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.

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Jen

I think my now 33-year-old daughter started using cannabis around age 11. I didn’t know, it was many years before I knew and by then she had progressed to methamphetamine use

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Claire

Even though I have been a year sober, I still struggle with my desire for drugs and alcohol regularly. I also struggle to find people who understand my addiction and offer a perspective that supports sobriety unconditionally.

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Natalie

I disliked myself and the way I ran my life for so long. I was unable to get off the merry-go-round until I - eventually - stumbled into a 12 Step program of recovery.

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Elizabeth

I learnt to find life without alcohol, a life which I thought was impossible. I could not have done this on my own. I had to reach out and give it all I could possibly give.

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Liz

I'm 3 months 22 days completely clean and sober today. I have a sponsor and am working a 12 step program. I attend 4 meetings a week. I also saw a doctor, got onto a mental health care plan and began counselling. I have a long way to go, but have come a long way.

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Kathryn

I went into psychosis and I went into the local mental health ward. There I met a drug and alcohol counsellor. 2 weeks later I started the 12 week course they offer. I now work for the same organisation as a peer support worker in a local day rehab. I am 2 years clean

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Lorrae

I’m a mum of 2, a wife, a 37 year old women and now someone who is 946 days without alcohol.

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Jacquelyn

Within 18 months, my meth use led to the darkest period of my life. I want people to know that no matter how dark it gets, there is always hope and that they are worth so much more.

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Ally

In 2013 I completed the 10 month 12 step Recovery Program, and stayed on at the center as a mentor for another 5 months. It was the most challenging, yet rewarding 15 months of my life, and the best thing I could ever have done.

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Emma

I always thought about addiction as a separate entity. One that happened to uneducated people, sick people, scared people. Not people like me.