The barriers to recovering from a drug or alcohol addiction are a mix of practical and emotional, a new study has revealed.

A survey of hundreds of people on the journey of recovery carried out in Kentucky, USA, by a University and a local recovery advocacy support group found that there were common barriers that hampered people in their recovery efforts.

recovery from_addiction

The Top 5 most common barriers cited by recovering addicts were:

1. Returning to environments associated with past substance misuse.

2. Worrying about letting others down.

3. Trying to cope with finances (such as paying rent or past debts).

4. Coping with life's major problems (redundancy, poverty).

5. Knowing how to best structure time.

Other problems that people faced on their recovery journeys were finding housing if they had a prior conviction, learning ways of coping without using substances, and trying to make other people understand more about addiction, recovery, and what it entails.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if there was one place where people could go at the beginning of their recovery journey to address all these issues at once? Well, there is. And there could be more places, with a little help from you.

I am Chair of a charity called DiversityInCare, which provides specialist supported housing to people wanting to recover. We house people safely away from dangerous influences and past hangouts – we take ex-offenders and people with complex needs too; we help our residents claim any money they are entitled to and help them manage it wisely; we provide them with guidance, access to counselling and the tools to deal with life without using substances; we keep them busy with training and volunteer work.

And as an organisation, we have always promoted a message of understanding and anti-stigma. In fact, I am an ex-addict myself and am not afraid to share all the twists and turns of my own journey from the streets to the Boardroom. What could send a stronger and more compelling message of hope and truth than that?

The thing is, our work has been so well-received by the local community and clients – and we can understand why, now that we see how many barriers it breaks, making the journey of recovery easier for each individual we work with – that we need to do more of what we're doing.


We have agencies wanting to refer to us right now, and people waiting desperately for our help. But we must secure more housing units and need to raise funds to do it.

If you can give anything to support us to be able to open a new house for vulnerable women with drug and alcohol-related issues, please do. Every penny, pound, dollar and cent counts in breaking down barriers and helping people change their lives.

Read more, fundraise, or donate here. Thank you. Your support means so much to us and those we work with.


Do you think there is no life after addiction? That you're not capable of going on and creating a successful, fulfilling life? If you're stuck in that hole of believing that sobriety is boring or that no-one will want you to do important things because of how badly you screwed up before, then let this be a little story to inspire you.

I was someone who had more things wrong with me than were right with me. Since my teens, I had been an alcoholic, bulimic, self-harming, depressed, borderline personality-disordered, anxiety-disordered mess. I spent a long time dragging myself from one chaotic situation to another in despair and attempting suicide in between.

After a lot of suffering and a lot of hard work and help, I entered recovery from all those things, one by one.

I'm now 35 and was appointed as the Chair of a rather special charity this year. I have been with DiversityInCare as a regular member of the Board of Trustees for a while, but in 2015, I was asked to step up and take over as Chair.diversity in_care_presentation

DiversityInCare works with people who wish to overcome a wide range of issues associated with drug and or alcohol addiction. Its CEO recognised that my past experience was an asset, not something to hold me back or distrust me for. The charity helps people who have been involved in criminal behaviour or domestic violence due to an addiction, and those who have shaky mental health. I had experience of all these situations.

A Chair is someone who ensures that an organisation is running smoothly and ethically and providing the service it was set up for. Who better than someone who has been on the other end of services to make sure that we are running the charity in a way that safeguards our clients' welfare and progress?

DiversityInCare is a national charity, but its activities are currently based in London. One of the things that attracted me to the charity was that it offered an individualised plan for service users, tailored to their needs. That is something that I find especially important, since everyone has their own journey to recovery, so it's a really exciting charity to work with.

So whether you're just beginning your recovery journey, contemplating what might be possible in sobriety, or are letting your self-esteem hamper your success, remember you are capable of whatever you set your mind to. In fact, if you're in recovery now, then you've already succeeded in winning one of the greatest battles there is. Don't be afraid of being able to build a fun and fulfilling future. You can, as long as you think you can.

Social care charities could always use some passionate, savvy volunteers, fundraisers and trustees who understand the world of addiction, so if you're up for a New Years challenge, why not join me as part of a team making a real difference to the world because of what we've been through, not in spite of it.

Most people don't live wisely. I know this because I used to be one of those people.

Most people go through life without ever stopping to ponder whether or not what they are doing is actually getting them what they want and need. The majority of people react to life rather than responding to it, meaning they don't take the time to stop and think about what they are doing or where they are headed, what mistakes they keep repeating, or how to really make the best decisions for themselves.

As someone with a previous diagnosis of Borderline Personlity Disorder, I was certainly living my life that way for a long time. And as someone who turned to alcohol to deal with a crippling anxiety disorder, I was also guilty of not using real wisdom to solve my problems. It was a case of grasping onto what seemed to work without considering the bigger picture or any alternative ways out of my problems. Thankfully, I learnt what I had to, and now enjoy a much better life.

After recovering, I changed my career, and as a therapist and author specialising in addictions and mental health, I now help people make healthy, wise choices. Many people with these sorts of problems enjoy my books, articles and videos and find great benefit from my 1:1 work. But over the last year, I found that I was sending chapters from The Happy Addict (my book about becoming happy after suffering from an addiction) to people who had never been addicts, because there was so much advice and many tools in those pages that would apply to their lives too.


More and more people told me that parts of The Happy Addict helped them, even though they weren't addicts and they asked me to write a more mainstream book that everyone could use. So I am working on a less niche book at the moment, which I hope will be accessible for anyone who wants to improve their life.

But in the meantime ,I decided to start a brand new website where people from all walks of life can access a little wisdom to help them live life more wisely, happily and healthily. I know that wisdom changed my own life and I hope it can help you change yours.

The new site is called 'Wiseism', and you can take a look at it here:

I don't claim to know everything, but I am someone who has gathered a lot of wisdom - in the first place I had to do it to help me sort out my own life and now I still seek wisdom to help me do my job better as well as continue my growth as a person. As the site evolves, I hope to invite others to post their own pearls of wisdom on the site.

For now, thank you to all who have given me wisdom, and to those that have made me learn a little bit more to help them out of thier own pain.

Peace, love, and wisdom. That's where you find freedom. Thanks for reading and enjoy the new website.

I'm co-hosting a FREE event on OVERCOMING STRESS on Google Hangouts. And it starts in an hour!
It's rather exciting as we will be teaching you how you can beat stress just by using your body.
If you join us online, you'll learn:
- What cavemen can teach us about the secrets of stress.
- The worst food for causing symptoms of stress.
- A de-stressing strategy you can use anywhere, anytime.
- Why what's in your bathroom cabinet may be contributing to your stress.
- A 2-minute physical trick to instantly de-stress.
And much more, of course!
It's going to be a really great event - and it's live, so we'll be able to answer your burning questions too.
Click the link for all the details of our FREE event. Hope to speak with you soon!

It's on in London at 3pm 25th May - check the time in your time zone here: Time zone converter.

And if you missed it, the replay is now here:



I woke up today happy and positive after yesterday's event for DiversityInCare, a charity I am very proud to be a trustee for. Yesterday, we put on a presentation to a solicitors firm about a programme we were hoping to run for their clients.

diversity in care presentationFisher Meredith has many divisions, and is a leader in law - not only because of their professionalism, but because they like to go one step further in supporting their clients. We were hoping to offer therapeutic personal development workshops to some of the women they work with in the family law section, who may have multiple issues which landed them in court.

To my delight, not only were Fisher Meredith very enthusiastic about the programme, but they were full of positive thoughts about how we could best make this work for all parties concerned.

The afternoon reminded me how wonderful it is to be able to work in partnership with others to bring out your own strengths, and benefit each other.

Businesses can actually benefit massively from working with high quality charities like DiversityInCare. DInC recruits the help of specialists like myself, and my co-trainer Malakh Zebulun, to provide clients with expert help they would not necessarily otherwise be able to afford.Women with complex needs meeting

By supporting a charity, businesses can then have direct access to that help to support their clients. In the case of Fisher Meredith, we're hoping that the sessions we provide will enable their clients to stabilise and improve, so they can both present themselves better in court and make the solicitors' lives easier. It really is a win-win situation.

And because, as an independent charity, we are so passionate about our work, businesses can really trust us to do it well.

I became a therapiBeth Burgess Business Presentationst and workshop leader because my own life history made me passionate about change - and helping others to do achieve it. DInC was set up because CEO Angela Edmondson has worked in the social care field for many years and has seen how the most vulnerable people are still being under-served. What we do meets real people's needs, and we deliver with a passion not likely to be found elsewhere.

Savvy businesses can get on board and tap into these wonderful resources. Not only will it boost their corporate social responsibility and image, but their clients will be easier to work with, and are likely to spread the word about what a great firm they are.

Click the links If you'd like to find out more about donating to, or partnering with DiversityInCare, or more about what I do, or the wonderful work of the forward-thinking team at Fisher Meredith.

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