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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Anonymous

Family Member or friend

I feel less shame as time goes on as there is no way forward with shame.

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Chloe

Has a lived experience of addiction

I'm 10 months into my recovery and cannot be more grateful for the life I have now. I attend recovery group twice a week and TAFE every other day. I am blessed to be a better version of myself and my goal is to help those who are struggling!

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Kathryn

Has a lived experience of addiction

I found treatment so much better than I’d ever imagined. I learned so much about myself and substance use during that time. Fast forward to now and I have a job in peer support work.

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Rhys

Has a lived experience of addiction

I have climbed mountains, run ultramarathons and swum marathons. Life is big beyond addiction!

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Mark

Has a lived experience of addiction

Recovery has provided me the opportunity to excel in life and reach my potential. I am eternally grateful for now living a life of purpose and meaning. I aim to leave a legacy of hope to others.

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Bec

Has a lived experience of addiction

I have now been sober for 12 years and drug free for 10 years. I have dedicated myself to making sure no one has to suffer in silence the way that I did.

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Jess

Has a lived experience of addiction

I am now two years clean and working as a lived experience peer worker. I am so proud of myself and who I am today.

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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.