connected. While there is evidence that higher levels of poverty result in higher rates of addiction, it is sometimes hard to tell which one comes first. Whatever the case may be, as Britain sinks into the cost-of-living crisis, it will come as no surprise to see addiction rates continue to increase.

Research shows that the current cost of living crisis is having a huge impact on people’s mental health and is especially negatively impacting those who already struggle with mental health issues of some kind.

A report from Rethink Mental Illness and Money and Mental Health Policy Institute shows that (of those surveyed): 

  • 59% said that over the last 12 months concerns about money had impacted their mental health “a lot”.
  • 38% experienced not having enough money to afford enough food and 46% had reduced the number of meals they ate per day.
  • Half experienced not having enough money to repair or replace an essential item
  • A third (29%) experienced not having enough money to afford utilities – the continuing increase in fuel and energy prices means that this figure is only continuing to increase. One in five (20%) had missed a payment for a bill.
  • A further survey of 1,000 adults in the UK found that over 1 in 5 experienced stress, anxiety, or depression due to financial worries.

At Kennedy Street, we are very aware of the impact that mental health has on addiction. Addictive behaviours or substances are often used as coping mechanisms for dealing with issues like stress, anxiety, and depression. 

Approximately 80% of people in drug and alcohol treatment have mental health problems including depression and anxiety.

This clip above is from a chat we had with Chris Stewart from @mindsminding Mental Health First Aid.

For those who have or are currently struggling with addiction, the growing crisis and the stress it’s causing may understandably be quite triggering. Not only that but a higher cost of living is shown to increase loneliness and isolation, relationship strain, sleep disturbance and poor diet and nutrition – all things that are shown to negatively influence addiction. 

An active addiction of almost any kind can then go on to have a negative impact on a person’s mental health and finances. As more money is spent on engaging in the addiction, or more time is taken off work due to physical or mental illness or the impacts of the addictive substance or behaviour – thus forms a vicious cycle.

So how do we break this cycle?

Sadly, the rising cost of living is out of most people’s control, and achieving financial stability may not be possible right now. But engaging in healthy, recovery-minded practices can help to reduce stress, improve mental health, and stop the downward spiral of addiction as we face these challenges.

1. Start your recovery journey

If you have never made the choice to reach out and get help to actively address your addiction, now is the best time to make that first step. Whatever addiction you might be struggling with, there is support available for you, and at Kennedy Street Recovery, we are committed to helping you start and maintain your recovery journey. We recommend abstinence-based, 12-Step recovery, and have plenty of resources to help you get started. 

Call our Recovery Helpline on 020 3416 3643 or contact us so that we can help you start or continue your recovery journey.

2. Stay connected

Being part of a community is so important for reducing stress and maintaining recovery. Even though it might seem difficult, with increased work hours or reduced budget for travel or social activities, finding ways to stay social and connected to a supportive network is vital. 

Make sure you have someone you can talk to when things get too overwhelming – maybe a sponsor, a friend or loved one, or you can call our Recovery Helpline and speak to one of our Recovery Volunteers about receiving support. You really are not alone!

If you’re in Brighton and looking to connect with a great group of people and have some free fun, why not join our team setting up our new Recovery Hub? With gardening and painting parties every Saturday in September, we’d love you to join us.


3. Stay active and get outdoors

Physical activity is a vital part of maintaining good mental health, and cutting back on gym memberships shouldn’t mean sacrificing the benefits of exercise. Daily walks (or swims if you’re lucky enough to live by the coast), enjoying nature and getting moving are great ways to reduce stress. 

Regular exercise reduces stress, improves mood and sleep, and has been shown to increase abstinence rates for substance misuse by up to 95%.


4. Try some money-saving tips

There are plenty of resources online for how to save money and help your income stretch a bit further during this difficult time. Check out resources like MoneySavingExpert’s guide of 90 tips that could help you save, or Blurt’s resource guide for dealing with the cost of living crisis alongside mental health concerns. 

5. Practice gratitude and mindfulness

When things feel hopeless and overwhelming, it is easy for us to get stuck in a negative state of mind. Practising gratitude – intentionally recognising the positive things, like another day of sobriety – is an important part of recovery. It is something that doesn’t always come naturally, but truly makes a difference in shifting from the hopeless mindset to one of positivity in the face of difficulties.

“It is with a big, sober, clean heart that I’m eternally grateful to Kennedy Street for their love, help and support. Trust me, these people save lives.”

Rose, 56.

Employed, cocaine and alcohol addiction.

Start your recovery right now.

You can call us 9am – 9pm 7 days a week

020 3416 3643

or you can send us a message if you’d prefer.

Hub notes #5 – June 18

Hub notes #5 – June 18

Positive change

Two ladies who had just become comfortable with those terms had shared generously their own experiences in a moving way. Lots of us could recall the early days when we didn’t feel comfortable with those words.

Emma took us back to the AA’s 12 step Big Book: ‘we learned that we had to fully concede to our innermost selves that we were alcoholics’. We realise that although we are writers, parents, workers, artists, creators and all kinds of other things, until we accept that we are also alcoholics or addicts, we’re often confining ourselves to a smaller life than we deserve.

Clare reminded us that there are more modern-day terminologies that some practitioners and professionals use, one being substance misuse disorder. Not quite as snappy as our ‘old’ identifiers, ‘alcoholic’ or ‘addict’. Clare mentioned FAVOR – Faces and Voices of Recovery – and their amazing website that has great resources and a great guide to recovery-friendly language, eg: 

“Most people with living or lived experience of using substances have their own use of language that is meaningful to them, however, it can often be misunderstood or not understood at all by those outside of their communities. The guide is intended to offer recommendations on using language to empower people in active addiction and recovery and to reinforce the impact of person-centred language on challenging stigma.”

It seems similar to how we are encouraged to use others’ preferred pronouns and also accept their self-identification e.g. non-binary, genderqueer etc. For older people, this can seem confusing but we all agreed that if we are open to being guided we will find we’re on a learning journey that helps us all.

Clare said, ‘At Kennedy Street, our aim is to be freed from stereotypes and contribute to everyone’s improved mental wellbeing’.

This led us to talk about sayings and slogans e.g. ‘don’t leave til the magic happens’ or ‘one day at a time’.  

Clare also reminded us of the pre-recovery interpretation of the acronym FEAR – ‘fuck everything and run’ and the post-recovery acronym ‘face everything and recover’.

Anna and Emma shared a great song by Ian Brown called ‘FEAR’ (listen to it on Spotify or watch it on YouTube) which has some other interpretations of the FEAR acronym such as ‘for everything a reason’.  

Another interesting conversation was about what to do when we meet someone away from recovery meetings – e.g. whilst you are both in Tesco doing your shopping with friends. In therapy, it’s often the case that people have an agreement on how to deal with these situations. The consensus was that we usually make eye contact and nod a friendly acknowledgement – anything beyond that, particularly if we’re with friends and family might not be appropriate for maintaining anonymity.

Positive change
Positive change

Lucy shared her experience of going to Rock of Ages theatre production this week – Kevin had kindly got us some tickets and a group of Kennedy Streeters was able to meet up for food at Cedar in Portsmouth, see the show AND have some great photos with the cast afterwards (see pic above).

Lucy recalled only having been to the theatre once when she was young – ‘I was very excited for the new experience but wasn’t sure what to expect’. It turned out to be an evening of fun and laughter and of course music. Best part?  Singing along especially with ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ (could this be our Kennedy Street theme tune?). Sarah said she thought it was a fabulous show and such a feel-good event and ‘thank you Kev’ and the Rock of Ages production for their generous ticket donation for our hard-working volunteers.

Seems there’s a possible new addiction to Lebanese Coffee (see pic below) – which we all partook in experiencing whilst on our night out. Everyone adored it and we’re now wondering if we can make this a staple when we move into the new hub!

As we’re now in the process of preparing to move into our new Hub – the volunteers got busy looking at the ‘move-in list’ for those things we need to furnish the space for opening. Clare reminded us about Amazon Smile which allows Amazon customers to link to a process which gives Kennedy Street Recovery a donation each time we buy from our Amazon accounts.  Deli’s pleased to know that her regular order of cat food subscription and crochet hooks will be supporting Kennedy Street in the long run. Others can support us by signing up like this:

First, go to

  • Click on the yellow ‘Get Started’ button
  • Sign in using your existing Amazon account
  • On the ‘Start by picking your charity’ page, put in our charity number 1189265
  • Select ‘Kennedy St Foundation’ 

As a small start-up charity, your support and sharing of this amongst your friends will be invaluable.

Positive change
Hub notes #4 – June 11

Hub notes #4 – June 11

Seven of us adults plus Asterix (the baby) were joined by Aura who gave us an hour of relaxation with Kundalini Yoga. We all enjoyed the experience – including Asterix who did a perfect posture without a mat.

In the pic above you’ll see our little library table – we offer a range of fellowship literature for our visitors to look at and borrow. Sarah kindly shared a couple of different books with us – a welcome addition to the collection.

Anna ‘felt very Zen’ afterwards particularly as she usually struggles with meditation of any kind. The music and softly spoken guidance was great.

Deli said ‘I didn’t know I could do that!’ having done all sorts of stretches and achieved a lovely level of peace.

Cherelle had a ‘feeling of exhilaration’ after the session.

Emma prepared our delicious lunch and we were delighted that Aura stayed to share it with us. (we need to put her promo details in). We are hoping she’ll do another session soon either at Possibility Place or at our new hub -to-be in the future.

Discussion turned to the principle of forgiveness which had come up during the session – we looked at how this principle is expressed in the CA pamphlet ‘12 principles’. We tackled about all the principles and their relation to the Steps and Traditions in CA. Cherelle was working on Step 9 for which the principle is forgiveness. ‘Forgiveness brightens peace of mind and serenity’.

Other principles we talked about were honesty and integrity – (Step 1 and Step 5).

‘Honesty is necessary if we are to be happy, joyous and free’

‘We demonstrate integrity when we are authentic, truthful and real’.

Hub notes #3 – May 28

Hub notes #3 – May 28

Families on beach

Sarah had been to a cocktail bar and had a delicious non alcoholic cocktail or mocktail.  Deli had enjoyed a delicious virgin mojito at a restaurant and also shared her Slimming World recipe for fake Pimm’s.  Lots of people had a ‘go-to’ delicious drink – often soda based in a big glass with lots of ice and fresh fruit or other non alcoholic flavourings.  Clare mentioned Kev’s description of the ‘hit’ of cold fizz at the back of the throat that is so delicious and which we can miss.  His solution was fizzy mineral water and lots of ice.

Clare mentioned Club Soda – they have the fake Pimms recipe on their website.  Clare has been in contact with them and they may feature in a future podcast.

There are differing views on non-alcoholic drinks, mocktails and other drinks suitable for recovering addicts.  Clare had a fake gin so like the real thing it had just made her think of drinking real gin!  Deli had got so used to Fake Pimmis she’d forgotten what real Pimm’s tasted like and found it satisfying enough she didn’t drink much.  

Other ideas are coffee mocktails – addicts like coffee!  Also passionfruit or lime and soda – always with loads of ice for the ‘hit’.

The discussion moved on to holidays and parties. Those of us with children could attest to the fact that they’ll respect our boundaries and we never have to tidy up their glasses and bottles – having clear boundaries pays off.  We have to plan and keep to our known strategies to keep ourselves safe. Thankfully our loved ones respect us and observe our rules.  Even though they sometimes surprise us by how little they actually drink – we are baffled at the concept of ‘leftover’ alcohol- we never had that!!

Dancing is a good way for us to socialise and we dance more for drinking less!  Many options – ecstatic dancing, five rhythms and other groups where you can dance your socks off without having to drink. We all agreed that there’s a healing power in dance and enough ways in our area that we can choose our style!

Sober socialising has the joy of remembering what you did for fun!  Sarah had been to the Spiegeltent and found herself in line for audience participation – she loved taking part in the card trick and can relish the memory without embarrassment or regret.

Lynne had been to a sober rave and felt ‘proper righteous’ the next morning as well she should!

Families on beach
Kev Kennedy Sunday Express Review

Kev called while we were talking about this and we took the opportunity to ask him about ‘coming’ down from sober fun, ie: when he comes off stage after a performance (that’s him in the pic on stage in Rock of Ages). His first recommendation was to embrace and enjoy the natural high – it’s not going to last as long as a drunken or drug fuelled one but it will be enjoyable and you don’t need to come down with a crash, he then likes to have a hot shower, relax with a snack, read or watch TV and let the natural high dissipate. Then go to bed.

After a delicious lunch we sat down to review Step 1 in Back To Basics with Wally P.  Just as we were finishing and reflecting, we were joined by Glen and Justin and Jo B, new visitors to our recovery hub. Our conversations continued and several of us recalled how, when we began our recovery, we would worry about ‘what will I do at Christmas?’ or ‘will I be able to go to weddings?’. Lynne said we need always to stop thinking about forever or whatever and just think about today!

‘Anonymous but not Invisible’ at the Houses of Parliament

‘Anonymous but not Invisible’ at the Houses of Parliament

Anonymous but not Invisible at the Houses of Parliament

Dan Carden, Labour MP for Liverpool, Walton, hosted the event. To hear him give a speech, and to have the opportunity to talk to him afterwards was inspiring. If you have not listened to the speech that he made during a Parliamentary debate then I urge you to do so. He is in his third year of recovery and he speaks honestly and openly about his alcohol addiction and recovery in the community.

The presentation consisted of a couple of AA members sharing their stories of experience, strength and hope and speeches from Dr Sarah Flowers, Consultant Addiction Psychiatrist and long-time friend of Kennedy Street; and some stark statistics from Jason Mahoney, the Health and Wellbeing Lead, Office for Health Improvement Disparities, South East Region. He discussed that since the pandemic, alcohol has the highest death rate above heart disease or cancer. Alcoholism rates are rising and continue to do so. The rates are even higher in deprived areas.

All of this reminded us of the importance of what we do at Kennedy Street Recovery and why we do what we do. VISIBILITY is the key, shouting from the rooftops that recovery is possible and that we are here, to signpost and support anyone wanting a life in Recovery. 

For me personally, it was a day that made me proud of my own recovery, how we must continue to spread the word of recovery, signposting and helping others and that you never know who is going to be listening to what we have to say. 

Sarah W


This episode of the Kennedy Street Recovery Podcast is all about our visit to the AA presentation at the Houses of Parliament hosted by Dan Carden MP.


Hub notes #2 – May 21

Hub notes #2 – May 21

We had a big group at the Hub this weekend. New friends and old including Sue, the Mum of Sarah, one of our recovery volunteers, popped in for a cup of coffee, a slice of cake and a chat. She was really pleased to meet us all as she’d heard so much about us. As a group, we were really glad to meet her too – we always welcome and encourage friends and family to our Saturday get-together as it really helps to break down the taboo and stigma of addiction and helps them to understand what we, as people in recovery, get up to.

The lovely Emma from Sacred Senses Holistics also popped in to bring us an epic cake – there was much talk around the table about baking and cooking. Our Fare Share To Go table was full of delicious fresh fruits, veg and eggs so there may be lots of baking and cooking ideas in the weeks ahead!

Deli, one of our fabulous volunteer coordinators, was thinking on her feet and put a recipe ideas shout out on Facebook and got lots of delicious recipe ideas including pineapple, kiwi and pepper salsa, pineapple upside-down cake, okra in tomato sauce and roasted veggies. Jo (pineapple on her head) reported that she’d made a delicious spicy soup, with the fresh soup mixes she’d taken the week before, which was a hit with her kids and hubby.

Sarah brought some clothes for our ongoing clothing swap rail. Donations of clothes are always welcome to this, dear reader!

No yoga this week as the wonderful Teresa had family visiting, but with a homeopath, (our very own volunteer coordinator Emma who also runs her own holistic business Everyday Homeopathy Brighton), and an aromatherapist with us we talked about the absolute importance of our mental and physical wellbeing in recovery. Emma and Emma (yes really) are looking at ways to bring us regular sessions to promote and encourage natural ways of maintaining good health and mental wellness.

Our healthy lunch was delicious (thanks Emma – no not aromatherapy Emma, our Emma the homoeopath) with Clare’s zingy homemade pesto dressing – we all want the recipe for that as well. Emma’s cake (aromatherapy Emma) was a highly satisfying dessert with strawberries and cream – some people came back for a second slice but we weren’t counting – honest.

Once again the conversation turned to the difficulties family members have when they try to find greetings cards for their loved ones in recovery. So many depict bottles and glasses of alcohol and/or refer to getting drunk. We’ve yet to see ones showing drugs and quotes encouraging people to get wasted as a celebration but alcohol is legal so there are no restraints! We are pondering making our own clean and sober range so let us know if that’s something you would like – we did scribble down a couple of ideas for future use so watch out for developments.

We talked about how family members experience the despair of seeing an addict suffer and their feelings of helplessness. One person who’d been in rehab commented about one of the first and deepest regrets people share in rehab can be about parents – seldom a dry eye in the room during these discussions.

We also chatted about the prospect of having our own recovery hub premises in the future. Possibility Place has been a great location over the past few months and our deepest thanks go to them for their support.

Teresina’s Hub notes

Teresina’s Hub notes

I was present as my true authentic self because I did not feel any judgements, I mirrored what I was shown in the group. I was listened to and looked out for and spoken to like a human being and not with the shame and guilt that was spinning around in my mind. I was given space to be heard and provided with a super healthy lunch which we all shared together, I felt it created a unity between us. 

I was given information to read regarding the 12-step program, we have been reading through Back to Basics to get some knowledge of the program. The group study helped me free myself from my obsessive thoughts of wanting to escape my reality through alcohol, drug, people and food misuse. Going to the hub and later seeing Kennedy Street Recovery volunteers at probation made me feel safe thanks to them being relaxed, judgement-free, and sensitive, which is important because I also bring my baby who is just in his first months of infancy.

Attending sessions at Kennedy Street Recovery Hub, I have felt listened to and I have felt cared about. The recovery hub is on Saturdays, which is a great time because the weekend is one of the more difficult times to stay sober. So having the recovery hub to connect with others achieving their sobriety for long periods of time really inspires me to continue on my journey. When I was in need I was offered information on rehabilitation centres for family members who needed help with their life away from substance misuse. 

Volunteering for Kennedy Street charity has saved my life in ways that I haven’t even experienced yet. I am new to recovery after 20 years of alcohol and drug misuse, these wonderful people have inspired me after allowing me to be held in their company. When at times I have felt no use to anyone, they saw the best in me and I want so much to give back my spare time to help spread the word of life after alcohol and drug misuse. That there is one! They helped me to meet an incredible sponsor who really takes her time to work the program together at a pace I am able to and feel comfortable with so I can also manage my motherhood and yoga teacher training.

This recovery is ultimately a process and a lifelong journey for me, one day at a time. Their support has been one I will treasure for as long as I engage and am willing to stay sober and true to myself for my health and the health of my family. I have done this myself by keeping on turning up, listening and being present, and accepting help, (not easy actions for me by any means). Like Kennedy Street Recovery, my goal is sobriety.


Hub notes #1 – April 26

Hub notes #1 – April 26

There’s a great sense of community – chatting, enjoying a delicious lunch together and talking about recovery and how we each experience it.

Healthy eating is a popular topic – we have the talented Emma who whisks up lovely lunches for us and often has great suggestions for the free food donated by Tescos.


My personal favourites so far were the little bubble and squeak cakes I made using spring greens and potatoes.

And the roast pepper, onion and beetroot which became a delicious soup.

Regular activities include gentle yoga – led by Teresina.  All welcome – dogs included!

We read from a variety of material – usually a daily reader as well as working through the fabulous Wally P’s Back to Basics 12 Step Course.  

We’re setting up a little recovery library and it’s off to a good start with AA Big Books and some Al-Anon literature.  If anyone finds they’ve got a spare recovery book – 12 step, Smart Recovery, any kind, do please consider donating it to our cause – we will take good care of it and you may be helping someone who can’t afford to buy a book at present.

Kennedy Street meets Win Parry

Kennedy Street meets Win Parry

You can watch the original full-length Recovery Talk here and read our follow-up Q&A further down this page.

We hope you enjoy both!

KS: Tell us about your journey to becoming an addiction recovery therapist

WP: I came to therapy a little later in life. I was married with two children with a good job at Hoover as a Sales Trainer. I gave a good external impression of success and confidence which wasn’t perfectly mirrored internally. Life difficulties lead to some problematic drinking which led to my own personal recovery journey.

I’d always greatly admired people in the psychiatric profession. I thought they sat on the right arm of God and never really aspired to join them myself, but friends gradually persuaded me that I had the right abilities and skills to explore it.

I did my training at Edgbaston and joined the Priory Group as a trainee addiction counsellor. My first thought was to work with the homeless but I soon found myself working with people at the Priory who could afford to pay for their own treatment and I threw myself into it. I came to realise that regardless of their background and circumstances the emotional deprivation and desolation was just the same among addicts.

KS: Tell us about your work at the Priory

WP: I practiced the Minnesota Model which advocated total abstinence. 40 years ago this was seen as controversial. I remember being laughed and jeered at for speaking about it at conferences at a time when everything revolved around harm reduction and controlled drinking. There were few places which opened up to abstinence model back then, but the Priory was one of them, along with Clouds.

KS: What turned that around?

WP: It wasn’t easy to stand up for it, but the likes of Dr Brian Hore championed it, as did the Priory. People began to see that the recovery rates were so much better, so the proof of the pudding was in the eating. I was training others in it in Altrincham and had to be very patient with those less familiar with it. The statutory bodies were a closed shop, but AA was spreading too and the tide gradually turned.

Alcoholism wasn’t even seen as an addiction and much emphasis was placed on treating the root cause and correcting the reason, such as childhood trauma etc, but this approach meant that addicts were left with no shift in emotional resources. It seemed to make sense to get the alcohol out the way first and then resolve the underlying issues. Often there was a genetic predisposition too, you could see a history of alcohol abuse in families for instance.

Fellowships like AA started to be taken more seriously, when they were once dismissed as pseudo-religious, cult-like entities. I would host groups from the statutory bodies to pass on this learning. It was very gratifying to educate others to really understand addiction. But it’s only been in the past fifteen years since abstinence became the accepted model. Soon there were addiction programmes popping up all over the country and it became credible at long last.

KS: Kevin was one of many celebrities to benefit from your treatment Win. What are the main challenges associated with treating those in the public eye?

WP: Most ordinary people who come to the Priory can do so with few people knowing. They can hopefully ease their way back into work gradually. But it’s very difficult for famous people because they have a certain image to protect and can’t escape the glare of publicity during their recovery. It’s harder and more threatening because the focus is intensified on them. It’s not uncommon for a therapist to offer some support in attending events for this reason. The difficulty of attending a wedding or a funeral for example is magnified and only adds to existing anxiety about such critical situations.

Of course there are other challenges too. Celebrities are used to being liked and it can be hard to get them to stop performing when they attend groups. It’s not just celebrities though. Doctors and dentists have their own specific groups to attend so that they don’t have to worry about the stigma of their own patients finding out they have a problem.

KS: In the recent recovery talk we did with you, you covered the subject of denial in some detail. What’s important to understand about denial?

WP: It’s pointless pushing someone who’s lying about addiction into a corner. Eventually though they’ll reach a point where they can’t sustain the lie. Remember that not having a crutch to regulate your emotions is a terrifying thing. If you’re living with a young person who’s lying and stealing to fund their habit the best thing you can do is simply remove your valuables from the house, rather than telling them not to do it, which won’t wash.

When the dishonesty reaches a point that the consequences are just too great you have to be prepared to give an ultimatum – clean up or get out. Never give one unless you’re prepared to carry it out, avoid empty threats. Also have some help ready and available to the addict. Family members can often be a powerful lever to those needing help, so don’t underestimate the influence you weald.

KS: Once an addict has stopped using, how long can they expect that feeling of a void left by using this substance to last?

WP: Some people can last a while going cold turkey, but it can be a miserable existence getting by purely on white knuckled willpower. Without the right support users in recovery don’t know how to change their thinking and regulate their emotions. The early euphoria doesn’t last. You’ll soon hit reality when life deals you something difficult.

It’s only when you start to change your attitudes and learn new coping strategies that you’ll feel better. You find new ways of regulating stressors and that abyss fades and shrinks once you do. People’s desire to drink leaves them if they practice a programme of abstinence through therapy and support groups. You have to submit yourself fully to recovery and accept that abstinence is the only possible way to become well again.


KS: After a long and successful career at the Priory you retired and went into private practice. How did you find that transition?

WP: I did some general counselling courses at Keele University, pursued some different specialisms and advanced my training overseas too, as I knew that it was important to be as knowledgeable about general life issues as I was on addiction. But I found it relatively easy really and my practice soon grew to be full time. I was well known after 25 years at the Priory and had a good referral base.

I’d made good connections with various faith groups and many of my clients today come from these. Some of my clients are third generation now – their grandparents would have seen me and referred them on.

Today around 50% of my practice focusses on addictions, and that which doesn’t often looks at repeated behaviours which causes problems. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result and that’s very true of all addictions. The addictive object disinhibits them. It can turn the mildest, gentlest people into monsters.

KS: Finally Win, do you have any words of encouragement for anyone newly entering recovery today?

WP: If you’re listening to and learning from others who’ve recovered and are enjoying a good quality of life then wonderful things await you. Your life will change beyond your wildest dreams. That may sound trite but it could mean for example that you can be free of that tyrannical relationship, finally become a healthier parent or simply face every day without fear or anger. You will find connection in life to your thoughts and feelings which you’ve been searching for in an addiction and which always eluded you.