25 August 2017

“My life used to be all about drink and drugs but I get up in the morning now and feel so much better. I think what was all that fear and worry about? I feel alive. I feel like I can do anything.”

These are the words of a local man addicted to drugs and alcohol for nearly 30 years. He is now clean and encouraging others to get help during this year’s National Recovery Month, which starts on Friday, 1 September.

Each year, services, charities and groups put on events throughout September to celebrate people’s recovery and promote the support available in Sheffield.

And this year, Recovery Month is starting with a 50th anniversary party at support charity Addaction. It takes place on Friday, 1 September from 11am, and everyone is invited.

Beth Morton, Community Engagement Coordinator at Sheffield Addaction, said: “We’re delighted to be celebrating 50 years of Addaction at the start of National Recovery Month.

“Throughout the month, our service users and other local people recovering from substance or alcohol misuse can enjoy life and present themselves as living proof of recovery – a living presence offering hope to others still suffering.”

More than 20 free events are taking place in Sheffield to celebrate recovery during September. They also promote the treatment and support available.

Councillor Cate McDonald, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care at Sheffield City Council, said: “There is free support and treatment for anyone experiencing drug and alcohol issues in Sheffield.

“We want to raise awareness of this and encourage people to seek help as early as possible. People can refer themselves directly to services or go through their GP. There are no waiting times for assessment, and you can walk into services and be seen there and then by one of our experienced staff. There’s also a huge amount of support from others, with more than 40 support groups across the city.”

Visit www.sheffielddact.org.uk or call (0114) 273 6851 for confidential advice and information about the help on offer in Sheffield, as well as the events taking place during recovery month.

Adam’s story:
Adam Holmes, aged 44 from Crookes, (quoted above) explains why he is encouraging others to seek help:

“I started drinking and smoking cannabis at 14. I had a difficult childhood and left home at 16, and things just got worse.

“I got in with the wrong crowd and started getting into trouble with the police. I started with acid and amphetamines when I was about 19. I remember the first time I injected… all that stuff from my childhood just went ‘see you later.’

“Over the years I moved away from Sheffield, spent time in jail, went in and out of hostels and tried different rehabs. But I just messed about with it because I wasn’t doing it for me – I was doing it for other people.

“Things changed after a relationship break-up and I thought to myself ‘what am I doing?’ I was ready to take my own life at that moment.

“My doctor sent me to a support group and I detoxed over Christmas. I’d been in and out of detox four or five times before but this time was different. I got more support. People from Sheffield’s recovery community visited me – before that point I hadn’t had anyone. I had friends around me and that really helped.

“I did struggle through the recovery programme. It’s not easy. If you suppress everything for years and then you let all your feelings come back…

“But I’m still here. I volunteer for loads of the support services and have been clean for more than a year. I think I’ve been a help to some people when they’ve struggled.

“The main thing I’d tell other people is to get support. I couldn’t have done it on my own – I tried to and it didn’t work. But there’s something going on with services and groups every day in Sheffield and you’re not alone. That’s one of the things I love about Sheffield. You’re spoiled for choice.

“It doesn’t matter how you find recovery or what route you take, as long as you can get it.”

Highlights during recovery month:
The full schedule of activities during National Recovery Month is available online at http://sheffielddact.org.uk/drugs-alcohol/national-recovery-month/.

Highlights include:

  • 1 September, Opening event, Addaction’s 50th birthday party – Addaction are one of the support services, commissioned by Sheffield City Council (party from 11am-4pm at Victoria Methodist Church, Stafford Road, Sheffield S2 2SE)
  • 13 September, Ride to Recovery – bike ride around Derwent Dam (from 11am – 3.30pm)
  • 29 September – Recovery awards and celebration event, Town Hall (from 2pm – 4.30pm)