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Addiction Among Men is on the rise

In a startling interview, the founder of the UK’s no. 1 addiction advisory service revealed that he had seen a massive jump in male addiction statistics.

For Nick Conn, founder of Help4Addiction, those statistics are represented in the many men that reach out to him for support. In his recent interview, Nick revealed that he was seeing an astounding 500% more engagement with his organization – and with himself – than he was before the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the morning, when Nick logs on to social media, he has dozens of new messages from addicts around England and Wales. As a former addict and policeman, Nick (@dadinrecovery) has first-hand experience of just how hard it can be to reach out for help – so he set up his rehab selector online to help others that followed in his footsteps.

Now at the head of an organisation which sends thousands of people into rehab every year, Nick can honestly say he has repaid his debt to society. As for those he helps now, he established Help4Addiction when the numbers of people he was helping grew too big for one man alone to handle.

Now, a few years after establishing his service, Nick faces daily appeals from those addicts whom he considers to be a product of Covid-19.

Times are Tough for Addiction Recovery

It is always hard to get off drink and/or drugs, but during a global pandemic, all of that added extra pressure really weighs on your mind. Conn reports that there has been a huge leap in males reaching out for help. Why? He attributes it to the lack of work and continuous pressure of societal expectations.

Men are not supposed to show weakness, feel emotion, or let their families visit foodbanks. Unfortunately, many Brits today don’t have a choice in the matter. Poverty leads to addiction and addiction leads to death. Until we change our expectations, we should resign ourselves to seeing this cycle repeat itself, repeatedly.

As Nick knows only too well, we are on the edge of another pandemic. One of addiction caused by the troubles of a society going through recession. For many adult Brits, this is the third recession in two decades. For many of us, it’s been too much to handle. Suicide rates are through the roof. Addiction services are full to brimming, and healthcare services are beyond coping.

All of this is hard on males at the head of a family. If the coronavirus saw you lose your job and unable to provide for your family, you soon feel less of a man. This is a vulnerable state where you start to look for alternative coping mechanisms such as drugs or alcohol.

Nick describes himself as ‘a sucker who wants to help everyone’, but he knows it’s deeper than that. There is a societal problem at a basic level, that forces people into situations bad enough that drugs seem like a viable option. It’s what happened to him, when his life as a copper got too heavy to handle. It’s what happens to thousands of Brits every year, and it’s what kills more and more of us, every year.

“Not Everyone Wants to Be Helped”

On top of his phone ringing off the hook with people who need help, there are those who reach out too soon. Some people don’t really want to get off drugs yet. They are dipping their toe, testing the waters. Nick says that not everyone wants to be helped. Among the dozen or so people Help4Addiction manage to refer to rehab every day, there are the four or five who never make it that far.

The reason for this? Some people reach out for help because the comedown from the drugs or alcohol has gotten so bad. They think the only way to end it is to quit – but then when they score a hit, they forget they even messaged him. As a result, Nick Conn’s life is spent chasing, as well as being chased… but family man Nick wouldn’t have it any other way.

12 years into his own recovery, Nick Conn believes the pandemic would have killed him off, had he still been an addict. Instead, he is a successful businessman and activist, doing his part to help other addicts – and is a blissfully happy father of two.

Nick Conn is living proof that life gets better, addicted or not. Be more like Nick… or at least reach out to him if you, too, are feeling the strain.

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