RECOVERY STORY 10

Colin is 40 and lives alone in Greenock. He was referred to Moving On Inverclyde by his statutory drugs worker in December 2014 having been stable on a Methadone prescription for some months.  He had a long history of drug use, from smoking cannabis as a teenager, progressing to using ‘party’ drugs (ecstasy and amphetamine) to smoking Crack Cocaine, to finally smoking and injecting Heroin and using large amounts of Diazepam(blues) and Temazepam(jellies).  At times, due to Colin’s drug use, he experienced some jail sentences for crimes such as petty thefts, assault, shoplifting and drug dealing.    When Colin came to Moving on he completed an assessment and induction where he decided the best days and times to attend the service and quickly settled in and embraced all the service has to offer.

While coming to Moving On, Colin continued to get help from his statutory drugs worker and psychiatrist at Inverclyde Integrated Drugs Service (IIDS) to start to reduce s methadone dose until he started on Suboxone and eventually was on no substitute medications at all.  He felt this was a huge relief for him as he was beginning to resent attending a chemist daily which he felt kept him associated with people who were still using.

After getting off all drugs and substitutes, Colin applied to study at West College Scotland and was accepted and enrolled on HNC Social Sciences.  Colin says he struggled greatly at times and began to experience feelings of self-doubt and failings the further he got into studies.  Rather than contacting his support workers Colin kept these feelings to himself, resulting in greater feelings of self-doubt and placing unnecessary pressure on himself. This lasted for a number of weeks until it all came to an end one morning when the thought of using drugs entered his mind.  Colin explains that before he knew what had happened, he was in Renfrew purchasing Heroin and Valium.  This quickly turned into a full blown relapse, resulting in him quitting college and spending all the money he had managed to save and continuing to take more drugs plus on occasions, alcohol. This pattern carried on for many weeks until Colin contacted Moving On in December 2015 and spoke about the possibility of re-engaging with the service.

During time at Moving On (2)

Colin managed to cease using drugs and alcohol, without having to go back on a substitute prescription, and began accessing Moving On once again. He participated in all aspects of the program and took a particular interest in the physical exercises activities.  He commented on how the use of the Inverclyde Leisure gym cards were of great value to him and he began to take great care in his physical health and diet whilst going to Fitness activities , both as part of the Moving On program and also out of hours.

Colin completed the Smart Start phase and carried on through into the Next Steps stage of the program where he started connecting better with wider agencies while making steady recovery progress.  During the Next Steps phase Colin enrolled in an evening class about “the benefits of physical exercise and the anatomy and diet” . This was a short course which ran for 8 weeks but during this time he discovered that he enjoyed the theory as much as the practicality of the course and so began searching for courses for an education in Health and Sports and enrolled in the local college. Colin decided this time to enroll at a lower NC level as he felt that he learned a valuable lesson the previous term time, when he tried to reach too high and too quick at HNC level.  Colin excelled through this course and found that not only did he enjoy this course; he found the content and pace of the learning was easier for him.  Colin has now enrolled in HNC level and is finding this time more enjoyable and less stressful.

Today, Colin gets on going “light-touch” support from Moving On Aftercare phase which means he meets his key worker for a coffee and catch-up every three weeks or so which he says really suits him. He continues to remain drug free and attends college and also drops in to the service every now and then when he feels he needs a bit of advice about college stuff, such as emails, photocopying, accessing his college portfolio etc.  Colin also chats away to current service users if they happen to be present at the same time and gladly shares with them the great value he felt the Moving On service was to him.

Latest Update (December 2017)      Colin states:  “Since completing Moving On, I have completed an NC Sports and Fitness Level 5 course and I am currently studying HNC Health, Fitness and Exercise, which I am over half way through and very confident of completing.  My emotional and physical health have improved remarkably and I enjoy my life today.”

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