FORMER drug addicts have spoken about how setting up a magazine to help those in recovery has aided their own.
Pipe Down, which is about to publish its third issue in September, aims to be an insight into the “stigmatised subject of addiction” while “bringing recovery into the world, and the world into recovery”.
Editor Araminta Jonsson said the magazine aims not only to target people who are in recovery, but also families of those in recovery or people who work in the sector, for example.
Ms Jonsson, of Clytha Hill, near Abergavenny, said the aim is to hook the readers with humour and then touch on something that can help with recovery.
“From my experience, you don’t want to read dry articles about how to solve your problems,” she said.
Sections of the magazine include an “agony addict”, an energy drinks review and, similar to TripAdvisor, reviews of rehab centres, she added.
Ms Jonsson, who is in recovery herself, said that each issue is based in an emotion, such as anger or fear. “Emotions are key,” she added. “A lot of addicts use substances to numb emotions.
“From my experience, fear tends to be what fuels substance abuse. I feared failure, I feared success, I feared rejection and most of all, I feared sobriety.
“Everything can be brought back to fear.”
Assistant editor and business developer Alex Drummond said the magazine is a “bit controversial” – but “addiction is also controversial so it is a good way to relate with our readers”.
“The magazine is a great insight into recovery,” he added.
Mr Drummond, who lives in the Beechwood area of Newport, started by taking drugs recreationally when running a nightclub in the city, but his mother’s death led to him starting to take cocaine every day.
“And then, when I wanted to stop, I couldn’t,” he said. “It is easy to get into it, but really difficult to get out.”
Mr Drummond, who has been clean for 76 days, first got involved in the magazine by sending an entry from his blog.
“This magazine is helping me because it keeps me focused,” he said. “If I can help one person, I am helping myself.”
Ms Jonsson, on the other hand, said she has struggled with addiction throughout her life, starting off with an eating disorder when she was young. She started taking cocaine while studying and working in Barcelona and has been in and out of addiction and rehab since.
She has been now been clean for 10 months.
Ms Jonsson had the idea for the magazine in her worst relapse about a year ago, when she started taking crack cocaine.
“There are so many jobs that can come from this,” she said. “I would like to create a workforce of people who have been in recovery.”
She also runs creative writing workshops in places such as The Hub, in Newport, a peer-led project for people in recovery.
The magazine is funded from Gwent Substance Misuse Area Planning Board.
They print 1,000 copies of each magazine, which is distributed in drug misuse centres, rehabilitation centres and prisons, among others.
They have funding for more two more issues and are looking for sponsors. To find out more, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, you can visit their Facebook page here.