Harry was referred to Sova due to his extensive use of Heroin (two bags a day), causing debt issues, unemployment, and poor mental health. Harry was motivated to stop his addiction, however not by the preferred method of our current health care system of going onto a methadone script. Harry was adamant he wanted to go to rehab, or not stop at all.

After meeting with Harry a couple of times, we discussed and wrote down all of the pros and cons of going on to the script. Although it was ultimately Harry’s decision, we gathered information on the rehab centres around the area, including waiting list times and the costs.  If Harry was going to go to rehab the costs were out of limits, and the shortest waiting times were a few months at least.

We felt Harry would benefit by attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings, to get some advice from mentors who had been in his position. As Harry was wearing an electronic tag, we applied to the court and got the tag extended so he could attend these meetings. Harry has not missed one session since.  He is now engaging with the Drug & Alcohol service and is on a methadone script of 40mg, which is being decreased by 5mg every two weeks, in the hope of being completely clean within the next few months.

We then started to focus on the other aspects of Harry’s life, namely keeping him busy and working on positive mental health. Harry explained that due to the heroin use, he had lost three stone, and felt extremely weak. He also had lost his anger issues he had before as he always had no energy, but felt these would return once he became clean. For that, we attended a Violence Prevention session which Harry has been attending since. We were also able to arrange free gym membership to a local gym to build up his fitness and help reduce his anxiety, which Harry now attends regularly. Together we went to see the Salvation Army who ran free boxing lessons, and applied for Harry to be put on a scheme of 10 weeks free lessons in the hope of being in a match at the end.

To work on keeping Harry busy and occupied we started talking about volunteering opportunities at an outdoor gardening centre. There they also have Eco therapy sessions for two hours a day, which Harry was interested in joining for one day a week.

Harry lives in a housing association flat however he felt that he was surrounded by lots of people within his old drugs circle, and was very honest that this was affecting his temptation to stay clean and his mental health. We started looking to get him moved away from this house, however, Harry had £584 of housing debt, and £400 in court fines to the council, which needed to be paid before a move was possible. We managed to secure some funding from a local relief fund and also met with debt advisors from the Citizens Advice Bureau.