Recovery Journeys

Sharon's Recovery

Sharon was introduced to drugs and alcohol at a young age. She used as a way of coping, sharing that using alcohol helped take the pain she experienced. Sharon has been working in treatment with Gwent Drug and Alcohol Service (GDAS) and she currently volunteers as a Peer in Newport. She feels that this is just the beginning of her recovery journey.

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Adam's Story

“Losing the routine of my working life certainly had a big impact on my drinking ...With no financial worries I had the means to drink."

Growing up in the Valleys with a love of rugby, Adam had always enjoyed a drink. With age however, his drinking escalated. Despite having a long and successful career in the Civil Service, Adam regularly drank a bottle of spirits a day in the decade before his retirement.

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James's Story

"For the first time in my life I’m not addicted to anything. I have a better relationship with my sister now I’ve moved closer to her, and I walk her dogs to help her out."

James, from Newport, struggled with depression and anxiety for more than 20 years before reaching out for help. Unable to cope with loss, he turned to alcohol for comfort. Bereavement impacted his family when James was just a teenager.

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Rachel's Story

"My truth is this, that it is the undying and ever-growing love of being a mother to both my beautiful babies that gave me the sheer strength to overcome my addiction."

Rachel's story truly encapsulates how a mother's love can prevail, even in the depths of addiction. Born into a family dynamic without nurturing and present parents, Rachel overcame generational trauma to be a rock for her children. A spell in residential treatment and her conviction to get better have transformed her life.

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Jane's Story

"When my father passed of dementia I just couldn’t cope and I relapsed. I can describe it as everything in my life suddenly feeling too fast, and alcohol helped to slow everything down."

Jane*, 66, first reached out to GDAS for support eight years ago after growing concerned about her binge drinking. She had enjoyed 20 years living and working in Italy, but an economic downturn forced her to make what she thought would be a quick pit stop home to Abergavenny.

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Meet Cullan

"I turned to heroin to cope with OCD - now I want to help others"

After a decade battling drug addiction and negative mental health, Cullan has come full circle. He began a novel opiate substitute treatment called Buvidal and is now eight months free of heroin. He’s since launched The Central Club podcast to help others overcome adversity.

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Meet Rachel

"I’ve got my families' full support, but those without loved ones could be using more drugs and alcohol to fight loneliness."

As drug and alcohol referrals to our Powys services are just 32% of this time last year, Rachel is urging those struggling to seek help, despite lockdown conditions.

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Meet Kathleen

"I’d tell anyone struggling with alcohol use to focus on the great things in their life. Be honest with yourself and open with others so that things can get better."

Kathleen from Newport had always enjoyed a drink, but lockdown led her down a slippery slope that saw her hospitalised and unable to walk. Now four months free from alcohol, Kathleen looks back on an incredibly challenging year.

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Meet Alex

"The employability workshops focussed on positive thinking and I overcame some limiting beliefs about what I could do."

Transplant survivor Alex returned to work after 20 years, despite the pandemic. He found gainful employment, with Cyfle Cymru’s support, just three weeks before lockdown turned working life on its head.

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