We were keen to find out about the Compassion Project that is running this week at Bromley Drug & Alcohol Service (BDAS) which is based on London Road in Bromley.
I talked to Michael Reid who was doing some decorating in an open access room and was preparing the hallway and stairs ready for decoration. He talked to me in a very enthusiastic and passionate way about the plans to cheer up as many rooms as possible so that the people who use the service have decent surroundings in which to spend their time there.
While I was talking to Michael one of the people who use the service came in to help with the decorating which came across as a really positive thing. If people using BDAS want to invest their time to improve things for everybody who uses the building then it’s doing something very right!
I spoke at some length with Helene who is a clinical administrator at BDAS and she described how BDAS promotes healthy lifestyles during recovery and also from the after effects that occur through the recovery process.
Helene told me that BDAS looks after in excess of 150 people at any given time so there is a great need for the service and it really does need your support.
The most positive thing about working at BDAS for Helene is the people who are from all walks of life. The things that make her laugh are her fellow workers and the positive community events – last Christmas the people who use the service put on a production of A Christmas Carol in a lighthearted way to reflect the serious subject of recovery!
What upsets her is the stigma around addiction. There are myths abounding about alcoholics and addicts and these show on the faces of people when they realise that they’re talking to an alcoholic or addict. There is a general lack of trust and an assumption that they must be up to no good and there is a great deal of misunderstanding about what addiction actually is.
Put simply, it’s not about what you drink or use, it’s about where it is in your life and your attitude towards it. If drink or drugs are central to your life in whatever quantities then the chances are that you could have a problem.
Bromley Drug & Alcohol Service is a vital service in the community and the compassion project is much needed to help remove the stigma and presumptions that can surround addiction.
I was uplifted when I left to get on with my day and felt privileged to be allowed to see just how positive the approach of BDAS was.