Recovery Month – September 2022

Recovery Month – September 2022

This month, charities and organisations across the UK and beyond our celebrating Recovery Month! 

Faces and Voices of Recovery, who pioneered the Recovery Month movement, shared this about their theme and ideas:

Recovery Month increases awareness and understanding of mental health and substance use disorders and encourages individuals in need of treatment and recovery services to seek help. Recovery Month celebrates individuals living lives in recovery and recognizes the dedicated workers who provide the prevention, treatment, and recovery support services that help make recovery possible.

Recovery is for everyone because it benefits everyone. In recovery, we build new connections to ourselves, our families, and our communities. The Recovery Month tagline, “Recovery is for Everyone: Every Person, Every Family, Every Community” reminds people in recovery and those who support them, that recovery belongs to all of us. We are all called to end gatekeeping and welcome everyone to recovery by lowering barriers to recovery support, creating inclusive spaces and programs, and broadening our understanding of what recovery means for people with different experiences. While it may be tempting to characterize recovery as a universal experience or single journey, our community is proof that there are as many pathways to and of recovery as there are people. Our strength is our diversity and because of who we are, the recovery community has unique opportunities to learn, challenge, grow, and dream. By expanding traditional, limited conceptions of recovery, which center on white, heterosexual, cisgender, religious, wealthy perspectives, we enrich everyone’s experience. Mental health and substance use disorder are not one-size-fits-all conditions, nor do they affect everyone equally. Looking beyond our individual experiences strengthens and supports recovery in all its forms. The recovery community has a powerful foundation of mutual aid, peer support, and adaptability. As we grow in empathy and understanding, we save lives by adding protective factors and building resiliency. Our “I” must become our “we.”

Recovery Month educates others about recovery from mental health, substance use, and co-occurring disorders, the effectiveness of treatment and recovery support services, and that recovery is possible. All of us, from celebrities and sports figures to our co-workers, neighbours, friends, and family members, throughout our lives have experienced peaks and valleys, both big and small. And, with strength, support and hope from the people we love, we are resilient.

The level of understanding and compassion shown by all … from the initial helpline call to the partnership I established with my recovery coach, has made my recovery journey life-changing. – Don, 34. Employed.

Kennedy Street For Communities:

At Kennedy Street, we are passionate about reaching those in our community who are seeking recovery. This is the reason that we are launching our Recovery Hub in Brighton this October! Our new Recovery Hub will be the home for all our work at Kennedy Street. From drop-in sessions, fellowship meetings and sober socials, to business-for-good and volunteer training, our Hub will be a welcoming home from which to support the community and promote recovery in Brighton and beyond. The Kennedy Street Hub provides a safe space for people to find out about recovery options and to come together to meet and learn from peers who are in recovery.


We offer recovery support and coaching, workshops to help personal development and future employment potential, and there are always volunteering opportunities to help others. We work intensively with people, giving wrap-around support to help them sort out sometimes chaotic lives, and mentoring and coaching to help them sustain their recovery.

We are so grateful for all those who have helped us already in getting our Hub ready – from gardening and painting, to donating resources and doing odd jobs – we are so pleased to see everything coming together! But, to allow our Hub to keep running, and to really make a difference in the lives of those in our community, we are seeking funding towards our ongoing work.

If you want to get involved, and play your part in celebrating and promoting recovery in Brighton and beyond, check out our fundraising page and see what a difference your support can make!

“Trust me these people save lives! Thanks to the support and guidance I received, I was able to stay in work whilst establishing a plan of action with my recovery coach.” – Rose, employed, LGBTQ+

Kennedy Street For People:

We aim to support all individuals who struggle with any addiction who are seeking recovery or who are concerned about their loved ones addiction. We understand that addiction a hugely diverse issue – any person can develop an addiction to any thing – from drugs and alcohol, to sex and relationships, to gambling or technology. We want to meet people where they are at in their recovery journey, and get them connected with the best support available for them. Check out our blog post and podcast discussing the difference between women and men when it comes to recovery. Our Resource List provides recovery support options that cover a huge variety of addictions, needs, and options, to help you find what support is right for you.

Kennedy Street For Families:

We recognise that addiction doesn’t just impact the individual, but has huge repercussions for family members, too. We want to support those affected and provide advice and resources not only to encourage the addict to receive support, but help loved ones to deal with the impact the addiction has on themselves. Listen to our podcast on Family Recovery and check out our Resource List for information on services for family and friends of addicts.

“If my mum had not phoned Kennedy Street when she did, I’m not sure if I’d still be here.” – Kurt, university student

Alcohol Awareness Month

Alcohol Awareness Month

“Sobriety has given me a life I’d never had and to this day I feel grateful every single day and grateful for the fellowship of AA  and life skills I’ve learned over the 22 years I’ve been sober, one day at a time. When I go to bed at night after not having had a drink, no matter what, it’s been a good day.”

– Nigel, Kennedy Street Recovery Story

One important thing to remember is that there is no one type of person that can be impacted by alcohol addiction. Those from all walks of life can find themselves in patterns of problematic drinking that interferes with their lives, relationships and jobs.

Current Alcohol Use in the UK

      Evidence suggests that businesses lose between £866 – £1062 million per year, in costs related to losses of labour and productivity from alcohol misuse alone.

      24% of workers admitted to drinking during the workday in the past year.

      22% of workers admit to making mistakes at work due to having a hangover.

      15% of workers admit to being drunk at work at least occasionally.

     Public Health England’s data on the indirect effects of COVID-19  found that in June 2020, over 8.4 million people (1 in 5) were drinking at higher risk, up from just 4.8 million (1 in 10) in Feb 2020.

Benefits of Stopping Drinking

While many people know the negative impacts that excessive drinking can have, most don’t realize the significant benefits that come when you stop drinking.

Healthier Body – Heart, Liver, Immune System & More

Drinking heavily has a huge impact on your health and can lead to serious and even fatal consequences, including:

  • liver cirrhosis
  • fatty build up in the liver and heart
  • increased risk of many types of cancer
  • high blood pressure
  • weakened immune system
  • & many more.

The good news is, that stopping drinking can strengthen your body and reduce these risks significantly. The liver itself can repair and even regenerate on its own!

Improve Your Brain Function & Mental Health

Long-term alcohol abuse can impact the brain in a number of ways, including:

  • impairing your motor function and reaction times
  • issues with memory and focus
  • mental health issues like depression and anxiety

It can be the cause of many serious injuries and accidents including burns, drowning, falls, and traffic accidents that can be fact. It is also often linked to suicide. When you stop drinking, your risk of these types of accidents dramatically decreases, and your brain function can begin to improve.

Better Sleep

Although many use alcohol as a way to fall asleep at night, it actually disrupts the important stages of sleep, makes it difficult to stay asleep and can interfere with your breathing at night. Stopping drinking means that your body is able to get more good quality sleep, and can help you wake up feeling truly rested, and develop a healthier sleeping pattern for the future.

Weight Loss & Nutrition

Drinking excessively can deplete the body of vital nutrients, and those with alcohol addiction often use drinking to replace meals. It can also affect the body’s ability to digest food and absorb nutrients, which can have significant health impacts. Many types of alcohol are also incredibly high in calories and sugar, so cutting out drinking can help you to lose weight and stay healthy.

Improved Relationships

Alcohol addiction can have a huge impact on your relationship with those around you. It can lead to shame and guilt, cause you to become withdrawn or avoid loved ones in pursuit of drinking, and affect your mood and how you interact with others. Prolonged excessive drinking can also impact your brain’s ability to read other people’s emotions. One of the joys of reaching recovery is that it allows you to rebuild damaged relationships and develop more healthy connections, and allows you to connect with a supportive recovery community. Stopping drinking can also increase your sex drive and sexual performance, too!

“I’ve learnt to love myself because that little shy girl doesn’t need a mask in order to tackle life. She doesn’t need to put on a show or pretend to be anything other than the being that she is today. Annie is not afraid anymore for she has dealt with things that have at times seemed impossible to the point where death was the easier option. I now have a life I love. A home I cherish and bless every day. Family and friends who I have unconditional love for. A body and brain that are still working and working well. Plenty to celebrate!

– Anon, Kennedy Street Recovery Story

Stopping Drinking

Addiction is not always about the amount being consumed, but the impact that your drinking has on your life and your loved ones. You can check out some questions here that might help you to determine if you’re drinking might be becoming and issue.

But for those drinking excessively and who have become dependent, there are some signficant risks of withdrawal that can be dangerous, if someone is to stop drinking without the proper support to detox. Signs of withdrawal can include: cold sweats, racing pulse, nausea, vomiting, shaky hands, intense anxiety, and even seizures and hallucinations.

If you’re worried about withdrawal, you can use the Drinkaware Self-Assessment Tool,, and it is important to discuss any of these concerns with your GP, who can help you access support to detox if needed.

At Kennedy Street, we don’t just want to help you to stop drinking but to also maintain sobriety and thrive in recovery! You can contact us today and find out how we can help you. Call our Recovery Helpline on 020 3416 3643 or Contact Us, and check out our Recovery Resources for more helpful tools and contacts to support you in your pursuit of recovery.

Additional Support

AA – Alcoholics Anonymous

For those seeking help with an alcohol problem. AA is about personal recovery and the continued sobriety of individual alcoholics who turn to the Fellowship for help.
0800 9177 650

Sobriety Counter – Stop Drinking (EasyQuit)

This is a great motivational app for those that have stopped drinking. It tracks several elements, including how long you’ve been sober, the relevant health benefits, motivational tips and money saved. It’s easy to use and highly rated.
iPhone app store
Android app store


This app helps you track your drinking from day to day, provides you with your current risk level, and also offers a GPS function that can offer you some encouragement if you’re near a ‘trigger’ location for you. Available on Google Play and App Store:

Celebrating Women In Recovery – IWD 2022

Celebrating Women In Recovery – IWD 2022

“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist, nor to any one organization, but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.” 

Gloria Steinem, world-renowned feminist, journalist and activist.

A Remarkable Woman in Recovery History – Marty Mann

With a privileged upbringing in Chicago in the early 1900’s, Marty was known for her ability to “hold her drink” in social gatherings, but despite her apparent personal and professional success, her drinking began to spiral out of control. After at least one known attempt to take her own life, Marty sought treatment and joined Alcoholics Anonymous in 1939, when there were still only two chapters of AA in the world. 

Although other women had joined AA already, Marty became the first-ever woman to achieve lasting sobriety through the program.

In her recovery, Marty did incredible work that influenced the recovery landscape in a way that we can still appreciate to this day.

  • Originally called Alcoholics Anonymous: The Story of How More Than One Hundred Men Have Recovered from Alcoholism, it was Marty who renamed The Big Book that 12-step programs across the world still use today. 
  • She also penned the chapter “Women Suffer Too”, included in the 2nd to 4th (and current) editions of the book.
  • She helped to tackle the stigma around addiction through promoting the “disease model” of addiction, drastically influencing our understanding of addiction today as not being a moral failing, but a condition that needs treatment.
  • Marty helped to found the Yale School of Alcoholic Studies (now at Rutgers) and organized what is now known as the NCADD: the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.

Another incredible woman in recovery history, Lois W. (wife of Bill W. who co-founded AA) is discussed on our Kennedy Street Recovery podcast this month.


Equal But Unique – The Difference in Men’s & Women’s Recovery

Historically, addiction rates among men were much higher than among women, but in recent years this has not been the case. However, there may be reasons for this gap, including the fact that until recently, women would often be diagnosed with physical or mental health issues without doctors ever asking about their levels of drinking, or because the cultural expectations of men and women are so different. But there are also some important differences that should be considered when it comes to the progression of addictions and the approaches to recovery. 

Did you know?

The female body processes alcohol and substancesdifferently

Meaning that women drinking the same amount as men may have a higher blood alcohol level and be more susceptible to its effects and related damage.

Connection and community are vital in recovery, and female brains are hardwired for it

Even in the womb, the communication centres in the brain develop differently for men and women. Women’s natural tendencies to develop connections and relationships with others on a similar journey are a key asset in recovery.

Women and men often respond well to different approaches to recovery

Women often respond best to a supportive and relational approach, recognising the high levels of guilt and shame many women have in seeking help.

This might include:

  • empowerment vs compliance
  • working on self-reliance vs reliance on others
  • a program based on action vs feelings
  • practicing self-care vs focusing care on others

Women experience certain issues at a higher rate than men, which need to be addressed in recovery

This can include:

  • food/body issues
  • lower self-esteem
  • mood issues (that may be linked to hormonal changes)
  • high levels of stress or anxiety
  • relationship or intimacy issues
  • trauma (that may be a result of sexual or other abuse),
  • desire to reduce sexual inhibitions
  • tendencies to “self-medicate”
  • feelings of shame/guilt

The fact that women in our society are still often expected to be care-takers – responsible for taking care of their children, husbands, households, appearance – at a far higher standard than men may have something to do with society’s perception of women and addiction.

Often when it comes to women and addiction, much of the conversation is focused on issues of motherhood and pregnancy. Are women who are battling addiction more harshly judged, deemed as failures, for not keeping up to the standards society sets for a “real woman”? Is society more accepting, tolerant of and sympathetic to men struggling with addiction? This may be true for many women, and these standards and judgements can be internalized, causing guilt and shame that stop them from reaching out for help.

Other barriers to help may include lower wages or income, childcare responsibilities or the fear of losing their children, or lack of access to appropriate support.

This is why it is important we continue to #BreakTheBias especially when it comes to recovery.

Supporting Women In Recovery Today

At Kennedy Street, we always want to celebrate the amazing women choosing recovery, and help more women find the recovery support that’s right for them. On International Women’s Day this year, we hosted a Celebrate Women in Recovery party, with incredible guest speakers sharing their stories and what they’ve achieved in their recovery. We are so grateful to all who attended and shared, including Soul Analyse, who gifted our guests with some of their gorgeous affirmation jewellery.

We offer a weekly Women’s Recovery Connects Group at Africa House in Brighton for women interested in learning more about recovery and what recovery support is available in the area. More details here.

We also run a child-friendly Recovery Club House every Saturday at Possibility Place in Brighton. More details can be found on our Facebook page, or sign-up here.

You can also contact our Recovery Helpline on 020 3416 3643 (9am-9pm) to speak to one of our team who can help you find the right support to start your recovery journey.