Drunk at 13, preg­nant at 15, on val­ium at 16 then heroin at 18. I never thought I would ever have a life like I have now

Mum hails char­ity for sav­ing her

Sunday Mail (UK) - - News - Heather Greenaway

As she beams from ear to ear sur­rounded by her beau­ti­ful fam­ily, you would never be­lieve that just eight years ago Julie McAd­dock was a drug ad­dict liv­ing only for her next fix.

Drink­ing heav­ily by the age of 13, preg­nant at 15, home­less and ad­dicted to val­ium at 16 and in­ject­ing heroin at 18, the mother of four’s life reads like a scene from Trainspotting.

For many, there would have been no way back from such a hellish ex­is­tence.

But one morn­ing, af­ter her kids had been taken into care and she had spent yet an­other night shoot­ing up, Julie de­cided enough was enough.

Through ad­dic­tion char­ity Teen Chal­lenge, she was given a place in a Welsh re­hab where she spent two-and-a-half years get­ting clean and dis­cov­er­ing her own self-worth.

Grate­ful for the help and sup­port she re­ceived, Julie re­turned to Scot­land in 2012, de­ter­mined to make a dif­fer­ence to the lives of other ad­dicts.

The 34-year- old and her hus­band Ricky, 38, now run Street Con­nect, a char­ity who help get drug ad­dicts into re­hab.

Julie, who is mum to Zoe 18, Marc, 17, Ross, two, and Gemma, one, says her story is proof that with faith and the right sup­port, a hope­less life can be trans­formed into a life of hope.

She said: “I grew up in a lov­ing home in Ersk­ine, near Glas­gow, with a mum and dad who loved me and worked hard to give me, my brother and sis­ters ev­ery­thing.

“At 12, I started go­ing off the rails. I was drink­ing, smok­ing and get­ting sus­pended from school. I hated my­self, had no self­con­fi­dence and felt out of place.

“At 13 and 14, I could not go a day with­out al­co­hol and I started smok­ing hash. I did aw­ful things and if I woke up and re­mem­bered what I had done, I would drink again in a bid to for­get.

“At 15, I found out I was preg­nant with Zoe. I man­aged to stay clean for a while but it wasn’t long be­fore I was back on the val­ium so it’s no sur­prise that at 17 I was preg­nant with my son Marc.”

Julie, who now lives with her fam­ily in Go­van, Glas­gow, added: “At 18, I started smok­ing heroin and it wasn’t long be­fore I was in­ject­ing it.

“For the next eight years, my life was a cy­cle of get­ting clean then re­laps­ing; of hav­ing my kids with me, then taken from me by so­cial ser­vices. My life was hope­less andnd I was so lost. .

“Then one ne morn­ing, af­terf IhIhad­dbbeen up theh wholeh le night, I prayed to God for his help and de­cided to take ac­tion.”

Julie con­tacted June Ross, from Teen Chal­lenge, who she had met two years be­fore when her mum had been try­ing to get her help.

The for­mer Park Mains High School pupil said: “On June 30, 2009, I went into Hope House, the char­ity’s re­hab cen­tre in south Wales. I spent two-and-a-half years there and grew up. In Jan­uary 2012, I felt it was the right time to come back to Scot­land. In Fe­bru­ary 2013, I got mar­ried to Ricky, who I met in re­hab.

“Marc and Zoe, who had been stay­ing with my par­ents, came to live with us. I never thought I’d ever have a life like I have now.” Julie and Ricky reg­is­tered their Street Con­nect project as a char­ity in 2014 and spend their time help­ing dis­ad­van­taged peo­ple in Glas­gow.

As well as drop-in cafes in Pos­sil­park, Glas­gow city cen­tre and Go­van, the cou­ple fund a move- on flat for peo­ple com­ing out of re­hab, do out­reach work on the streets and of­fer a wide range of coun­selling ser­vices.

On Septem­ber 30, Julie and Marc will do the Bank of Scot­land Great Scot­tish Run 10K to raise funds for Teen Chal­lenge.

She said: “I owe my life and hap­pi­ness to June Ross and Teen Chal­lenge.

“The 10K is a great way for us to give some­thing back.”

My life was hope­less and I was so lost. Then one morn­ing I de­cided to take ac­tion

GRATE­FUL Julie with her fam­ily Pic­tures Victoria Ste­wart DE­VOTED Ricky and Julie last week and, far right, on their wed­ding day. Right, Julie on heroin

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