Featured Advocate: Chris from DEAD – Drugs End All Dreams 2/4

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delchrisChris: I was driving my car down a major road in Sydney, Australia in the middle of the day in December 2012. The next thing I remember was being woken by a crash and a bang and the sound of the “jaws of life” cutting me free from the wreckage. I had blacked out at the wheel, highly intoxicated and had a head on collision with another vehicle. I was taken to hospital where I spent five days in recovery from broken ribs, whiplash and head cuts. Anyone would think that something like this would immediately stop me from drinking and learn from my mistakes. Not I, the power of addiction was far too great for me to change my ways, at this point in time. It wasn’t until March 2013 that I received a call from the police to say my blood tests revealed a High Range DUI reading of .204. I would be charged accordingly as well as charged with Dangerous Driving causing GBH, and would be required to attend court.

At the courthouse I received no sympathy from the judge, and nor should I have. The judge told me that I was looking at a custodial sentence and at best an ICO (Home Detention), and adjourned my case for 6 weeks while I sought legal advice and subsequent meetings with Probation and Parole Officer, who would explain the process required to be undertaken to see if I was suitable for an ICO. I sought professional help through Detox and Rehab programs, Relapse Prevention, Living With Addiction, Counselling sessions and AA meetings. I read and re-read and re-read the Big Book and any other literature I could get my hands on to get an understanding for my addiction and educate myself properly to ensure I didn’t go back to my past ways.

I believe changing my life and acknowledging I had a problem with alcohol, showing remorse and understanding my actions was a big factor in me escaping a custodial sentence and receiving a more lenient sentence. I didn’t realize it at the time, but i know now that substance abuse of any kind is dangerous. Persons of all ages can quickly, or over a period of time, become victims of their own negative behavior. Substance abuse becomes substance dependence. Once my dependence crossed over into full blown addiction, I began to lose control of various aspects of my life. I began to see a deterioration of my personal appearance and hygiene. My job performance began to decline. My relationships with family and friends changed as my focus increased on acquiring the substance. I was physically and emotionally dependent on alcohol. Recovery from any drug and alcohol addiction is a process and it all starts with a desire to get sober. What followed for me was a personal commitment, a lot of effort and time. The road to recovery isn’t easy and there are challenges in various forms on a daily basis. However, with the right support a successful recovery can be achieved by anyone.

And today after all I have gone through to get where I am at this point in time today, I decided to put my energy back into the very thing that brought me to my knees – drug and alcohol addiction counselling and support. I lost everything to alcohol and was within an inch of losing the last meaningful thing in my life, my kids. That’s why I want to help others understand that life doesn’t have to be that way. There’s an opportunity to get your life on track and be a better person. I no longer hold anger or resentment toward others; I live life on life’s terms and accept that some things can’t be changed but at the same time make effort to change the things I can. I made amends to those who allowed me to do so and I spent time on understanding and recognizing the people who are valuable to my life and my recovery and those who aren’t so good for me. I worked on understanding my vulnerabilities and triggers and take things “one day at a time”. I’m not ashamed to admit my mistakes because that is no longer the person I am.

Since starting this page in August 2014 it has grown steadily and has reached people of all ages, male and female from many different cultures, backgrounds, religions and countries. Most, but not all, have themselves been affected by addiction, or by someone else who is active in addiction. During this time people have messaged, some have asked me personally, while others have probably wondered why I am so passionate about spreading the message about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse and addiction. Well here it is – the life changing moment that would start a chain reaction of events and send me down the path of freeing myself from addiction and toward a path of sobriety and redemption.
My page is all about creating awareness about the effects of drug and alcohol addiction on individuals and the wider community. Substance abuse of any kind is dangerous. Persons of all ages can quickly, or over a period of time, become victims of their own negative behavior. Substance abuse becomes substance dependence. A person’s choice of abused substance is often determined by age, economics, social or ethnic group, peer pressure and other personal and societal factors.

DEAD – Drugs End All Dreams Creating awareness about the effects of drug and alcohol addiction on individuals and the wider community.

Substance abuse of any kind is dangerous. Persons of all ages can quickly, or over a period of time, become victims of their own negative behavior. Substance abuse becomes substance dependence. A person’s choice of abused substance is often determined by age, economics, social or ethnic group, peer pressure and other personal and societal factors.

Once dependence crosses over into addiction, the user begins to lose control of of various aspects of their life. You will begin to see a deterioration of personal appearance and hygiene. Job performance will begin to decline. Relationships will change as the focus increases on acquiring the substance.

Recovery from drug and alcohol addiction is a process. It starts with a desire to get sober. What follows is personal commitment, a lot of effort and time. The road to recovery isn’t easy. There are challenges in various forms on a daily basis. However, with the right support a successful recovery can be achieved. For many people, this process begins with alcohol or drug detox, followed by rehab.

deldead2

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