Friends struggling with addiction do not always feel fully supported by their Meetings, it was reported at the Quaker Action on Alcohol and Drugs conference
Friends struggling with addiction do not always feel fully supported by their Local Meetings, it was reported at the Quaker Action on Alcohol and Drugs (QAAD) conference last month.
Forty Friends attended QAAD’s biennial conference, ‘Signposts for the Soul – pathways through addiction’, at Woodbrooke, which explored the impact of addiction to substances and gambling, as well as ‘sources of new hope and direction’.
Participants at the event included those in recovery, together with family and friends of addicts, as well as professionals and ‘interested Friends’.
Alison Mather, director of QAAD, told the Friend: ‘Our conferences always aim to provide a safe, spiritual space for Friends to explore and share their experiences of addiction, together with reflections on future sources of hope and support. We were delighted that so many Friends joined us this year.’
This year, QAAD’s ‘Open Space’ enabled participants to create their own agenda.
Alison Mather said: ‘Twenty “conversations” resulted. One of the messages to emerge was that not all Local Meetings are receptive or supportive when a Friend discloses their own, or a close other’s, addiction.
‘Some recalled being met with denial, embarrassment or an unwillingness to discuss it.
‘QAAD will continue its work to increase awareness and understanding amongst Friends, and would be pleased to receive contact from Local Meetings looking for further support and information.’
One Friend who attended the event said: ‘It is the only event where Quakers in recovery and those with family who are addicted can come together to share.’
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