“My life before Coolmine was hectic and out of control. I got in with the wrong crowd from an early age and in my late teens and early 20s I ended up in prison regularly. My life was completely unmanageable from drink and drugs and gambling. I came from a lovely home and was brought up well but somewhere along my journey I crossed that line that most people do not cross, and it led me down a very dark path for many years.
“From being in prison for many years due to addiction I got introduced to a drugs counselor who asked me would I be interested in going to Coolmine, which I was. When I first got to Coolmine it was brilliant; friendly and caring, but also very weird as well and it took a little while to adapt to how the programme worked. In Coolmine I learned about taking responsibility for my actions, having discipline in my life and learning I cannot get things I want all the time. I struggled with emotions and feelings but learned that that is all they are: feelings.
“As time went on and through groups and talking with peers I started to grow and change. I learned how to grow and respect myself. I started to learn how live my life drug and alcohol free, and that I did not need a substance in me to survive.
“Since graduating from Coolmine in 2018 my life has changed drastically. I have my own place, a lovely apartment in Clontarf which all started with the help of Coolmine. I have all my family and friends back in my life and many more new friends and good people in my life. I went on and got a job and a full driving license and I am also in my last year of a Level 8 Honors Degree in Sociology/Social Policy, and I plan to go on further and do a masters.