Recovering addicts from Chuan Muire Rehabilitation Centre in Athy recently talked to Transition Year students at Knockbeg College, about the dangers and effects of addiction, as student Andrew Roche reports.
I was surprised that they seemed like ordinary people, not the stereotypical addicts, I envisioned. However just like addiction, their sufferings were hidden. They gave an insight on a close and personal level that could not be achieved through books.
The first man was addicted to gambling, craving it to escape from misery and anxieties. The adrenaline of a bet left him falsely elated, giving way to the reality of his losses. He was left depressed but craving more, stealing from loved ones until they would no longer tolerate it, and he was left alone.
The next also felt the isolation of addiction. His upbringing was loving and his passion for football got him signed to a prominent club in England. Set for a promising career, he lived the dream with lots of money and lavish parties, but missed home. He began to binge drink to suppress his feelings, leaving him hungover for training. His career suffered and he turned even more to drink.
For the third speaker, realising his addiction was the greatest challenge. He was beaten as a child and bullied in school. He sought an escape from misery and was led to taking drugs. He warned us of how easy it can be to fall into the trap of addiction and how hard it is to leave it.
It will be a long road for these men but I’m glad to know that because of Cuan Mhuire, they don’t have to walk it alone. There, people are seen beyond their addictions, for who they truly are. People can be so quick to judge. For myself and on behalf of the school, I thank them for their bravery in visiting us to say that it is ok to ask for help.