Reformed addicts: How Emma Daggers beat her addiction to form a support group Families Matter in Lancashire
“Be the change you want to see and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it.” Admitting you have a problem with addiction can often be the hardest step on the road to recovery. But a host of former ‘addicts’ are aiming to prove it is never too late to change your life around.
Members of Red Rose Recovery and Lancashire User Forum (LUF), many who are recovered alcoholics and former drug users, are working together to show others the way.
Emma Daggers, from Lostock Hall, had spent 25 years of being hooked on heroin, methadone and benzodiazepine.But the 43-year-old has been clean for two years and has made it her ethos to shout out that you can change and is now supporting people through Families Matter.She is now a qualified therapist, public speaker, trainer and a significant driving force behind LUF and Families Matter.The mother-of-two says: “After working with LUF and Red Rose Recovery, I noticed a gap in terms of helping families so we meet once a month every Thursday.“Addicts and their partners or parents come and people share their stories and we have training.“I spent 25 years with an addiction. I was on heroin, methadone and benzodiazepine. I could never stay off it.“It was caused by what is known as ACEs (Adverse Childhood Effects). My mum and dad split up and I ended up hanging around older people on the acid house scene. I started to party and take drugs at the weekend. Then during the week they went to work but I wanted to carry on. I couldn’t stop.“I ended up in prison and if it was not for my mum, I would have lost my two children.“I had hit rock bottom and I wanted to kill myself.“Someone said to me, you don’t need to use, there is another way. I didn’t believe them at first – I had to see it for myself.“I went into rehab and did the 12-step programme and I began the road to recovery two years ago.“Peter Yarwood, founder of Red Rose Recovery, is my partner and we drive each other. When he is down, I pick him up and the other way round. We need to network and support each other.
“I can now drive a car and I have been offered another new job, I am now having to barter and choose between two jobs. To come from where I have and be told I am useless to now being valued and respected, I want to be inspirational to others.“Be the change you want to see. You have to break your own cycle, break the rules and addicts will follow to reform.“Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it. You don’t have to live that way anymore.”