‘Massive achievements’: Manchester to host national conference for ex-addicts

The UK’s biggest recovery conference for drug and alcohol addiction will be held in Greater Manchester next month.

The National Recovery Conference will see hundreds of people in recovery from addiction assemble at Bolton’s Macron Stadium on November 19-20.

Hosted by Addaction, one of the UK’s largest specialist drug and alcohol treatment charities, this year’s ‘Voices of Recovery’ theme will champion the voices and perspectives within the recovery community.

Head of events David Badcock said: “This year’s event will undoubtedly be our biggest and most exciting yet, and our range of speakers is exceptional.

“Most importantly however, the conference is a chance for people in recovery and addiction workers from across the county to learn about what’s going on, share their own experiences, connect with like-minded people and to celebrate the remarkable achievements being made.”

The two day conference, the fifth of its kind, will present the powerful personal journeys of people who have triumphed over addiction and celebrate how recovery can transform lives, families and communities.

Leading figures from the drug and alcohol sector, including drug treatment professionals and health workers, will cover a huge range of topics, from volatile substance abuse and trauma, to love and gambling addictions.

The event features a number of break-out sessions, seminars and workshops including a Question Time-style discussion led by recovery advocate Michaela Jones asking ‘what is addiction anyway?’

Attendees will hear from a notable figures including leading journalist Johann Hari who will discuss what really causes addiction and why the ‘war on drugs’ has failed.

Expert Judy Crane will share her insights from over two decades of treating trauma and addiction and Lucy Rocca presents Soberistas, the social network she founded for women with alcohol dependency issues.

There will also be comedy from Lancashire-born star Bethany Black, self-described as ‘Britain’s only goth, lesbian, transsexual comedian’.

Addaction CEO Simon Antrobus added: “We’re pleased that this year’s programme reflects the diversity of Addaction’s work as a larger, more ambitious charity.

“All of our clients have different backgrounds and experiences, and we place enormous emphasis on listening to their unique insights to help us support people to do things they didn’t ever think possible.”

This year’s conference marks the first ever Marsh Recovery Awards, in partnership with the Marsh Christian Trust.

The awards will recognise the dedication, hard work and outstanding contribution that people in recovery have made to raising awareness and combatting the stigma associated with substance use.

The 5th National Recovery Conference will take place at Bolton’s Macron Stadium on November 19-20. 

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