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

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
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.