'I know I wouldn’t be here without it' - recovering addict says secondary treatment saved her life

A recovering addict who wanted to die at the peak of her drugs and alcohol addiction says secondary treatment saved her life.

'I know I wouldn’t be here without it' - recovering addict says secondary treatment saved her life

A recovering addict who wanted to die at the peak of her drugs and alcohol addiction says secondary treatment saved her life.

Laura, who completed a Tabor Group secondary treatment programme after serving time for drugs offences, also said she has no doubt that the €4.8m expansion of the Tabor Group’s Fellowship House treatment facility on Spur Hill will save more lives.

Now helping others fight addiction, Laura told her story of hope and recovery at the official opening of the new facilities by Tánaiste Simon Coveney today.

“Secondary treatment showed me the changes I had to make. It saved my life. I know I wouldn’t be here without it,” she said.

At the worst of her addiction, Laura was on mephedrone powder, tablets, cocaine, speed, weed and alcohol.

I’d use anything really. From the time I’d wake up in the morning, I’d have to use to get up, just to be able to get out of bed. I’d have to use to stabilise myself during the day, just to keep going.

"If I took too many uppers, I’d have to use something to bring myself down. I’d have to use in the evening to wind myself down, I’d use sleeping tablets to sleep, I’d smoke hash to get an appetite.

"I couldn’t function, I couldn’t live without drugs. I was at a very chronic stage of addiction. I wanted to die. I just wanted to keep using until I died."

"But when I came out of prison, secondary treatment was vital to me. It offered me a life, a way of living.

"I learned coping mechanisms so that when life gets tough, as it always does, I have coping skills now.

Now I’m a person living in life, not an addict surviving in life, or trying to survive in life.

The expansion of the Tabor facility more than doubles its residential treatment capacity from 10 to 22, and includes 11 apartments for people who have completed primary addiction treatment but need a step-down facility to prepare for independent living.

“The aim is to build on and consolidate the work of the recovery programme which has already begun in primary treatment,” Denis Healy, chairman of Tabor Group, said.

The expansion was supported by the Department of Housing through Rebuilding Ireland, Cork County Council and the HSE.

In 2017, Tabor Group treated some 300 people suffering from alcohol, drugs, gambling and food addictions.

That year, Fellowship House admitted 49 clients - almost half aged 18 to 24. Most presented with polydrug use, with alcohol dependency cited by 88%. 92% were unemployed and just over 60% were homeless.

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