“Well it’s a great day and a great new life that continues at all times. After being incarcerated at EMDC here in London I was privileged to be granted participant status in the LONDON DRUG TREATMENT PROGRAM. the day the universe changed! It’s been a while now 3.5 yrs sober now. My exposure to Addiction Services of Thames Valley really changed my thinking, my actions and my reactivity to life.

After spending 32 years using drugs and alcohol to cope with life, I was no longer able to cope. It wasn’t working and my use went off the charts. I stumbled through life unsure of who I was where I was going and not able to come to terms with my past. Growing up in family that lived hard partied hard and really showed no emotions was what I thought was reality. At the age of 14 I was told that my father I’d grown up with was in fact not my father. This was the day the universe changed for me. I was unable to trust anybody about anything. The issue was never talked about again and in fact me and my father never really spoke for years. I was confused depressed as I know now for I had all the traits of depression. Never diagnosed but I’m sure it was. Yet when I drank and used drugs especially cocaine all that went away.

RichardTried a geographical cure moving from Vancouver to London got a really good high paying job and life was normal for a while. Things never settled down inside of me. Procrastination sorrow and disappointment ruled my day. I couldn’t function without something in me to take me away from myself. Things got good then got worse each time I retried to quite the drugs and alcohol.

In 2000 my employment ended and I fell in the rabbit hole of addiction, crime and jail. I no longer cared about myself. It got to the point that I felt at home in jail! That’s a real problem to feel like that. I lost contact with my family, friends and anyone that cared for me. The thoughts of being lost and forgotten were now magnified by my using of drugs and alcohol. No longer gained relief from them. Couldn’t quit now I was addicted totally. My mind was warped in many ways but especially in the social area of life. Couldn’t get past the untrustfullness of my life. Funny I grew up a trusted kid and became what I’d been exposed to. Felt my life was a lie and everything was surreal and insane.

But the DTC ADSTV John Howard Society gave me a chance to change and I grabbed on tooth and nail. I didn’t want to be a toxic element in the community anymore it was making me sicker all the stuff I was doing day to day induced a sick perception of myself and kept me hostage. Only relief I knew. But recovery came and through nurturing groups the courts trying to trust, although that came slowly it started to come.

Now my life has come full of real life low stress this being my trigger and motivator for using. If I keep my coping skills for stress active I’m spiritually fit. No desire or thoughts for the past.

I did a video at 16 mths sober and life has gotten better each day each, each year. Still in contact with ADSTV and the DRUG TREATMENT COURT after all this time.

If I can recover after all this time then anyone can. Years of cocaine and alcohol years spent in and out of jail and finding myself overdosing 5 times, somehow these people helped me save myself from myself. It’s a testament to the care and support I received. All I had to do was believe”IT’S POSSIBLE” and change my lifestyle after abstaining for a while and everything worked out ok.

I’ve had the chance to amend things with my family. Found some peace. No longer hostile towards people. But at the end of the day I accepted that it was always my perception my lack of assertiveness and procrastination in my life from a young age led to stresses that I only learned to mask with drugs and alcohol.

Anything is possible if we want it. My life is based on my sobriety and anything I’ve accomplished or earned is because of it. If I didn’t find the drug court I’d be dead that’s a certainty. Remember it takes one step to start a thousand mile journey. Thanks to ADDICTION SERVICES THAMES VALLEY FOR A LIFE I’D NEVER HAVE KNOWN.”

– Richard