Editorial: For women between the ages of 18-30 who, unlike Amy in her infamous single “Rehab,” said “yes” to getting clean, a much-needed facility is opening up in East London to help them transition back to the outside world.
Amy’s Place, which will house about 16 women, was conceptualized to meet the specific needs of young women in recovery, which the Amy Winehouse Foundation has asserted are more complex than that of their male counterparts.
The most pressing issue, as noted in the nonprofit’s recent press release, is the lack of female-specific help for newly sober women living in the United Kingdom. Despite the good news that more women are entering addiction treatment services, there is only one other all-female recovery house in London, and the waiting list exceeds six months.
Amy was my age, 27, when she died of alcohol poisoning. I found myself in the emergency room on more than one occasion with the same affliction before I even graduated college, and, after getting sober at 22, realized just how many young women out there are drinking and using in a way that appears to be social drinking, but progressively grows into a whole other monster. I didn’t need to go to rehab, fortunately, but in order to get sober, I knew I couldn’t do it alone.
According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, about 1,825 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 die from alcohol-related unintentional injuries every year. That’s just here in the U.S, and research shows that without the type of transitional support Amy’s Place will offer, women are twice as likely to relapse.
London-based nonprofit Centra Care and Support (part of the larger organization known as Circle Housing), along with the existing Amy Winehouse Foundation, joined forces to create a three-month program for new residents, which will comprise of four groups a day encompassing holistic activities such as Yoga and Reiki, as well as relapse prevention groups.
Michelle Davies, Regional Business Manager for Centra, said that this new model will help young women with a range of needs live independently after leaving residential facilities for drug and alcohol treatment.
“We want to empower young women to remain in control of their recovery by providing safe and secure homes, personalised services and a vibrant community that will build on their strengths, experiences and preferences.”
Hopefully, this new addition will serve as a model for others to follow. At a time where we’re looking at a potential first female president, constantly lobbying for equal pay for women across all industries, and coming down off of the natural high of Olympic glory, it is crucial that we offer women looking to sober up and stay that way the resources they need to become just as successful.