Tyler* is a funny, courageous and determined young man who has been able to put drug and alcohol addiction in his past and start afresh. Tyler’s life was transformed after completing the three-step program at Triple Care Farm.
Tyler had a difficult upbringing that included frequent family violence. Like many teenagers, he experimented with drugs and alcohol, and would often use them as a means to escape his everyday life. “I tried almost anything that would take me away from reality,” says Tyler.
Just after his 17th birthday, Tyler’s relationship with his girlfriend broke down, and he spiralled into addiction. “I already had some drug and alcohol problems,” says Tyler “When I had a big breakup, things spiralled out of control and my addiction led me to being kicked out of home.”
Things went from bad to worse. He was forced to move out of home, was arrested more than once, and struggled daily with his mental health. “I was going from one mess to another,” remembers Tyler. “Drugs and alcohol numbed me. I had lost sight of myself, of who I was and who I could be. I was just surviving one day to the next.
“I got arrested, spent some time in a psych ward,” Tyler recalls. “My health suffered so much and it hurts to remember how much I upset my friends and family.”
Addiction robbed Tyler of his youth, opening up a world of pain for him and the people around him. But every young person is more than their addiction. It shouldn’t define them for life.
After a doctor recommended the youth-specific Withdrawal program at David Martin Place, Tyler gathered all his courage and reached out for help. “It felt like a really big deal and a massive commitment to make,” says Tyler. “But I made the first call and that was the hardest part.”
The path to addiction is complex. Every person’s journey is unique. However, if a young person does not receive effective help, they’re more likely to carry their addiction into adulthood and endure its long-term impacts.
That’s why the youth-specific Withdrawal program at David Martin Place is so vital.
The only one of its kind in NSW, the program is designed to meet the needs of 16-24 year olds, who would otherwise have to seek help at adult treatment centres, which can feel terrifying and unsafe for young people.
The Withdrawal program is the first step in a three-part voluntary program at Triple Care Farm, which provides holistic care in an environment that’s safe and supportive for young people.
“The drug use pandemic in young people is getting worse and the trauma these children suffer is unimaginable,” says Caroline, a nurse at David Martin Place. “We can help them start their journey away from drugs and alcohol, and help them through to the next stage.”
Like most young people Tyler was anxious when he first entered the Withdrawal program. But with 24/7 nursing care and support, Tyler was able to focus on getting well.
“We ensure each young person’s withdrawal management is safe and they are supported to begin healing and turning their minds to a future free from drug and alcohol use,” says Caroline.
“On day one I didn’t know what I wanted to achieve, what my goals were – I couldn’t really picture a future for myself,” says Tyler. “But as I went through the physical detox process, I worked with my counsellor on my goals and they became clearer and clearer. I had the space, the time, and the support to define that future and plan things out so I would be ready to start the Residential Rehabilitation program and then start my new life.”
After completing the Withdrawal and Residential Rehabilitation programs at Triple Care Farm, Tyler participated in the six-month Aftercare program to support his successful return to the community.
During the program at Triple Care Farm, Tyler rediscovered his passion for music, which helped him develop a new vision for his life. Since completing the program he has moved into a comfortable share apartment, completed a diploma from the Australian Institute of Music and started working full-time in a guitar store, where he’s running the teaching program and learning a range of management skills.
*Name changed to protect young person’s identity
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