“After leaving school at the age of almost 16 years, I’d always worked full time Monday to Friday and like any normal teenager I went out partying every weekend.
“I didn’t ever think drink was a problem. In February 2001, I was made redundant one day, then my father passed away the following day at the age of 51. I was daddy’s little girl.
“Straight away I started constantly drinking 24/7. It started with a bottle of sherry every single day then led to a bottle of vodka.
“I would drink from the second I woke until I’d pass out. In August 2001 I met my ex-husband who I didn’t know at the time was a heroin addict. I was suffering from bad tooth ache at the time. He told me to try some of this stuff which he said was only phete and would take the pain straight away but wouldn’t harm me at all.
“He showed me how to take it. I didn’t ask any questions, all I knew was it was taking my pain away! Thought I could trust him. I had it every single day for about 3 weeks until I woke one morning feeling absolutely rubbish. He told me hadn’t any stuff and couldn’t get any until later that afternoon. I decided to call the doctors as I knew I didn’t feel well at all – I didn’t realise I was actually rattling. It was only when I’d rang for an appointment that he told me what was wrong and that it was heroin he’d been giving me.
“I stuck with him for almost 7 years as he was feeding my habit. He went to prison for burglary. I started shop lifting and pinching from family members. I wouldn’t care how I got the money at the time. I went on the methadone for almost 14 years.
“I met my partner after getting divorced who is also on methadone. I have tried a few home detoxes, thinking I was strong enough to do it by myself. It was when my partner last went to jail and I escaped myself, ending up getting a 10 months sentence for 2 years, that I knew at the age of 41 years that my life was a mess and I’d had enough.
“I needed help. After speaking with my key worker and deciding the best way for me was to first reduce from the methadone and transfer to subutex. I had to do a quick reduction 5 mls per week until I got to 25 mls. I didn’t feel strong enough to do it at home. It was arranged for me to go into New beginnings for 2 wks until I was stable on subutex.
“My next step in the next couple of weeks is to start reducing off the subutex, start looking into doing some voluntary work which will eventually lead me into full time paid employment. I’ve had some addiction for many years now and I know it’s no quick fix. I just take one day at a time and all I know as long as I stay focused, keep doing what I’m doing, time will soon pass and my life will get even better.”