Jack was released from prison in January 2009 after serving 18 months of a 3 year sentence. This was Jack’s first prison sentence, he went in to prison on a methadone programme but was still using heroin occasionally.
Jack engaged with the prison CARAT teams to help him with his addiction and left prison clean from all substances including methadone.
Jack was released in to Bed and Breakfast accommodation where he found it difficult to maintain his abstinence from heroin, eventually he lapsed back in to use and shortly after was referred to The Wallich Gorwelion project, which is a new project for ex-offenders who wish to abstain from using substances. Jack was accepted on to the project where he was provided with his own flat and supported by staff from the Gorwelion project.
The project consists of a core house containing 5 self-contained flats which are staffed 24 hours and a further 5 flats located approximately 1 mile away from the core house. The flats that are located away from the core house are intended for clients who are abstinent and able to maintain their tenancy.
Unfortunately, Jack wasn’t quite ready for more independent living and lapsed back in to heroin use, this was identified by staff who then worked intensively with Jack to help him get back on track. During Jack’s lapse he was caught shoplifting and tested positive for opiates, and as a result was sentenced to a 12 month DRR (Drug Rehabilitation Requirement). It was agreed with Jack that it would be more beneficial for him to move to the core house where he could be provided with more intensive support.
Since Jack has lived at the core house he has maintained his abstinence from heroin and other drugs, he is currently reducing on his methadone programme and has not re-offended since. Jack has shown great progress and has been keen to get involved with activities at project and also engagement with outside agencies; he attends NA meetings and says that the support he has received at Gorwelion has played a major part in his continued recovery from substance misuse.
Jack has represented the project at service user focus groups; he has completed The Wallich ‘Way Forward’ work books and is now the elected client representative for the implementation of group work sessions at the Gorwelion project.
Jack has been booked on to The Wallich in-house training programme and has enrolled himself on to a counselling course at Swansea College; he hopes to gain some qualifications which he hopes will lead him in to working in the substance misuse field. Jack is a positive example to people at the core house and encourages others to make positive changes in their lives, he has also bought in to the ethos of building a ‘community’ at project where the people we help actually feel they have a real stake in the project and end up developing their own boundaries, rather than having them set by staff.