Addiction Awareness Week 2023 – ‘Everybody knows somebody’

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This week is Addiction Awareness Week, part of the Taking Action on Addiction national campaign.

In its third year now, the theme for 2023 is ‘Everybody KnowsSomebody’. At EPIC we know first-hand the impact addiction can have, that’s why we do what we do. Below are some statements about addiction from those of us at EPIC with lived experience of addiction.

Warning: These statements contain themes that some people may find distressing, such as suicide ideation


“My exposure to addiction started when I was quite young. My Mum is now a recovering alcoholic.” David Sproson, Head of Safer Gambling

“I think there is a lack of education, of awareness, in problem gamblers. If we have a physical problem, if, if my back aches, I'll tell someone my back's aching, I'll go to the doctor.” Simon Haworth, Programme Facilitator

“I had an addiction, but ultimately it was still me and I had to face the consequences for it.” Nathan Quarless, Programme Facilitator

“My Mum said ‘you need to stop gambling or you’re gonna end up dead’. I went home that night feeling really deflated, down, depressed.” Scott Davies, Programme Facilitator

“I just didn't get joy out of anything. I just woke up and I was an empty jacket, just an empty vessel. Spiritually, I was dead. I was gone.” Alan Smart, Harm Prevention Manager

“I was probably at the point that most people would think would be a pathological gambler or an addicted gambler. But I couldn't see it.” Craig Cornforth, Harm Prevention Manager

“I think when anybody deals with addiction for a long period of time it very quickly becomes the number one priority... in front of your friends, family, and even yourself.” Dan Spencer, Director of Safer Gambling

“When my son Joel was born it should have been the happiest time of my life, but at that point I was broken and empty inside. I had my son on my lap and I was Googling ways to kill myself. Gambling addiction had taken hold of my life.” Andy Margett, Insights Executive

“Your brain becomes enveloped by this addiction; you’re only really interested in what bet you've got placed or what your next bet will be. We've got 25 people who've had really serious gambling addictions who've hit real rock bottoms in one form or another. All different stories, but for me, there is nothing more gratifying than to see their growth.” Paul Buck, CEO


To learn more about Taking Action on Addiction, Addiction Awareness Week, and more information and resources on addiction please click here to visit Action on Addiction.