Cam’s Alcohol and Drug Addiction Treatment Journey
After 30 years in the throes of addiction, Cam is over five months sober and looking forward to a life of recovery. This is his story.
I started drinking alcohol and experimenting with drugs at a young age, but things really started to take a turn and I became addicted to the prescription drug benzos before ending up in alcohol detox and residential addiction treatment at Hader Clinic Queensland. In rehab I learnt that alcoholism is an illness, something that my family and I didn’t understand before.
My alcohol addiction began when I was in my early teens. My school at the time had a culture of experimenting with drugs and alcohol, but something that set me apart from the others was that I couldn’t control it. Whereas others would come to a party with a six pack I would turn up with a carton and a bottle. I just wanted to get drunk as fast as I could, ended up almost dying and hospitalised in my mid-teens, and had a DUI as soon as I got my P plates at 17.
The alcohol was what I mainly stuck with through my life, the other drugs came and went but the alcohol was a constant. I got married young and had kids, so I kicked the drugs to the curb but thought it was normal to keep drinking. That manifested over the years into what is now a really strong addiction. I experienced a couple of job losses from my alcoholism, one as a direct result and the other I left before it could eventuate. In my 30s everything just started to crumble around me as my marriage broke down, my friendships were affected, and my finances started to take a hit. Up until that point I thought I was fine because I was still taking care of my kids and paying my bills, but I was really just treading water.
As a result of my drinking, I developed anxiety and depression, so I sought help from a psychiatrist. I went 30 days alcohol-free but was prescribed Valium which I started to develop an addiction to. It was a double-edged sword as I used the benzos to control my alcoholism. After my divorce, my addiction got worse and I was basically just working a lot, looking after my kids, and using drugs and drinking alcohol.
Then this year I was stood down from my job and deemed unfit for work. I saw a psychiatrist and they basically told me that there was nothing more they could do to help me because of my alcohol and drug addiction. I was told to seek residential addiction treatment, which honestly wasn’t something that I was really willing to try. But I was suicidal and just didn’t want to live anymore so I started googling rehabs and came across Hader Clinic Queensland. I thank my higher power for looking after me and guiding me that day.
At first I was really scared. I had never tried anything like rehab, and I was experiencing a lot of anxiety and panic attacks at the time so I was quite on edge. I struggled at the beginning of my time in Hader, by day four I wanted to leave. I was in alcohol withdrawal and just wanted to get out of there. The staff at Hader talked me into staying, which was definitely the right thing for me. What really helped me stay was that all the Hader support staff have had similar experiences and could relate to and understand what I was going through.
So, I completed Hader Clinic Queensland’s alcohol detox program and started my 30 days of rehab. The rehabilitation program was really structured which I liked, with the daily morning readings, the classes and the 12 step meetings which were essential. But I will admit I was still on edge, even at the beginning of the rehab program. It wasn’t until I finally fully surrendered to the program once I realised that without doing that I wasn’t going to get anything out of my time there.
Once I surrendered it was like a breath of fresh air and I began to take in everything I was being taught and it all just started to flow. I completed Hader Clinic Queensland’s 28-day detox program and the 30 day rehab program. Once I came out of Hader I had the tools and belief in myself that I could stay sober. For the first month out of rehab I did the aftercare program and counselling with Olivia, and it was super helpful to catch up with someone each week who knew my background and could walk me through transitioning back into day-to-day life. I quickly found a sponsor and a home group and am now a very grateful member of the fellowship that Hader introduced me to, which has been an absolute game-changer for me.
Life has been so much better since my time at Hader Clinic Queensland. Doors started opening up for me, I got rid of all my old resentments and made changes that feel amazing. I’m a completely different person. I still have everyday problems but now I don’t get as affected by them as I used to. I’m not that angry, frustrated person where nothing seems to go right for me like I was in active addiction. My biggest takeaway has definitely been learning that alcoholism is an illness, and I now have the tools and beliefs to manage it and live a simple suggested program of recovery. Thanks to the residential detox and rehabilitation addiction treatment programs at Hader Clinic Queensland I am over 5 months sober and every aspect of my life has changed for the better.
Names and photographs of this client have been changed to protect their privacy.
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