Recovery a Different Approach

Mark’s* Story   Written by Bec Edwards

When it comes to Recovery from Drug Addiction everyone has a story; some go to rehab, some go to a 12 Step Fellowship, others try church or even hypnosis etc… Just like addiction, recovery is a personal journey and Mark* is no different.

With little information about drugs, Mark started using when he was twelve. Like most people he knew Mark dabbled in a range of drugs and by the time he was twenty he had tried almost all of them. Talking about his experience with using drugs Mark said “it was a slow increase when it came to chemical drugs. I drank and smoked pot a lot growing up, but my use of chemicals did not explode until I started going to raves”.

Most of his using was with friends, who Mark claims almost 100% of them had done drugs at some stage. While he enjoyed the feeling that came with using drugs Mark admits there was an aspect of “self-medicating for depression and suicidal thoughts”. And so his drug use escalated. By the time Mark recognised his drug use was out of control he was spending everything he had on drugs and using intravenously, barely feeling anything. It was at this point in his life that Mark knew if he didn’t stop, he never would.

While he was aware of Rehab Programs, Mark made the choice to move away and spend time with family in Queensland instead. Mark had always been a private person and knew that rehab included Group Therapy which was something he couldn’t see himself doing nor was it something he believed could help him.

“It was rough, you don’t realize how addicted you are until you stop. The first couple of months were really bad; cold sweats, insomnia and almost unbearable cravings”, Mark on his experience in Queensland.

Mark was gone for a little over two years and in that time he managed to overcome the challenges he faced with his addiction to drugs. Reflecting on his time away Mark believes it helped that he was surrounded by people who didn’t do drugs and he managed to find distraction in studying again.

Today Mark has found a balanced place in his life and has resumed using drugs, mostly for special occasions/events and with friends. His life is no longer shackled by the unmanageable addiction that plagued him in the past. Because of the time he spent in Queensland Mark now feels in control of his drug use, he still experiences cravings but is no longer looking for drugs all the time. For Mark, he has moved forward from his addiction.

“Addiction is a weird thing, you could take two people and give them the same drugs in the same amounts and one may go off the rails and the other won’t”, reflects Mark, “It’s hard to put my finger on exactly what changed. I guess it was just so hard to stop that I don’t want to go through that again. I have achieved a lot since I stopped doing drugs full time and I don’t want to flush it down the toilet”.

Mark’s life is now full of opportunities he didn’t have when using drugs full time because he chose to face it head on. Seeking recovery can occur in many different ways, all of them just as courageous as the other. “Hang in there, get help if you need it. There are so many support systems out there if you don’t have one”, advised Mark, “Do your research and find one that works for you”. Recovery is possible, once you make a choice to have it.

*Name has been changed to protect identity.