A unique photo exhibition which aims to change public perception of people recovering from drug and alcohol problems has opened in Doncaster.
Local artist and photographer Les Monaghan was commissioned to create the ‘Faces of Recovery’ exhibition in the entrance of Doncaster Central Library to highlight addiction, promote recovery and reduce stigma by Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust (RDaSH), in partnership with Doncaster Council (DMBC) Public Health.
It features 12 life-size portraits of people who have experienced addiction and each one is accompanied by a few heartfelt words written by each person describing their feelings about their individual recovery.
RDaSH Assistant Director of Drug and Alcohol Services Ian Joustra said: “There is a huge stigma associated with people recovering from drug and alcohol problems. Despite being a recognised medical condition, there is still an overwhelming view that it is down to some kind of moral failing or weakness.
“The theme of this exhibition is it can happen to anyone. Some of the people featured have had successful lives and jobs, but due to their addiction have lost everything.
“Les has successfully captured the humanisation of these people that by judgement or luck could have been any one of us.”
DMBC Public Health Improvement Officer Andy Collins said: “There are over 2,500 Doncaster people in treatment for drug or alcohol misuse. For these people, learning to live again without the need to take substances is an ongoing challenge.
“This exhibition is an innovative way to highlight addiction, promote that recovery is possible and hopefully make people think twice before they judge others who are trying their hardest to change their lives and become valued members of society once again.”
The free exhibition is open now to coincide with Recovery Week in Doncaster (7 to 12 September), and will remain open until the end of September.