National Recovery Month is in full swing and at Phoenix we have seen the launch of the Recovery Street Film Festival, the Voyage of Recovery set sail, and hundreds of people take part in the UK Recovery Walk in Durham to kick off the celebrations.
We asked a couple of Phoenix staff and supporters what the awareness-raising month means to them.
Soul Bukhari, a Phoenix Futures Volunteer, said: “I think what recovery month means to people in recovery is that we get to show society that we can recover, and also get rid of that stigma that once a junkie always a junkie. So as a recovering addict, for me personally, I believe that we can excel in life if we are given a chance and not let our past define us."
Bob Campbell, who has been involved with Phoenix Futures’ work since 1984, said: “The importance of Recovery Month is that it provides all of those in recovery a chance to demonstrate that recovery does not happen in isolation and that those undertaking rehabilitation should feel a part of the wider community.
“It gives the recovery community the opportunity to engage with their local communities, helping to create a more sympathetic and understanding environment within which people taking their first steps back into society, can overcome fears of prejudice and exclusion. In the words of the Phoenix Philosophy those in recovery can feel “a part of the whole with a share in its purpose.”
Philip Yules from our Hampshire Residential Service said: “I believe that Recovery Month is important to people in recovery, as it provides a means of collective celebration about what is possible, as well as a means of disseminating hope to those who need hope. It allows people to hold hands (whether physically or metaphorically) and say “We did it!”. Recovery Month is the good news rather than the tragedy.
“Recovery Month makes recovery visible and will continue to help to de-stigmatize addiction, so that it can be treated by society as the health and social care problem which it is rather than the tabloid headline version. It is important to raise awareness that recovery is possible and that society benefits from prevention, treatment and recovery services.”