Names have been changed to protect the identity of the person.

Tom was born in Ireland in the early 70s and had a very difficult and challenging upbringing, suffering years of emotional, physical and sexual abuse.

He drank alcohol for the first time aged 8 and from then, it was a prominent fixture in his life, helping him to escape from himself and his situation.

Tom progressed onto drugs in his early teens using LSD, MDMA and amphetamine until he was introduced to heroin at 18. When Tom moved to the UK at 25, he discovered crack cocaine.

Whilst in addiction, Tom fathered six children, five of which he lost to Foster Care, Adoption and Death. He served nine prison sentences for drug dealing to street robbery, both in the UK and Ireland. Tom’s health also suffered drastically, he had four strokes and open heart surgery.

Aged 38 and in a bad way, Tom took help from local services in Manchester and eventually came into Acorn Recovery Projects where he successfully completed 5 months in the Dependency and Emotional Attachment rehab programme (DEAP). When he left, Tom went on to volunteer with ACORN, Shelter, and Emerging Futures, helping others suffering with addiction.

Today, Tom is clean and sober and in much better health. He has some of his children back in his life and enjoys spending time with them and his close connections in Recovery. He also has a full time job working for one of Manchester’s Recovery organisations.