Going through a drug or alcohol detox and staying clean in the weeks, months and years that follow is not easy, but two men from the south-west of England have found a way of keeping their focus and resolve.
Louis Coleman and Antony Evans met while at rehab and they have since set up a theatre group to encourage other recovering addicts to use the stage in order to help the community “see the people, not just the addiction”, the Weston & Somerset Mercury reports.
Mr Evans has been in recovery for nearly two years and was excited when his friend suggested creating the group.
He remarked: “I was doing some voluntary work at The Princess Theatre (in Burnham) at the time and the manager was very supportive of the idea. I thought that, as Antony had been in recovery for longer, it would be great to have someone stronger on board.
“Rehab made me think back on the past and made me realise that acting had helped me cope. Acting was my first drug in a way, and theatre was also a way to express my feelings. It gave me a lift. The times that theatre was not in my life were the hardest.”
The two men have established the Blue Sky Theatre group, which meets at the Princess Theatre and they are currently in the process of devising their first play.
Commenting on the work, Mr Evans noted it is set at a residents’ meeting and it will discuss the local problems associated with addictions in the community.
He added: “Throughout that it becomes clear some of the people in the meeting have had their own addictions. It’s a way of educating the public in an entertaining way.”
It can be very important for recovering addicts to have structure and focus in their lives when they emerge from alcohol and drug rehab and theatre groups like this may be ideal for some people.