By freyaleng | Posted: November 10, 2014
Making sense of an addiction and learning to overcome it will be the focus of a new roadshow coming to Cambridge for the first time.
A team of experts will be speaking this weekend at the Belfry Hotel in Cambourne in the first series of roadshows up and down the country including Oxford, Leicester and Birmingham, to help people who are struggling with addiction.
With 10 per cent of the British population have an addictive disease, a strong, uncontrollable need to drink alcohol, take drugs, or carry out a particular activity such as over eating, gambling or promiscuity without an ability to control it, the roadshow sets out to explain precisely what it is and how it can be stopped.
Three speakers – who have all been addicts themselves – will explain how family members can actually help their loved ones who are currently going through addiction, even if they are not willing to stop yet.
And concerned friends and families will be given a thorough explanation on how to conquer addiction once and for all.
Roadshow founder Ian Young, who is one of the speakers at the event, successfully recovered from a 13-year drug and alcohol addiction in 2001 after a 15-week stint in rehab.
The 43-year-old, who grew up in Cambridge, said nowadays people struggling with an addiction do not need to hit ‘rock bottom’ before getting help whereas he was at his lowest point before he did something about it.
“We were told to wait until we were ready to stop, then people would help us,” he said. “These days, we have much more defined therapies and procedures where we can intervene at a much earlier stage.
“People don’t need to hit such a low point before they stop now. That’s really what the Addiction Roadshow is about. We’re going to be telling people what it means to have an addiction and how people make promises they can’t keep even though they are genuinely sincere.
“I promised I was going to stop doing cocaine, then the weekend would come and I would be at a party and I would be offered some and I couldn’t resist. It was the same with heroin, I would go cold turkey and sit there and go through the sweats then be out at the weekend and have some more.
“I was sincere and made a pledge to stop but I couldn’t go through with it. We’re going to be trying to explain to family members why it’s so heartbreaking to see someone who you love and care about in the throws of any addiction who are unable to stop themselves from doing the things they don’t want to be doing.”
The presenters will explain not only how to overcome the problem, but also clarify how addiction works and how to receive immediate help, even if the addict refuses to address their problem.
And they will describe and explore what recovery from addiction actually looks like and how people can get help and treatment as well as get the opportunity to speak to therapists for free.
“I want families to get a bit of a help and them to know it’s a mental illness and can be addressed,” said Mr Young. “And about recovery. When someone finds a place where they no longer think about themselves first and are able to put other people before them.”
Mr Young knows only too well how the withdrawal symptoms of “detoxing” from drugs and alcohol can be horrifying. He took drugs and drank alcohol on a daily basis from when he was 16 until the age of 29.
He first began playing around with hallucinogenics and ‘party drugs’ for seven years before moving on to heroin, cocaine and smoking crack cocaine.
“I was a successful DJ in the mid-1990s but at the same time, I couldn’t hold it together without getting high,” he said. “After a while, I stopped turning up to gigs, I was more interested in staying at home and using cocaine. I watched my career peak but in the last three years [of my addiction], it got pretty miserable. My life got smaller and smaller.
“I did anything I needed to do [to feed the habit], petty crime, stealing and shop lifting. I no longer liked the person I became.”
After being evicted on Christmas Eve, he went back to live with his parents and went on a self-imposed detox before going into rehab.
“By the time I ended up going to rehab I couldn’t bend my elbows or knees, my hair was falling out and I my eye sight and hearing was damaged. I was a physical wreck,” he said.
“I didn’t need to go that low. That’s the good thing about intervention, we can start work before that. I went in to rehab for 15 weeks, It was a really exhilarating experience. When I came out I was a different person.”
To book a place at the roadshow, which takes place on Saturday at the Belfry Hotel, Back Lane, Cambourne, from 1.30pm to 5.30pm, visit addictionroadshow.co.uk.
Read more: http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Team-experts-set-bring-Addiction-Roadshow/story-24458426-detail/story.html#ixzz3IlNRRwxa
This is a story that needs to be told. Well, at least I need to tell it. I’m bound by my commitment to return the favour that the Spirit of the Universe deemed appropriate for me to recover, to then pass it on.