Bring Our Son Home For Christmas - Addiction Treatment - Brisbane
Darren Ice Addiction Treatment

Bringing Our Son “Home” For Christmas

Sophie’s son Darren recently undertook the ninety day residential addiction treatment program at The Hader Clinic Queensland to treat his addiction to ice.

Hi, my name is Sophie. I live in Victoria, and my son, Darren, lives in Queensland. Darren.

He is now completing the extensive out patient program at The Hader Clinic’s main office in Brisbane after completing their residential addiction treatment program.

At the moment, though, he’s here with me visiting for Christmas, which is exciting for both of us, as the coronavirus outbreak in Melbourne prevented us from seeing each other.

Darren’s story starts twenty years ago – he started using marijuana at school and along the way graduated to other drugs, which then culminated in an addiction to ice.

We didn’t really know the extent of his drug use. We would have patches where we were aware he was dabbling in drugs, then periods where we were none the wiser.

In fact, we only discovered the gravity of his addiction when he got into serious trouble with his addiction in March. He was suffering from psychotic episodes as a result of his ice use.

Darren married Ingrid four years ago. Twice he’s left her and separated. Now I believe a large part of this is drug related. However, now that he’s undergone treatment for his addiction, he’s started to reconnect with her and his sixteen year old step daughter.

Until Darren came along, Ingrid had never had any experience of drug use in her life. She comes from a conservative family and has found the whole addiction experience challenging and confronting.

She’s dealt with him leaving her and also with him telling her that his behaviour was normal, when, of course, it was far from that!

However, despite these challenges, she has been a great support to him.

Darren moved to Queensland in 2012 for a fresh start after he lost his license for drink and drug driving. He lost his license at one stage for four years.

When he attended The Hader Clinic Queensland, he started off by thinking that he only had a drug problem. The extensive education he received during his time at rehab helped him to understand that alcohol was also addictive for him.

He’s taken this on board, that he must remain abstinent from both drugs and alcohol to have any chance of being successful in long term recovery.

He’s attending NA meetings and has even booked into some in Victoria, while he is visiting us. He is putting himself and his recovery first.

Even in the short amount of time we have spent with him since his treatment has been reaffirming. When we picked Darren up from the airport, we spent such a lovely afternoon together catching up.

The old Darren would have wanted to go straight to the bottle shop.

We had hoped that Darren would change his drug taking ways when he had a car accident 18 months ago.

He had stopped using for a few days but was still experiencing psychosis. The car was written off – he hit a power pole at speed, completely smashing the front driver’s side of the car in.

He was lucky to survive it. He’s also very lucky that he didn’t injure anybody else.

We thought that this scare would have been enough to stop him from using.

However, it was a temporary fix as six months’ later he was back using and worse than ever.

When he started experiencing regular psychotic episodes, which really peaked in March, he begged for help.

With Covid-19 lockdowns in place, it was very difficult to help him from Victoria. One rehab centre that I phoned even turned him away.

Thank goodness I discovered The Hader Clinic Queensland. It was the best decision we could have made.

I found The Hader Clinic Queensland via an internet search. The website is extensive and packed with information about addiction, not to mention there are several stories that relate to people’s experiences of addiction, both from the addict’s and family’s points of view.

We were also very impressed by the full program that the clinic offered – with Darren saying that he wanted to be kept busy during his treatment.

We cannot get over the changes in Darren – in the past, you never really got the full story about anything from him. Since he’s been staying with us, he’s been honest and open about everything. It’s really helping us to rebuild our relationship.

One other thing I wanted to mention was that many of the staff who work for The Hader Clinic Queensland have lived experience of addiction. To see how well they live their life now and how they help others is inspiring, and gives families that all important hope that recovery is possible.

It has been a long roller coaster for my husband and me over the last twenty years, but at last we actually believe that Darren is now able to make the changes to his life that he needs to – and that support is always just around the corner.

We can’t thank The Hader Clinic Queensland enough for bringing our son “home” for Christmas.

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