I needed to come back

I was a single mother with three daughters, my eldest daughter was living with her boyfriend and looking after her son. I was a total mess, living on the street or staying at friend's places. I had to put my two younger daughters into care, as I felt they would be better off in a stable home as I could not look after myself let alone them.

I had been on pharmacotherapy programs for 15 years and had tried reducing and detoxing but nothing worked.

I was referred to a Drug and Alcohol counsellor who told me about another option. So I rang them up, had an assessment and went there in August 1999. It is the only place that I had heard would accept me on pharmacotherapy treatment. It was a far cry from some treatment programs back in the1980s. This particular program has a lovely women's house which has everything you could want or need. While there I worked on a lot of things about my past, especially the guilt about giving my children up and having an addict for a mother. But thanks to the staff and peers I was able to have my children visit me twice a week at the facility where they could see where I was living and watch me change. I was very fortunate that I had permission for my children to come and stay for Christmas Eve. I, as well as my children, have beautiful memories of that special Christmas as I was off the pharmacotherapy by that stage and that was the best gift I could ever have given my daughters. I had all the support around that thanks to staff and of course my peers made it like a big family Christmas.

I completed the program in February 2000. I moved from there to half way but only stayed there for a month. I wanted to get my own place for my daughter and myself. I was clean for around 6 months, which was the first time I had ever been completely drug free. Unfortunately, after thinking I could socially drink again, one thing led to another and I ended up going backwards, but at least I was aware of the program I'd been on. I sent my 2 youngest daughters to live with their eldest sister which made it easy for me to return to the only place that I knew was able to help me. My three daughters were relieved to say the least when I said I was going back to that program. So I came back in early September 2001.

The program has a lot more structure now since the early days. There is some new staff and I've got all the support I need here and that's why I'm back.