REAL STORIES

To help tackle the harmful stigma and misinformation surrounding addiction, Rethink Addiction provides this space to share the real stories of addiction. These are real people who have lived with addiction, supported a family member or friend, or have been involved in providing clinical care or peer support.


In sharing the real stories of addiction we see that it is a complex issue that touches all Australians, but that help is available and change is possible. Read through the stories below and see how addiction has impacted the lives of everyday Australians and how important getting help can be.

CONTENT WARNING: Please note that some stories may highlight themes of suicide, domestic violence and/or assault. These themes have not been removed to remain true to our storytellers lived experiences.

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Moira

Family member of someone with a lived experience of addiction

I wish we could break down the stigma so not only those struggling with addiction can reach out, but also families needing support during times where recovery isn't met.

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John

Has a lived experience of addiction

I have now been in recovery for nearly 10 years and work to help others recognise their patterns before it gets too much. I have completed two degrees and have worked in rehabs.

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Nicholas

Has a lived experience of addiction

I realised I was at rock bottom when I found out I was going to become a father and it honestly scared me straight. Now everything I do is for the good of my daughter and I’ve since realised my worst day in recovery, is one million times better than my best day using drugs.

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Joanna

Has a lived experience of addiction

After much trial and error and some help from Narcotics Anonymous, I'm now abstinent from all drugs.

I realised in order to have my son in my life I needed to take care of myself. My son is now back in my care and I am finally living.

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Anne

Family member of someone with a lived experience of addiction

As I entered recovery as a family member, I learnt to see it very differently and I am so glad I did. Now my son has struggled with drug addiction for 20 years. My relationship with him is so different because of my recovery and my changed attitudes.

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Michelle

Has a lived experience of addiction

Hitting rock bottom gave me a second chance. Even at age 45, it is never too late for miracles too happen.

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Tania

Family member of someone with a lived experience of addiction

Sliding door moments may happen only once. Let's help those that are locked in.

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Maree

Family member of someone with a lived experience of addiction

I am a mother of a son with an addiction to alcohol, and this has been totally devastating to our family… We have to remove the stigma as addiction does not discriminate.

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Lee

Senior Registered Nurse

I am a senior registered nurse and my specialty is mental health and AOD nursing.

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Nicola

Family member of someone with a lived experience of addiction

If society saw it differently, and it was treated like other illnesses, I believe things could be different.