Lotty's Story

Lotty's Story

"At DHI, there is always someone there to help."

Lotty Harbord is a DHI Peer. Having come through treatment, she is now working to help others to turn their lives around as well. This was an interview with her.

Q: What is your story that led you to DHI?

LH: So, I lost my grandparents four years ago. They raised me; my mother passed away due to complications with alcohol. My family already had a background of addiction. After losing my grandparents, I turned to cocaine and crack – and I was using every day towards the end. What started as a little bit when I would go raving turned into something that was more present in my life. I was spending up to £1000 a night on crack, which led me to have some serious seizures. The last one I had scared the people I was living with – and they took me into the hospital.

My son was at home at the time. So, social services were called, and he was taken off me. After that, I received my inheritance from my grandparents – and my addiction got ten times worse, and I started using heroin.

I knew I had to get clean. I really wanted to get my son back in my life, so I knew I had to do something.

This was when I rang DHI – and was like, "I need help." Hannah (staff at DHI) got me in a room, started me on a script. Started having meetings every week, started seeing my manager every week. I came off heroin first, then the crack, and then the cocaine. I'm on the script now – but even that has reduced from 100ml down to 15ml.

In September last year, I started my Level 1 peer training. Two months ago, I did the Level 2 course, and that's how I'm here today!

I have my son back as well.

Q: How has being a peer personally helped your recovery and your sobriety?

LH: It's helped me because now I have a purpose. I can help other people who are going through addiction [because I am a peer]. That's what keeps me clean. I always say, "The universe gave me my addiction" because it knew I was strong enough to get over it – and then help others who are going through what I went through.

At the end of the day, when I leave work, I have that fulfillment – that warm feeling. That you've made someone else's day and life a little bit better. And then when I go home, it all comes together. Everything complements one another, my son keeps me clean as well – he's probably the main reason I'm able to stay clean – but being a peer helps me to give something back to DHI.

They helped me, and I can help them help everyone else who comes through the doors.

Q: What advice would you give people who may be in a similar situation to yourself in reaching out to services like DHI that can help?

LH: You have to go for it. What have you got to lose? Addiction can take everything from you; there is no harm in walking through the doors and asking for help if you need it. There are always people [at DHI] who are there to help. It may be the biggest thing or the smallest thing – but they are always there to help.

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