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The BIG Breakfast Show

7:00 am 11:00 am

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‘Rehab is a vital service – it helped me reclaim the life I should have had’

Written by on 22 November 2020

Rehab centres across the country are closing in large numbers during the pandemic, according to data given to Sky News by addiction treatment experts.

In the last seven years the number of rehab centres has almost halved, figures from the UK Addiction Treatment Group show.

This year 20% of rehabs have closed, at least temporarily, leaving just 94 open across the country.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “Drug and alcohol addiction treatment programmes are available throughout the UK for those who need help with addiction or dependency on a substance.”

Recovering addict, 46-year-old Daniel Solomons, from east London, tells his story of how rehab centres helped him get back on track.

From as far back as I can remember I have always had addictive tendencies.

I went into rehab for the first time following the death of my brother in 2018.

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I had reached such a low point, not only from my brother’s passing, but also from my best friend losing his battle with cancer and the effect of losing both my parents at a young age.

I had a traditional upbringing. I grew up in suburbia and was educated in a local comprehensive school where I did well academically.

I attended university and went on to become a teacher. I had a successful career in education for nine years before becoming a London taxi driver.

But as a child, I was extremely hyperactive, passionate, controlling, excessively competitive and fiercely driven.

I was addicted to sugar, TV and running around the streets, bothering everyone with my crazy nature. I was always rebellious and authority figures had no impact on me whatsoever.

Image:
Mr Solomons says a 12-step programme helped him get back on the right track

This pattern of behaviour continued into adulthood and it wasn’t until I went to rehab that I learnt I had to completely change the way I had been acting.

My crazy, impulsive thoughts are still there; however, I am now able to identify them and act in a more balanced, measured way.

Rehab has taught me how to redesign my life. I now put in a huge amount of effort to act with more humility, compassion, acceptance and selflessness.

Most importantly it has taught me how to identify my fears, which I now know are at the root of my cravings.

Since leaving my last rehab stint this year, I am steadily restoring and reclaiming the life I should have had if addiction hadn’t got in the way.

I am finally feeling comfortable in my own skin. I can now communicate honestly and openly in many situations and I have gained a huge amount of self-acceptance.

This has only been possible through the structured, 12-step programme offered in rehab.

It has truly revolutionised my world. At first the programme seemed drastic, frightening and daunting, however, I persevered and now I can finally manage my life and deal with situations that use to baffle me.

I wanted to share my experience of rehab because I believe other addicts can achieve what I have with the same help.

Therefore, it is extremely vital that rehab services continue to be available.

Addicts have a disease and in rehab centres they are taught and guided to be well again.

If this service is not available for people who are gripped by active, disruptive addictions, their illness will have an impact not only on themselves but their families, friends and the wider community.

Addiction support and information about residential rehabilitation can be found here.