This is the first in a series of real case studies. Paul completed his treatment at Hampshire Residential and then went on to live in our Bridge Housing in Portsmouth. Here he talks about how important housing was for his recovery:
“Treatment would’ve been a massive waste of time if I hadn’t had a clean, safe place to go to after leaving rehab. I’ve been going round in circles for 18 years, I’ve been to rehab twice and completed four detoxes, every time I’d go back into a hostel with other users, and turn back to drugs. I’ve been using crack and heroin since I was 15; everyone in my neighbourhood did it and it just went from bad to worse. I ended up being homeless in Oxford because I couldn’t manage my money, I didn’t know who to talk to, I couldn’t get a place to live because no one would be my guarantor, and drugs were the only thing I had.
I went into Phoenix for the first time thinking this is the same old story, I was in quite a bit of trouble and thought I might end up in prison soon, so my plan was to go into treatment for three months, get clean off the methadone, then come back out and go back to the harder drugs to give me a better buzz. But something changed, I changed.
Phoenix started to make me think differently, and when I realised that I could go into housing after rehab, it gave me something to look forward to and made it stick. After I left treatment I went into Bridge Housing in Portsmouth, and being around people in recovery at the same stage as you, and having boundaries and structures put in place by Phoenix, meant that I could make it work this time. You still have to do the leg work and take responsibility, but it’s lovely to know you’ve got a home which is safe and clean, I’d never had that before.
Knowing I had housing available to me kept me going and I’ve done some magical things since going into Phoenix. I love my life now, don’t get me wrong, it’s still difficult and there are hard days, but know I have a lovely one bedroom flat which is my home and keeps me on track.”
Thank you to Paul for his story. If you have a story about your experience you would like to share then please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org