A Tameside resident has turned her life around after overcoming addiction and now supports others in their recovery.
Natalie Brown, 31 and from Denton, now works for charity Change Grow Live (CGL) and supports the Tameside Council-backed Alcohol Awareness Week campaign. She feels that change is always possible and would encourage anyone struggling with addiction to let qualified people help and support them.
Natalie said: “I’d grown up to believe that using substances was the answer to remove those difficult feelings of loss, fear, insecurity, regret and shame.
“I found myself lost in a spiral of substance abuse and emotional pain where my life had become totally unmanageable. This ended up with me drinking from when I first woke up straight through to the point where I’d black out.”
Natalie was referred to CGL where she received support and encouragement to reduce her drinking safely. The team helped Natalie to believe in herself and her potential.
Natalie added: “After the programme I realised I wanted to help others in the same way. This led to me volunteering with CGL and supporting people who came in with problems like mine.
“I’m proud to say I’m now a full time worker at CGL and my life has transformed. I’m a better mother to my teenage son, daughter to my mother, and sister, friend, colleague and partner. Today I’m able to be the person I always wanted to be.”
In Tameside last year there were 5,818 hospital admissions for alcohol related conditions.
Alcohol can have a considerable effect on someone’s health including on the body, appearance, fertility, the calories in each drink and other related diseases.
Cllr Eleanor Wills, Tameside Council executive member for Adult Social Care and Population Health, said: “Natalie has such an inspiring story to share and we’re lucky to have people like her providing vital support to individuals in Tameside. Her recovery was made possible thanks to the hard work of the team at CGL who are constantly working to prevent, reduce and respond to drug and alcohol related harm across the borough.”
Anyone looking for support and advice on addiction should contact Change Grow Live on 0161 226 5526 or visit https://www.changegrowlive.org/. The charity holds drop-in sessions three times a week at their offices in Ashton and Hyde. These are one of the main ways individuals choose to self-refer onto the service.
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