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Reality Check: book of addiction stories published

St Martins has published a collection of personal stories from clients who have experienced drug and alcohol addiction in a bid to prevent young people from following in their footsteps.

St Martins clients who are in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, accompanied by staff members, have been telling Norfolk high school students about their experience as part of the Reality Check project for the last two years. The stories are hard-hitting and frequently have a profound impact on the young people who hear them, so it was decided to collate the accounts into a book, which also includes information about how to get help.

The 62 page book comprises 23 accounts of people whose lives have been destroyed through substance abuse, often involving the breakdown of family relationships, homelessness and isolation.

Life Skills Development Co-ordinator Nicky King said, “It is striking how each story is unique and that is because each person is different. Our clients come from all walks of life and we wanted to capture this diversity by collating the stories.”

“It’s not an easy read, and it’s not supposed to be. We see first-hand how drugs and alcohol can wreck lives. Our clients want to use their stories to make a difference; if just one young person asks for help or changes their behaviour as a result of hearing or reading one of these stories, then something positive has come from it.”

The book was printed thanks to The John Jarrold Trust who funded the printing costs. Caroline Jarrold said, “I was very moved by the willingness of clients to share their experiences in the hope that others might be able to avoid finding themselves in similar situations. Many of the stories are harrowing and it’s so sad that people’s lives take these turns. The Trustees were pleased to support the work of St Martins in giving young people real testimonies about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.”

St Martins delivers the Reality Check presentation in high schools and colleges in Norfolk. It is a chance for young people to hear the plain truth about drugs and alcohol – not from a teacher or counsellor, but from people who have experienced it for real and are in recovery. A copy of the book Reality Check: The Stories will be given to each school following the presentation, with further copies available to purchase.

Click here to read more about Reality Check

Pictured: David (whose story is in the book and delivers the presentations), Nicky and Caroline

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