ALCOHOL and drug addicts have shared their inspiring stories of a rehabilitation program in Melbourne’s southeast that has helped regenerate their lives.
In an article by the Herland Sun, the Uniting Care Regen Catalyst program opened last year and is funded for six, six-week rounds this year. It takes 12 participants each round.
The program includes workshops on topics such as liver health, nutrition, exercise and financial management, as well a family nights and addicts say it has helped them turn their lives around.
David, 40, is an alcoholic. He started drinking at 14 and is doing the program now.
He said it was ‘fantastic’. Without it he would be dead and his family would be destroyed.
David said he liked the nutrition classes, exercise and cognitive behavioural therapy. He said his dream was to go back to university and study so he could help other people who were struggling.
He said since he had stated treatment he had begun to enjoy time with his family again.
“I was going into a deep dark hole and eight months ago I hit rock bottom, I took it out on people I love verbally,” he said.
“I was hiding my pain; I have had a few tragedies in my life from a young age.
“Drinking was my best friend and comfort, someone who didn’t judge me.
“My wife said a couple of weeks ago ‘where would you be if I left?’, and I said, I didn’t even think about it, I said ‘I would be dead’.”
He said at the end of his treatment he planned to ‘stay sober and change his job’, perhaps working in mental health.
“I would love to go back to university,” he said. “(I want to) help someone get through something like I have been though.”
Stuart, 40, is also an alcoholic and currently in the program. He said he had done rehab before but liked the ReGen program because it forced him to confront his drinking triggers in the outside world. He said he had a lot of self-loathing from childhood and that contributed to his drinking, which started when he was 16 while he was playing for local sports clubs.
He said he had been diagnosed with a failing liver and the liver health session ‘got to him’.
“Have you ever been to hell?” he replies when asked about his life before the program. To read more click here.
The Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference 2016, themed Alcohol – Other Drugs – Behavioural Addictions, Prevention, Treatment and Recovery will be held on the Gold Coast from the 19 – 20 May 2016. The optional workshops will be held on the afternoon of the 18 May. To register for the conference click here.