So stigma hits my headlines again. This last week I’ve been talking to AdFam about their 30th anniversary celebrations, who’re planning to demonstrate the many faces of families affected by addictions. A wonderfully inspirational project that I’m extremely proud to be a small part. However it leads us on to having to think about how the stigma of addiction affects all! Yes, even those who believe themselves to be completely unaffected.

So many people are still denying their family situation of a loved ones addiction, as if to deny the reality of their life reduces its impact. So many will deny how their loved ones died as to acknowledge it was addiction related somehow diminishes it in others eyes. Cruel comments about those abusing drugs and alcohol diminish, as a society, our compassion for those seriously unwell and in need of our care and love. So, yes, I believe addiction affects us all. Whether we fear it entering our lives, live with it daily or resent its impact on our communities and social activities.
I’m often confronted with negative comments and I’ve learnt to not get as angry as I used to, I now smile and remind them that these are sick people who need treatment.  Anyone can be affected by addiction, there can be no stereotypes.

And so, last year at Western Counselling’s Recovery Festival and Reunion to celebrate our 30th anniversary we announced our intention to start a charity to assist access to treatment, those in treatment and finance to reduce the barriers to families accessing help and support for themselves.
Help For Addiction Now is a registered charity (1156655) that we intend to launch at Western Counselling Reunion 06 September 2014.
Our first fundraising event will be a walk/cycle to Manchester from Weston- super-Mare from 07 September to 13 September, to join the UK Recovery Walk. The approximate distance of 183miles is a long way, particularly given those that have volunteered to take part are no gym bunnies!!

We urge you to support our cause and endeavours and look out for the JustGiving page which we’ll announce on Western Counselling’s Facebook page very soon. Please retweet on twitter (@H3lp4addiction #walkingtothewalk) and share and like our status’s when they appear on Facebook. We would love to raise a lot of money and start making a difference, raising the profile of treatment and recovery and reducing the humiliation of stigma.