Real Stories in North Ayrshire

  • I'll live and laugh again poem
    A moving poem describing one woman's feelings

  • Looking Forward
    A woman speaks about her early experiences of heroin and the impacts it had on her life, how methadone helped her get stable, and how she has moved on with her life now that she no longer uses methadone or illicit drugs.

  • One Day at a Time
    A young man who had a good upbringing talks about how drugs affected his life and how he is moving forward with his recovery.

  • This is only the start
    A man recalls not remembering life without alcohol, living in a dump and every penny going on the drink, but importantly how he turned his life around using local support and building friendships and a new life for himself filled with hope and ambition.

  • My Journey into Recovery
    A man tells how his inquisitive mind led him on a path of risk taking and drug use which took over his life, stripped of his job, kids and marriage; and how he has started to turn things around.

  • Moving Forward
    A young man who was homeless talks about how FITB4U helped him reduce his drinking, gain new skills and get his confidence back.

  • My Recovery Story
    A mum of two speaks of her struggle with drugs and how the impact of losing her kids gave her the strength to start and continue her recovery journey with support from local services.

My Journey into Recovery

I’m 36 years old, I grew up in North Ayrshire, I’m from a good family, with good principles and I was brought up to the best of my parents’ ability. It is in no way my parents or any of my family’s fault that I ended up using drugs.

I went through primary school and most of secondary school without a hitch. At about 13 or 14 I started smoking cannabis and for me this was the start of the process. I have an inquisitive mind, so not long after my introduction to hash I started drinking alcohol and using other drugs like LSD and Speed. That pattern continued among my friends for a few years without being a problem. We weren’t involved with the police and I was able to hide it from my parents, relatively well, until I was about 16.

By 16, anything I had ever wanted to do every dream or hope I had as a child I had forgotten about. I had started going to nightclubs, to the dancing and I started taking ecstasy. I just thought it was what you did, it was part of the scene, and I enjoyed the feeling - the buzz it gave me. I fitted in with people there.

I started going out on the Fridays and Saturdays but this progressed to Sundays and sometimes Mondays, and I always needed to take something to bring me down - Valium, jellies, or Temazepam. It was easy to do it with my job; I worked in a warehouse and ironically delivered alcohol which was never far away from me either.

This continued for a couple of years, and then I was introduced to cocaine in a drug dealer’s house. This added to the typical weekend scenario and it all became the norm for me. I was going out to have a good time, but I had a menu of drugs which I had to have or I wouldn’t have been satisfied with myself. At the time I was repeatedly putting myself at high risk, I was going to parties all over Glasgow and the West of Scotland, and the people I was mixing with weren’t the best. It was at one of these parties that i was introduced to heroin. I was told it would bring me down from all the uppers. I didn’t even know what it was at the time.

I didn’t to fall into using heroin at this time though, I was to get another year of grace, but you could say that experience planted the seed for heroin addiction.
Not long after I went down to London. I thought I could get down there, get a job, a house and a new life for myself, but I ended up on the streets. I did what I needed to do to survive. I started off shoplifting to get enough food to feed myself, but it progressed and someone on the streets introduced me to heroin again.

This was to become an everyday event for me, I was told at the time that heroin would strip me of everything I would ever possess. Being strong minded and from West Coast of Scotland I thought that I knew best and would be able to handle it. The drug actually took over. Heroin and my addiction stripped me of my jobs and my contact with my 3 kids from a failed marriage. It has taken me to prison, I lost all the friends and contacts I had. It even changed things around my family home, it’s not that my parents ever gave up on me; they just didn’t like what I had become, what the drugs were doing to me, what heroin was doing to me.

Since then it has become a battle. I have tried many different ways to come off heroin, I’ve went cold turkey, been for neuroelectric therapy, I’ve had Dihydrocodiene detoxes, I have even been in Christian rehab on two occasions and I was on a Methadone programme for 16 months there, and now I am 10 days into a Suboxone detox and it is working really well for me.

My life started to take a wee change when I went onto the Methadone programme. I used to think I could stop taking drugs overnight, and I quickly found out that this wasn’t true, there was a process. For me the process
started with Methadone and support from the CAT team, North Ayrshire Council Addictions team, using services like going out on activities. I tapped into AA and went to many meetings.

In this time I have actually taken up some voluntary work with Scottish Drugs Forum one day a week, and I have plans of going to college and doing a social care course so that I can hopefully put a bit of my life experience into practical things and get myself a qualification or two in the process.

Now I have contact with my kids on a weekly basis. Things are good with my family, we have good communication these days and when my parents see me they expect me to be clean and sober. I’m in a relationship which isn’t affected by active addiction anymore and that’s a breath of fresh air. My partner and I are getting involved in all this recovery stuff in North Ayrshire. Initially, I’m doing it to help myself and hopefully someone else gets a bit of help out of it as well.

I look forward to a bright happy clean future!


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