Amy Winehouse Foundation To Open Recovery Center For Women

By McCarton Ackerman 08/03/16

Residents at Amy’s Place will undergo a three-month program that includes relapse prevention groups, employability-based workshops and holistic activities.

Amy Winehouse Foundation Opens Recovery Center For Women

On the fifth anniversary of Amy Winehouse’s death, her legacy is ensured to live on after her foundation helped open a home for women recovering from drug and alcohol addiction.

Amy’s Place will open its doors on Monday, August 22nd. According to the Guardian, the East London facility will house up to 16 women who have already established the groundwork for their recovery and are looking to transition back into society. 

“It can be as simple as not knowing how to go about getting your benefits or engaging in college. Our experience shows if you give people an extended period of time post-traditional rehabilitation treatment, you will improve the percentage of people who stay clean [in the] long term,” said Dominic Ruffy, special projects director at the Amy Winehouse Foundation. “We have a saying in recovery that the drink and drugs aren’t our problem, it’s living life clean and sober.”

Residents at Amy’s Place will undergo a three-month program that includes relapse prevention groups, employability-based workshops and holistic activities such as yoga. They’ll also engage in a “co-production” model that gives them joint control over the services they access to help with their recovery. 

Ruffy said women-only recovery houses are a necessity because there’s currently only one in London, which has a six-month waiting list. He also noted that “women tend to come into recovery with a host of complex issues” and believes removing men from the picture can help prevent triggering some of these problems.

“They wanted to ensure they were either safe and away from ex-partners, or safe from their issues around co-dependency, around men,” he said. “It was evident there was a clear need and the women would feel more secure in an environment [where] they knew they weren’t going to be troubled by aspects from their past.”

Several women have already made plans to move after finishing rehab, including Laura, a mother of three and a recovering heroin addict. She’s hopeful that the structure and job training that Amy’s Place provides will enable her to stay drug-free once and for all.

“It’s a new experience to come off drugs,” she said. “Some people suffer from anxiety, some people suffer from other stuff, and it’s reassuring to have some support and help with finding a home and getting a job, getting back into normal routine life, which you didn’t have before as a drug addict. You have to learn it all as new.”

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.