KICKING their drug and alcohol addictions was one of the hardest challenges they have had to face but Mike Milsom and Carmel Saunders are now using their own experiences to help others overcome their own issues.

During a recovery day to celebrate service users who have managed to beat their drug and alcohol misuse, Mike and Carmel spoke out about the difficulties they have encountered and how they are now stronger than ever.

The event was organised by the service users who attend CRI Pathways, which provides a free and confidential drug and alcohol treatment and recovery service for adults in Warrington.

Mike, from Callands, has struggled with alcohol addiction on and off for more than 20 years but now, after being dry for 14 months, has got his life back on track.

The 55-year-old said: “I had some mental health issues which is why I started drinking. I would drink to shut out the problems.

“I feel so much better now and I have got a clear head. I feel like a weight has been lifted.”

Now Paul is working as a peer mentor with the recovery service to provide vital support to people as they work towards kicking their addictions.

“A few years ago, I never thought I would be able to do something like this. My family have been supportive but it’s difficult for them to understand addiction and I would never want them too.”

“So being around people who understand