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Drug clinic woman was a 'lifesaver'
12:20pm Friday 15th February 2013 in News
A PADGATE woman has been called a ‘lifesaver’ by families of addicts after voluntarily setting up a help group.
Davida Pugh was previously a manager at rehab centre Trust The Process and used her specialist training to start a relatives group.
But when she retired five years ago there was nobody else to step into her expert shoes meaning she has been running the families group for free from Fearnhead Cross Youth and Community Centre on Tuesday afternoons from 2 to 4pm ever since.
The 63-year-old said: “Alcoholism and drug addiction is a family disease and it’s catching.
“The addict lies and then the family will phone up their child or partner’s boss lying and saying they have got the flu.
“People try to save face and often think it’s their fault but when they come into the family group they realise they need to get better themselves.”
Davida believes addiction is a ‘huge problem’ in Warrington and is keen for more people to become aware of the group so current members can help new ones sharing their experiences and stories.
She added: “Families think it’s their loved ones that need help but then they start to realise they have behaved in a way they normally never would.
“It’s a terrible illness and parents and partners become ill themselves through their loved one.
“My reward is seeing people get well.”
Call 07867 676859 for more information.
A MUM who has been helped by the support group after her son became an addict has said ‘you never think it is going to happen to you’.
Mary* endured years of her son stealing from her, money and jewellery from his grandma and even his little brother’s Christmas presents to fund his habit.
But she says finding the group helped reassure her she was doing the right thing when she finally kicked him out of home.
Problems started for Robbie* , who is now in a therapy centre, when he was aged 16 and started smoking weed.
His mum said: “He was just having a go but it went on from there.
“We lived with him disappearing for six weeks and I know he’s lived on the streets and park benches.
“You read that because it’s cannabis people can just stop but he told me he has got to have it.
“He pointed out at the centre a bloke who smokes a bag of cannabis a day and he told me ‘mum, I smoked 15 times that a day’ but we’re only just finding this out now.
“He was working for a while but that was two years of hell and we were having to say we didn’t know where he was when he didn’t turn up.
“We were lying to people because it was so embarrassing.
“We tried everything including locking him in the house, we never left him on his own and everything needed to be locked away.
“He would come crying to us saying he didn’t want to do it anymore.
“He lived on pay day loans and ran up thousands of pounds of debt and we paid them off time and time again.
“We thought he seemed alright for most of last year but then in October it started again and in November I found money had gone.
“I went ballistic and we said ‘That’s it, out’.
“Throwing your son out, no matter what the situation, was horrendous and you wondered ‘What if he did something to himself’ and ‘Have we done the right thing?’.
“We found Davida who was such a support and told us we had done the only thing we could.
“Until he wants to stop there’s no chance and I didn’t understand that before because I’m ‘Miss Fix It’ and thought I could sort it.
“He went to Golden Gates Housing after we threw him out and they said they didn’t have anything for a month and would we be willing to take him back.
“I said no which killed me but then he was offered a place at a therapy centre and has been there since December.
“Davida is our support to keep doing the right thing and is a lifesaver.
“There’s no way there’s only me in Warrington telling this story so there must be more people who need her help.”
*Names changed to protect identities