Steve’s Drug Addiction Recovery
After being put in jail in his early fifties, Steve completed the residential addiction treatment program for drug addiction with the Hader Clinic Queensland. This is his story.
Hey, my name’s Steve, and I’m fifty-five years old. I’m currently undertaking the Hader Clinic Queensland’s residential addiction treatment program. I’ve been a drug user for over forty years. You could say that before I went to the Hader Clinic Queensland, that I knew no other life.
It all started in my early teens. My old man, who’s an ex-bikie, called me and my brother into the kitchen one night. He had some hash on the stove and he said, “go on, try it”. We smoked it thorough an old milk bottle with the bottom broken out of it and two knives on the stove.
So, my brother and I used to smoke hash underneath the house with Dad. We’d be up all-night giggling. We all thought it was bloody great. And that’s where it really started. Later on, I got into the weed and after I got married and started working a lot of twelve-hour shifts, I started getting into the speed and then got into the rock (ice), and things just got worse.
I got really bad into the ice when my mother died, and I’ve never really gotten over that. That was about ten to fifteen years ago.
My wife never got into the ice or anything. I got her into it about ten years ago. I wish now that I’d never let her try it. I was working in transport. We’ve always been pot smokers – and hash, and got onto the eccies, and acid trips. Had a crack at everything except heroin. I’ve always been a smoker, not an injector.
The smoking of meth caused aneurysms in my brain. I haven’t had them attended to yet but smoking all that crack gave them to me. It’s a good reason to stay off it.
How did I get to rehab? Well, that’s a bit of a story. When COVID-19 hit, the price of meth went through the roof. So, my partner and I turned to selling to maintain our habit. Then I got caught and sent to jail. I was there for three months and was offered the opportunity to be bailed, so long as I went to a live-in rehab, which I did for three months and had to wear a tracker on my ankle.
Honestly, I had no clue that rehab even existed – that there was a place that could help people like me. I just thought it was a way to get out of jail. Initially, I didn’t want to be there when I was in jail, but then I got there and started learning about the 12-step program.
I started reading the text.
“This is about me,” I thought. Being raided by the cops saved my life. The pain of trying to maintain my addiction through COVID-19 had planted the seed in my mind that I’d had enough. Once I started reading about it, I started liking it – and then I started learning it. I thought, “I have to do this”.
And I did do it. And I’m going to stay clean.
While I was devastated to be in prison, I was relieved at the same time. I didn’t touch drugs in jail. I decided that I wanted to stop using for good.
My partner, however, wasn’t keen on stopping. Before we got raided, we were arguing a lot – we’d never been like that before. I said, “this has got to stop. I’ve had enough”.
I was relieved when we were raided. Yes, I was finished, you know. Because my partner didn’t want to get clean, it stopped me. You really have to both want the same thing in order to stay away from the drugs.
At my worst, I’d be collapsing to the ground and not knowing I had these aneurysms. I thought it was just the gear, that I was tired. However, it was way more serious.
At the rehab, I really liked Donna and Mark. It wasn’t all roses with Mark, I got myself into some arguments and I had to write a 500-word awareness essay because I coughed and farted at the same time, and someone complained. I can laugh about it now.
There were a few blues, but when I finished, I bought them all a box of chocolates and said “thank you”. They’re all good people and they are all doing a tough job.
My life is completely different.
A typical day involves getting up and going to check in. Then I come home and work in my two big sheds. I used to fix lawnmowers and motorcycles but that went past the wayside, and it all grew into a bit of a mess. I’ve been fixing up the yard and cleaning up the sheds. It keeps me busy.
I go to a meeting at 7pm, usually after tea.
I have a sponsor, who also attended Hader Clinic Queensland. He gives me solutions and answers to the questions. He meets me in the coffee shop outside the Hader Clinic Queensland.
My wife comes to meetings with me and is now clean. It’s fantastic.
I was about to do Step Four of the 12 steps, but my sponsor suggested to go back and do the first three which has been fantastic. In the rehab, you tend to rush them, especially if you haven’t done them before. It wasn’t until I did the first step again that I got a good understanding of how it all works.
I said to my wife, “I get how this works”, and she said, “Maybe I should give it a go too”.
She’s been through it with me. She was jailed for a month. She has been so great, loving and understanding. I couldn’t do it if she wasn’t clean.
Our kids are proud – they’ve never touched drugs and for that I am so grateful. I’ve never hidden my using from them. They can see that there’s no happy ending with them.
I am grateful and happy to be in recovery. I’m living a life now that I never knew could be possible. I have court proceedings ahead of me and I have still been able to stay clean despite the stress of this. Thank you to Hader Clinic Queensland for all your support and help.
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