More Than My Past

People can be more than their past. Let's tackle stigma towards ex-offenders and people in recovery from addiction.

Most of us have faced challenges in our lives. And we have felt the satisfaction and self-respect that comes from confronting and overcoming them.

But some challenges are so deep and painful that they can affect our entire lives. Childhood neglect or abuse, drug or alcohol addiction, mental health problems, homelessness or criminality. The shame and powerlessness they cause can be paralysing. The good news is that anyone, whatever their past, has the courage and capacity to turn their life around, and achieve great things.

People who have had difficult pasts, including ex-offenders and people in recovery from addiction, are often desperate to turn their lives around. But sadly, there are many obstacles in their way. Stigma and negative stereotypes are preventing them from achieving the change they so badly want.

Many have also experienced abuse and trauma during childhood, as well as mental health problems. Their addictions and negative behaviour can stem from these unresolved issues. Research has found:
•Negative experiences during childhood increases the risk of becoming an alcoholic by 700%1
•75% of people in recovery and ex-offenders felt that they would be turned down for jobs for disclosing their past
•A quarter of people in recovery had been turned down at least three times after disclosing their past2

More Than My Past is a national campaign that doing something about this. We’re showing that ex-offenders and people in recovery not only want to change and succeed – they can and do! We’re doing this by sharing stories of people from all walks of life – helping to show the inspirational truth about those who have overcome addiction and offending. You can get involved today by sharing your story, joining the movement, or finding help for yourself or someone you know.

Watch former England and Arsenal Football Captain Tony Adam's Story

Progress - National Consortium of Consultant Nurses in Dual Diagnosis & Substance Use