On September 13 (2014), approximately 8,000 people gathered in the streets of Manchester for an organised march. They were not marching to protest war or raise awareness of the latest social cause. They were marching in celebration of having achieved recovery from either drugs, alcohol, or both. By all accounts, the 2014 edition of the UK Recovery Walk was a huge success.

One of the main features of the event was an address by actor Kevin Kennedy. The former Coronation Street star has been open about his own struggles with alcohol more than a decade ago. He is the patron of the annual walk, always willing to talk about his past struggle to recover.

UK Recovery Walk is an annual event that draws former drug and alcohol addicts from around the UK. September’s walk in Manchester was the first held in the city, but undoubtedly not the last. Manchester provided a very welcoming environment for a walk that began at 2pm at Liverpool Road. Organisers say this year’s crowd was the biggest since the walk started six years ago.

A Winnable Fight

It is unfortunate that society often embraces a defeatist attitude when it comes to the idea of drug and alcohol recovery. Far too often, we just assume that substance abuse and addiction are problems we cannot do anything about other than learning to live with them. However, the UK Recovery Walk says otherwise. It clearly demonstrates that the fight against substance abuse is a winnable fight with the right treatment and support.

Undoubtedly, each of the participants in the Manchester walk could share similar stories about what they have been through. Nevertheless, each has his or her own story as well. There is no getting around the fact that people are different; how they deal with the recovery process will also be different. Yet all have one thing in common: they have managed to win their own personal fight against drugs or alcohol.

Some of these individuals may have gone through residential treatment at a private clinic. Others may have used a combination of NHS services, charity services, and help from a support group. Yet how each one recovered is not as important as the fact that they did recover. Seeing 8,000 individuals march down the streets of Manchester should be inspiration to us all that complete recovery is possible. We should never give up hope.

A Changed Outlook

We suspect an interview with any of the 8,000 participants would review a changed outlook in the heart and mind of that individual. If their outlooks can be changed, so can ours. We do not have to just assume that solving the substance abuse problem in the UK is not possible. It is possible. Moreover, we need to start approaching the problem with that attitude.

If the culture adopts a positive attitude toward recovery, we make it easier to influence addicts and substance abusers with the same attitude. Our confidence will instil confidence in them, encouraging them to make the most of their treatment opportunities. On the other hand, a continued attitude of defeat is understood and accepted by those in recovery. Such an attitude makes it much harder for them to succeed over the long term.

Addiction Helper would like to publicly congratulate all those who have successfully recovered from drug and alcohol addiction. We encourage you to help others who find themselves in the same position. We will continue doing our part to offer free evaluations, advice, and referrals by way of our 24-hour addiction recovery helpline. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you need help.

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