John entered the rehabilitation centre as part of a drug diversion program, which offers people charged with drug-offences the option of going into treatment rather than going back to prison. John began using drugs at 13. He grew up in an abusive alcoholic home and by his mid-teens was already living on the streets and in trouble with the law.
By the age of 17 he had progressed to heroin and was in and out of detention centres and later prisons in an endless cycle of addiction, crime and incarceration.
“It was a pretty hectic sort of history,” says John, who completed the rehabilitation centre’s residential program in 2002. “I was disgusted with who I was and I didn’t really care if I lived or died.”
After nine months in the rehabilitation centre, John has continued with after-care strategies and a commitment to his rehabilitation process. Recently he returned to court to face some very old charges (pre-rehabilitation) that were pending, and both his solicitor and the magistrate were amazed at his transformation. He was previously viewed as the type of addict “you’d give little or no hope to,” the magistrate said, “but is now viewed as a model for other people entering the diversion program.”
John now lives independently in the community, works full time, and lives a fulfilling, healthy and clean life. “I’ve still got problems,” he says, “but thanks to the rehabilitation centre, I now deal with these very differently. I do what I need to do on a daily basis to stay clean and I also have the desire to be a better person and to act with integrity on a day-to day basis.”