Our forthcoming Recovery Awareness Reception on October 2nd will be held in alliance with eating disorder experts, Montrose Manor who are based in Cape Town. With a long-standing relationship in collaboration of care we share similar views about addiction – what it is and how it should be treated – and similar frustrations around how the illness is perceived and therefore treated in the UK.
Charter is predominantly designed as a day programme where people can get well in the context of their lives. This is a deliberate design as those addicts I want to work with are not at the critical end of the continuum (though they may feel it) but somewhere in between, where denial still reigns and trouble usually follows. These people, these addicts, are living amongst us, on the tube, at work; they are serving you, picking up the kids, functioning at some level. These are my clients. I work where intervention happens in time for a full and happy life to be possible.
I believe that abstinence is not the goal, but the means, and thus at Charter we work with each client on the core characteristics of addiction rather than necessarily the drug of choice, reducing the risk of devastating relapse and cross addiction.
Addiction is a human condition, it’s relational and it operates on a continuum. Where you are on that continuum plays a huge part in what sort of treatment you will respond best to. The work we do here is extraordinary, consistently turning out sustainable recovery, as evidenced by our thriving aftercare community. It is possible not only to get clean, but also to live a happy and fulfilling life. Aim for the stars…(and don’t stop flapping your wings ‘til you get there!)
One of the reasons I was interested in hosting this event with Montrose was because we need challenging dialogue amongst the thinkers and decision makers who are interested in this incredibly difficult human condition so that addiction is not marginalised to the confines of the extreme cases, but seen in a broader light, often where an opportunity of early intervention lies. (Is this where I mention being able to spot an addict at age 7…?)