Sally pulls back from the brink

HAP­PIER PLACE AF­TER RE­HAB

Comment News (Gosnells) - - Front Page - Ben Smith

“I LAUGH now. I smile now more than I ever did on drugs. I have more good days than I have hard days and on drugs the hard days were re­ally, re­ally hard.”

Two years ago, Sally had hit rock bot­tom.

Liv­ing on the street in the grips of drug ad­dic­tion, she turned to the Sal­va­tion Army’s cri­sis cen­tre The Bea­con, which re­ferred her to the Harry Hunter Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Cen­tre in Gos­nells.

Now Sally has her life back on track and as she edges to­wards grad­u­at­ing from the cen­tre, cred­its it as “life-chang­ing”.

She said she had bat­tled sub­stance abuse for most of her life and it frac­tured the re­la­tion­ship with her fam­ily.

“I’ve done over 30 years of al­co­hol and drug abuse. I’ve had good jobs, I’ve worked with the po­lice, cor­rec­tive ser­vices for seven-and-a-half years and with my meth use I lost ev­ery­thing to the point where my fam­ily said ‘no more phone calls, no more com­ing to our house’,” she said.

“I was couch-surf­ing; for about a week I was sit­ting up all night in the streets and wait­ing ’till morn­ing and then try­ing to rest and ac­cess Abo­rig­i­nal Al­co­hol and Drug Ser­vices and they in­tro­duced me to The Bea­con.

“I’ve at­tempted sui­cide twice; I was placed in a coma for four days and woke up in Royal Perth Hospi­tal.

“The day I walked into The Bea­con, I was car­ry­ing around six EpiPens of in­sulin, say­ing ‘if I can’t get my life to­gether, I’m not do­ing this any­more’.”

Sally said the cen­tre’s holistic ap­proach helped her fight her demons and turn her life around.

“It’s not just about telling drug users to stop us­ing drugs, it’s about why we started us­ing them, deal­ing with emo­tional is­sues and about teach­ing us how to be­come aware of what our bod­ies and mind are telling us,” she said.

The Sal­va­tion Army has launched its Red Shield Ap­peal to urge West Aus­tralians to fundraise for places like The Bea­con and the Harry Hunter Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Cen­tre ahead of their Door­knock week­end on May 26 and 27.

The char­ity needs to raise $500,000 over the next few weeks to con­tinue to sup­port its vast net­work of so­cial ser­vices which help peo­ple like Sally. Vol­un­teer or do­nate to the ap­peal by call­ing 13 72 58 or vis­it­ing salvos.org.au.

Pic­ture: Will Rus­sell www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d482827

Sally plans on rent­ing her own place and study­ing psy­chol­ogy when she leaves re­hab.

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