Ad­dict makes fresh start

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By ROSANNA CAN­DLER

FIFTY years ago if you had asked Noel Dowsett what he wanted to be when he grew up, an ad­dict would never have crossed his mind.

“I grew up in a happy and lov­ing fam­ily. I never wanted for any­thing,” the 59-year-old said.

“Sex, drugs and rock and roll changed every­thing when I was about 17 years old.

“I was a pre­fect at Trin­ity Col­lege, but in that pe­riod I was ex­per­i­ment­ing with heroin. Out of the five of my friends, I was the only one who picked up the ad­dic­tion.”

When Mr Dowsett hit rock bot­tom in 2005, his mother took him to Fresh Start re­cov­ery pro­gram in Su­bi­aco.

“I had found my­self home­less, liv­ing in a gar­den shed and ex­tremely de­pressed,” he said.

“So de­pressed I didn’t even have the en­ergy to go to Cen­tre­link for ben­e­fits.

“I was liv­ing off food from garbage bins and char­ity. My fam­ily were very sup­port­ive, but af­ter 40 years I had trau­ma­tised them so much. They could no longer lis­ten to what I said I was go­ing to do. I had been on methadone, I had tried hyp­nother­apy. Noth­ing worked.”

Af­ter re­ceiv­ing his first nalx­trex­one im­plant from Fresh Start founder Ge­orge O’Neil, Mr Dowsett said he went straight home to call his dealer.

“I used it and felt ab­so­lutely noth­ing,” he said.

“In the next 24 hours, I wasn’t even think­ing about it. No crav­ings. It was mirac­u­lous. Those thoughts had been with me for decades, and sud­denly they were gone.”

Mr Dowsett said he now used his nurs­ing train­ing and per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence with ad­dic­tion to help fel­low ad­dicts in the Fresh Start pro­gram.

“I’m now meet­ing young guys in their 20s on this pro­gram, and I say to them: ‘I re­ally ad­mire what you’re do­ing, be­cause at 22, get­ting treat­ment was the last thing on my mind’,” he said.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie d444244

Former meth ad­dict Noel Dowsett.

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