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Around 100 gather in London Road to mark national recovery month

PUBLISHED: 15:44 04 October 2016 | UPDATED: 15:44 04 October 2016

Helene Green and Jonathan Williams of BDAS

Helene Green and Jonathan Williams of BDAS

Archant

They held an event to celebrate recovery from drug and alcohol dependence

Around 100 people attended an event in London Road at the end of September to celebrate national recovery month and mark the achievements of those recovering from alcohol or drug abuse.

Users and supporters of Bromley Drug and Alcohol Service (BDAS), along with staff and volunteers, enjoyed a barbecue, raffle, penalty shoot-out, quiz, and performing band at the organisation’s main service centre on September 22.

Judy Watchman, a nurse at the Bromley service, said the event was intended to raise awareness and celebrate recovery from alcohol or drug dependence as something positive and life-affirming.

“There is something incredible about spending time with other people in recovery. There is an automatic bond – everyone has their own experience,” she explained, adding that around 50 per cent of the BDAS staff have had their own issues with drugs or alcohol.

“The service is a great way to give back, and an opportunity to turn something that could be perceived as something negative into something positive.”

BDAS, which is part of the charity Change, Grow, Live, provides a number of services for local people in all stages of their recovery from alcohol and drug abuse, offering counselling and detox programmes for those suffering from drug and alcohol addiction.

Once clients have completed a detox programme and are in recovery, there is the option for service users to become peer mentors, which involves working with others in the programme to assist with their recovery.

Peer mentors can also become volunteers through the service, which can sometimes lead to clients pursuing a career at BDAS.

Bernie Carr, chairman of the Bromley service user council, said: “There is no cure for addiction. It is a big challenge to overcome. The services that BDAS offers aim to give fulfilment to clients, and seeing friends recover brings great rewards.

“The reality is that this place couldn’t survive without volunteers and peer mentors – all of whom began as service users. Giving back is very important to us.”

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