This is George’s story, at aged 51 George was referred to our Wear Recovery service by his GP. His alcohol addiction had led him to seek support, in one of his initial appointments he described how he had been heavy drinking for over 20’s years but had only been aware of his dependence in the last 12 months.
George had previously travelled the world with his employment, where he had worked his way up to Executive level. He had always been the ‘life and soul of the party’ – he had had a successful career but had always been surrounded by alcohol.
When George first came into the service, he was drinking in excess of four bottles of wine a day or 24 cans. He worked with his Recovery Co-ordinator on a one to one basis and attended weekly recovery-focused groups. His physical health had been affected by his alcohol consumption which resulted in him being admitted to hospital several times.
Through working with his Recovery Co-ordinator and using an alcohol diary tool, George reduced his alcohol consumption to the point where he stopped drinking altogether.
He then decided to start our 12-step Recovery Programme, Oaktrees. During his time in Oaktrees George completed a series of assignments and began, gradually to support others who came into the programme, lending his own experience and knowledge so they were able to feel welcome and comfortable.
George successfully graduated and started to attend continuing care, after treatment support for those who have graduated from Oaktrees, which he attends weekly. As part of moving on after the 12 weeks in Oaktrees, George created a moving forward plan. His main aims were to focus on his recovery by attending continuing care and AA fellowship meetings; George has also signed up to work with the Changing Lives Employment Coach to help him get back into work when he feels ready.
“ I have had an ongoing battle with alcohol addiction since my late teens. I have tried many different ways to stop by myself but always unsuccessfully. The last 20 years of my life have been horrendous, very painful both mentally and physically due to my alcoholism. My daily routine would revolve around waking up after very little sleep, either broken or insomnia and looking for my first drink. I never bothered to get washed or eat, it was now at this point where the cheapest, strongest cider was all I craved.
My family were suffering with me too, after many health problems and hospital admissions my GP referred me to Wear Recovery. I never knew such places existed for people like me. I was met by my Case Worker and being very scared and unsure of what Wear Recovery and Oaktrees meant I was very apprehensive. My Worker put me at ease and was very caring, they talked through everything and explained how, with a reduction programme and attending numerous groups I could eventually be able to stop drinking and progress into Oaktrees for rehabilitation, this I did.
On entering Oaktrees again I was very apprehensive. The team at Oaktrees could not have been more welcoming and caring. They explained everything in detail and put me at ease, each one of them treated me with dignity and respect, never once judged me. More than that they gave me hope for the first time in my life. Throughout the 3 months at Oaktrees, every single day I was guided, encouraged and motivated by the staff team. Every session was helping me understand more about me and my addiction. Although there was up to 12 people in the group, the team paid personal attention to everyone and understood all our personal needs. This made you feel like the course was tailored to you personally, we were like a family.
I never missed one day in rehab as I was, for the first time ever finding life was now worth living again. I graduated and have now been sober for over 6 months. The programme at Oaktrees has lead me on to the path of the 12 steps with AA which I attend religiously.
My life is now unrecognisable from before, I have a home, my health is improving and thanks to Oaktrees I have a new family with AA. I can’t explain in words what Wear Recovery and Oaktrees has done and continues to do, other than that they have saved my life. I think they should be called SAVING LIVES! I will be eternally grateful for my second chance at life.”
Our 12-step recovery programmes are available across the North East and Yorkshire. They offer a structured, abstinence-based programme for people who wish to be free from drugs and alcohol. The programme includes counselling, group therapy and workshops for developing life skills.
Find out more about our Drug and Alcohol Services or call our office Mon- Fri between 8.30 and 4.30 pm on 0191 273 8891.
*Name has been changed and photo posed by model to product the identity of people who use our services.