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.



Addiction Psychiatrist

As an addiction psychiatrist I know that substance use disorders can effect anyone, no matter their age, their job, their background. Everyone has a story that brought them to this point.



After another 6 years of alcohol dependence and many unsupported attempts to quit drinking, I chose a path of sobriety 3 weeks before my sons first birthday. I put down the bottle for the last time on the 1/1/2019 and I am now over 2 years sober. I live the happy, healthy, hangover-free lifestyle with my family that I always dreamed of.


Lucas Barnes

It was not until 2019, nine years into my heavy gambling addiction that I had the opportunity to be a part of Addicted Australia, which for the first time gave me an inclusive environment focusing on the addiction rather than the vice and a full transparent wrap around support and supportive community.



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



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.



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.



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.



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.



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



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