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Case Studies

A selection of letters from clients and relatives that simply speak for themselves...

N.B. CAN stands for: Council on Addiction Northampton

CONTENTS:

All names have been changed to ensure privacy...

Letter 1: from the mother of Alan P

I would like to say a big thank you to your branch of CAN at Corby, but also a special thank you to a gentleman called John who has not only helped my son but also myself. My son Alan has been on drugs on and off for 20 years, he is now 39 years' old.

He came to me in January this year to go through 'cold turkey' which he did, but found it hard. I realised Alan would need more help, so after talking to him, I rang CAN at Corby to make an appointment for Alan.

We saw John, who talked to Alan and also made an appointment for Alan at Huxlow House to see a doctor who put him on tablets so the heroin would have no effect. He also arranged for him to have some counselling which Alan is still having. Alan is also working now.

I feel in my heart that John played a big part in this so once again a big thank you to CAN and a special thanks to John.

Alan's mum - Mrs P

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Letter 2: from the husband of Mandy L

I love my wife to bits, I underline the word wife because this has not been the women I married.

Mandy is a wonderful, caring women that you couldn't help but like. When Mandy has a drink, look out, all hell breaks loose. The family done everything they could possibly do, recognising that this was a medical problem not just a drink problem.

All the family were put under a tremendous strain and were searching everywhere for help. My wife went into detox on two occasions, but she was failed on after care.

She then visited CAN who were unbelievable, they couldn't help enough. We, the family, were at our wits end and yet no one would give us the help we so desperately needed.

John Hogan, Helen and Gloria plus Dr Brown, I hereby for now and the rest of my life thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me my wife and life back.

Without these people who took the time and patience to really asses the situation, the outcome may have been fatal. My family now has a life because of CAN and the others I've mentioned. God bless you all and I hope others in the same position we found ourselves in do not find the same obstacles in their way.

I can't thank you enough.

Mandy's husband - Mr L

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Letter 3: from the grandson of Mandy L

Stop drinking drawing by Logan L

When my nanny was drinking, hearing that she had a drink gave me the shakes. I could not sleep or focus on school work, I kept on panicking.

When my nanny was drinking she looked really old, now she looks quite young, and just little problems started her off like my grandad or someone else, telling someone off. Constantly the police was coming round plus Ambulances for over-doses, or harassment too. Helen has took her time to help my nanny, especially when my nanny was drunk and she went round Helen's house. So Helen has a lot of patience.

I just want to thank John Hogan and the group for helping my nanny also Gloria. Just hearing about drinking stories leaves a dark feeling in my heart.

Drawing of his Nanny by Logan LStop drinking poem

Why do you drink
Without a think
We're the ones who suffer
Sorry, you're making yourself look like a bluffer

You're not bad
You're just making us sad
When you drink
Without a think

 

But life's a bit better when she's on anti-abuse. And CAN has helped loads. I've learnt quite a lot, my nanny has went in twice for detox but she does so well then spoils it. That's why I'm proud she's on anti-abuse, now we don't have to worry, and say to ourselves "is she going to drink?"

Thank you for listening to what I have to say.

Mandy's grandson - Logan L - aged 9

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Letter 4: from the daughter of Mandy L

My name is Tanya and my mum was a drinker, but that wasn't the proble, the problem was her angry and aggressive way she acted when she did drink. I really don't think you can get a happy drunk but if you could I wouldn't have cared if she drank 24/7. I can't think of a time when she drank and there wasn't a problem!

It gradually got worse even more so when my nan died. The dreaded phone call in the middle of the night, because that happened a lot, my dad found it hard to cope so being the only child I had much of the responsibility. As time went on and after several overdoses and all of the family at its wits end, including my husband and my two children, my son who is aged 9 and my daughter aged 6, who constantly asked when picked up from school (is nanny drunk again today?)

We all tried different types of help to be told that it wasn't an illness and she had to stop herself. We then had a hope when she was sent in for a detox. Yes, this is the change we've been waiting for, we thought, just to have it thrown back in our faces due to lack of after care. This happened twice and both times mum went back on the drink.

Every time I was called out by my dad to try and sort out the situation my mum would hit me, kick me, rip half my hair out. The police would be called, my mum would get arrested under the Mental Health Act and when she was released for the next couple of days she's be sober and feeling really sorry for what she had done.

I knew my mum wasn't a bad person but it was hard to understand why she was doing this. I started hating her and even my kids who think she's the best thing since sliced bread, who always wanted to go to their nanny's house started to not want to see her, which hurt. She was losing everyone around her and it was down to drink. It's really bad and I feel terrible for thinking this, but at the time I thought I'd rather she'd die than go on like this! I really, really love my mum, but she wasn't my mum anymore, she was a drunk that embarrassed my family and this to me was her last chance.

After being turned away by everyone I called on for help, I then phoned CAN to speak about things and get the help we all longed for and the man I spoke to was John. He was really, really fantastic, he would listen to what I was saying and he told me he would get her help, she needed anti abuse and he wasn't gonna take no for an answer. He also agreed that in his opinion this was her last chance because one way or another she'd kill herself.

John also said he'd make sure she'd get the after care i.e. counselling and things which he did. Her name is Gloria and since seeing her, going to your group and John and Dr Brown getting my mum onto anti abuse, our whole lives have turned around. John wasn't just there for my mum, he was there for all of my family, he'd take our phone calls, we could call in and see him. This to me was great as I didn't feel comfortable talking to anyone else. For everything he's done, I'd like to thank everyone, especially John from the bottom of my heart and I'll always be eternally grateful to all of you for giving me my mum back.

My mum looks 10 years' younger, she's lost loads of weight, she's bubbly and happy now and I love going in and spending time with her at home and out shopping instead of the dread of not knowing what you would find when you went round there.

I would also like to say to the group, hang in there, keep your chin up, your time will come and I wish you all the luck in the world. You can turn the corner too like my mum.

Thanks to all of you!

Mandy's daughter - Tanya L

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Letter 5: from Mandy L herself

I would just like to put into words my appreciation for the support and help I received from CAN and the counsellors, especially John Hogan and also Gloria and Helen.

I have been a drinker for many years and like most people with an addiction was in denial as to my problem. My husband, daughter and grandchildren were all suffering. After having several detoxes I relapsed each time partly because I was let down by the system, as I found outside of CAN there is not a lot of support. After several "binges" and attempted suicides my daughter contacted CAN and we were given an appointment with John. This turned out to be a turning point for me. For the first time ever I came to terms with my addiction and had the support myself and my family so desperately needed. John also involved my family and explained to them about my addiction which they were finding difficult to understand.

Both John and Gloria were in contact with my Doctor (Dr Brown) and as a result I was put on anti abuse medication which has been a lifesaver for me. I must also point out that I could not have stayed dry without the support I had at CAN and also the group sessions I attended, these were a very important part of my recovery. I also feel the other group members benefited too, some of whom I keep in touch with and we support each other. We also learned of other groups  that we could attend for support and information on how to change our lifestyles.

I have now been dry for 8 weeks and life is so much better not only for me but for my family. I hope the groups will continue so that other people can have this support also the support of CAN, as when things feel bad you only need to phone or go to the drop in and there will always be someone there to help you or your family.

I know my husband, daughter and grandson have also sent in letters to you and you have our permission to read them out at group sessions or whatever if you think it will help anyone to see that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I am not saying it is easy, you really have to want the change and be prepared for the bad days as well as the good but if you are determined and use the support you will be given from CAN you can do it. I honestly didn't think I could but believe me it is worth it to get my life back again and my family.

Also, thank you to all the staff at CAN who are really supportive and friendly, they make you feel at ease when you attend and do not judge you in any way. I like to feel that CAN and everyone has now become part of my extended family.

Once again, my heartfelt thanks to you all. I take each day as it comes, but each day I am sober is a bonus and I know you will be there if I need you.

God bless you all.

Mandy L

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