25 April 2016

Woman Raising Money for the Alcohol Rehab Charity That Saved Her Life

Alcoholism and drug addiction are devastating illnesses affecting the lives of millions of people around the world. Addiction is an illness that affects the brain, consequently changing the way a person behaves. Those who have become dependent on alcohol, for example, will continue to drink even when doing so causes negative consequences. In most cases, a programme of alcohol rehab will be necessary to overcome this illness.

It is hard for those who do not have any experience of addiction to understand why an individual would continue to drink when it is having such obvious consequences on his or her physical and mental health, or when doing so is causing harm to loved ones. However, it is important to realise that a person with addiction has no control over his or her behaviour. The individual will feel compelled to act in a certain way, even when they do not want to.

Those with alcoholism may feel that they ‘need’ alcohol in order to function. If they have become physically dependent on it, they will experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms whenever the effects of alcohol begin to wear off. They will know that, by having another drink, these symptoms will subside. It becomes a vicious cycle. When it comes to alcohol rehab, it is not enough to simply help the person to get sober; they have to learn how to stay sober.

Overcoming Addiction

Amelia Barber is an example of how alcohol rehab can help with overcoming an illness such as addiction. Amelia suffered from both alcohol and drug addiction for more than ten years and her illness led to terrible consequences. She lost a number of jobs, her home, family, friends, and any self-respect she had. This resulted in her feeling suicidal and she firmly believes that had it not been for the help and support she received from Rehabilitation for Addicted Prisoners Trust (RAPt), she would be dead.

She said, “They genuinely cared. I wasn’t treated as a textbook diagnosis, but rather as an individual deserving of compassion.”

Since overcoming addiction, Amelia has taken up running and is taking part in the 2016 London Marathon in order to raise money for the charity organisation she credits with saving her life. She is hoping RAPt can help others to turn their lives around too.

She said, “Running has really helped my recovery. When I feel really tired, I have to mentally push through it and I have used that in my recovery to think ‘I can do this’. The peace and quiet out on the road is like my meditation.”

She is not alone in turning to exercise as a way to help overcome addiction. Many recovering addicts enjoy running and sporting activities they were once unable to participate in. In fact, many alcohol rehab clinics incorporate an exercise programme into their care plans for patients.

Downward Spiral

Amelia’s problems started when, at the age of seventeen, she moved to London from Somerset in the hope of becoming a pop sensation. However, by the time she was eighteen, she had entered a rehab clinic for alcohol addiction and anorexia.

Sadly, her stint in alcohol rehab was not successful as she began partying hard almost as soon as she left. In 2010, a six-year relationship broke down and she quickly descended into a spiral of drug and alcohol abuse that saw her lose her friends, family and home. She said, “Drinking became a daily thing. When I started taking coke, I would need more alcohol to help even me out. I was isolated and low and that is what I turned to and it escalated really quickly.”

She even tried to commit suicide by taking a mix of prescription and illegal drugs, and said of that time, “I knew I needed to stop, but I couldn’t. I felt possessed by my behaviour. There was no mental defence there or any fear of the consequences.”

Wake Up Call

After losing another job, Amelia moved back to Somerset to live with her parents but carried on drinking until they kicked her out again a few weeks later. This was the wake-up call she needed and she joined RAPt’s Island Day Programme in 2011. She started attending Cocaine Anonymous meetings and was given a place to stay in a women’s hostel.

Amelia said that the programme helped her to understand that addiction ‘is a disease that controls you’. She said this helped her to get rid of some of the shame she felt. Nevertheless, she was still struggling with addiction and relapsed twice before ending up in a psychiatric unit in 2012 after a week-long ‘bender’. She describes this as her rock bottom and it was at this point that she realised she needed to make a change. She said, “I knew my choices were die or get better.”

Amelia has now been sober for three-and-a-half years and is no longer estranged from her family. She said, “My journey into recovery wasn’t easy, and I didn’t get clean straight away, but I will always be grateful to RAPt for helping me when I couldn’t help myself.”


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