Ben

The death of my little brother made something inside me change. I knew I wanted a different life to the one I was leading. I was released on parole in 2010 and went straight into rehab for 10 months. Rehab was hard, it’s really challenging living with addicts when you’re trying to break your own habits. I had to cut myself off and lose every single friend I had to try and get away from the cycle. This was hard as they had been my family, although I realise now that people like that aren’t really your friends or family, they’re just using you. You’ve got to get away from that crowd.

At rehab I needed something positive to do to channel my energies into so I started playing rugby again. I love it – rugby keeps me sane. I’m playing for Norths and it’s great being part of an active, supportive team environment. I also started going to church which is where I met my beautiful girlfriend. I’m working, and I’m thinking about maybe studying at some stage to be a youth worker. But the most important thing is that since 2010, I haven’t touched a drug or a cigarette since and I know that I won’t. I’m happy, healthy, and playing rugby, and I’m grateful to everyone who has helped me get to this point.

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