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Recovery From Addictions In Leeds | Drug and Alcohol Therapy

Recovery from alcohol or substance misuse is a difficult and very personal step to take, and everybody's journey moving into recovery from an addiction will be different. Many different aspects of a persons life can affect how they achieve and sustain recovery. Few will achieve this in the same way, but there are core areas or similarities that people wishing to enter into recovery can focus on:


A secure base

An individual in addiction recovery needs a secure place which feels safe for them, a roof over their heads, and enough income for basic needs such as food and warmth. Choosing healthy food so as to give the body and brain enough nutrients to repair itself is also important for sober living. Leeds is a good place to be in recovery with a great choice of health shops to kick start the mind body connection and prepare for a sober living environment.


Finding a purpose to life

People who have had problems with alcoholism or drug addictions need to find a purpose in life in their recovery in order to keep going, this may be family, or a job, or simply keeping your sanity! New, healthy routines can be established and exercise should be encouraged as early on in recovery as possible. Light yoga exercises are a good start for people recovering from addiction, we are lucky in Leeds as there is a vast choice of yoga classes and exercise based community activities, there are also often free options from local drug and alcohol charity based services to help us with a holistic approach to recovery extended-care or aftercare activities.



This is important, otherwise recovering from any addiction would be pointless. Often being around other people who have had problems with alcohol abuse or substance-use is extremely helpful for the individual in early recovery.

This gives them support and an understanding that achieving and sustaining recovery is possible, learning from people who have been through similar experiences.

Hopelessness plays a large part in keeping individuals stuck in old, irrational thought processes and we have to work hard at looking at our own thoughts, perceptions, emotions and belief systems before we can start to fully recover.



Recovery is like starting out in a whole new life, often described as "been reborn" or "living in reality, rather than in a bubble". In time, the sense of self is no longer caught up in the cycle of guilt, shame and hopelessness, and emotions start to surface that have often been suppressed for years.

This can be overwhelming, to begin with, and the first few months can seem like a roller coaster of ups and downs, but the rewards of putting into practice what you have learned on your journey into recovery, and observing small, positive changes in yourself, start to bring about larger changes which start to fall into place - It may be a cliche, but positivity really does breed positivity in Drug and alcohol rehabilitation!



Support is essential for recovery (especially in early recovery). It is extremely hard to try to even begin to explain to family and close friends what it is like to crave or have triggers, or the anxiousness and the irrational thinking that consumes the individual who is going through addiction. Families can help by using a soft and compassionate approach to help the individual to cope with sober life. Finding a health professional or individual counseling from an addiction counselor is important for extra support if possible.

New coping strategies

Old ingrained behaviours need to be explored, identified and changed. This is not an easy task for anybody as many of our old tendencies can be triggered by words, thoughts, smells, places, friends etc. Old drinking or using friends are best kept at arm's length,  those who are true friends will show support and understanding, while many old acquaintances may be more dangerous to be around, especially in early recovery.


Addiction Help In Leeds | Drug & Alcohol Talking Therapies

We often don't know what is happening to us, and this is an area where mutual aid groups such as SMART Recovery or AA / NA can be of real value. Groups are not for everybody, and one has to be aware that most people who attend are not trained professionals in addiction, but the benefits of being around like-minded people out-way any negative eventualities from attending groups.


Personally, I am more comfortable with the concept of SMART recovery as it is based around REBT (Rational Emotive Behavioural Therapy) and is more focused on cognitive awareness.

We help people to stop drinking or using drugs by formulating the coping skills needed to maintain a sober life free from alcohol dependence or drug dependence. Have a look at our recovery counsellors here.




Recommended Drug and Alcohol Recovery Further Reading

Breaking Addiction by Dr Lance Dodes

The Chimp Paradox by Dr Steve Peters

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Gabor Mate

Back to Sanity by Steve Taylor


Problem Drinking by Nick Heather and Ian Robertson
(This book is not available as a kindle version but is often available in print on eBay cheap)


Understanding Addiction As Self Medication by Edward J Khantzian


Shame - The Exposed Self by Michael Lewis



My Little Book Of NLP - Neuro-Linguistic Programming  by Tony Jennings



Neuro-Linguistic Programming NLP by Dr Elizabeth Ann Diamond


Why Do I Do That?: Psychological Defense Mechanisms and the Hidden Ways They Shape Our Lives by Joseph Burgo PhD.


Getting Past Your Past by Francine Shapiro


The Miracle Of Mindfulness: The Classic Guide to Meditation by the World's Most Revered Master (Classic Edition) by Thich Nhat Hanh


30 Second Brain: The 50 most mind-blowing ideas in neuroscience, each explained in half a minute by Anil Seth


The Expanded Dialectical Behaviour Therapy Skills Training Manual: Practical DBT for Self-Help, and Individual & Group Treatment Settings by Lane Pederson


The Brain: The Story Of You by David Eagleman

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