In this story, Amy tells us about her journey which led her to DAWS, and ultimately a job in care work. Her recovery wasn’t always easy, but she’s now a Peer Mentor and helps us run our Warm Welcome groups on Thursdays.
I first started using substances when I was 12 or 13. I had experienced a traumatic childhood and started using cannabis while I was in and out of different care. I drank heavily and took other drugs including ecstasy. I smoked cannabis every day for about year or so and when I put the ecstasy down I tried crack, and then developed a cocaine addiction for 5 or 6 years, while the cannabis continued.
In 2014, I came to the realisation that I needed help. I referred myself to DAWS where I received a Key Worker, and started going to group sessions. I found these helpful, but my addiction was so powerful I stopped engaging with the support and went into a full speed spiral and out of control. I lost everything… I returned to DAWS knowing that I needed to go into rehab and get better, and to help me gain tools be be able to live a happy and controlled life abstaining from drugs.
DAWS put me in a few groups to get me ready for rehab and I met with a substance misuse social worker named Steve who applied for funding for me to go into residential rehab. Luckily for me it happened quite quickly and I spent 12 weeks in rehab at the Nelson Trust in Gloucestershire. It was the best decision I ever made, they helped and supported me so much and I will be forever thankful for that.
Fresh out of rehab, I completed a 12 week work group project in Munster Road, then in November – December my key worker Jacqueline pointed me in the direction to start volunteering at the Saturday Social Club on Harrow Road. I then went on to completing the peer mentoring program and now do a Warm Welcome group for new service users on a Thursday and I’m also trained in first aid in the work place.
I have just been offered a job doing care work and am just waiting for a DBS check before I can start.
I’m very grateful to DAWS and all they have done to help me be the best person I can be and get to where I am today. I’m enjoying life and feel like I’m a part of a bigger picture.