Addiction Case Study – *Gary's story

Gary, a Service User residing at our Marron House service, has a history of alcohol abuse and a diagnosis of liver cirrhosis. He joined the service in 2018, after a break-down and time in hospital, and was in need of support in many areas. One of the main areas was alcohol abuse.

Gary got into a bad routine in which he would, on the day he was paid his benefits, he would spend it all solely on alcohol and would abscond from the project to drink heavily. 

Staff struggled to get him to engage but with consistency and adopting a different, person-centred approach, staff were able to offer the support he needed for life changing actions. They learnt at this stage, that the Service User had depleted almost all of his savings. Several attempts were made to support him to engage with a specific alcohol and drug support service RISE, but this wasn’t successful and he struggled to meet their requirements for ongoing support.

Consequently, a financial agreement was put in place with conditions of staff being able to monitor and advise what he spends his money on. Since putting this in place, Gary was able to cut back on spending consistently on alcohol and started prioritising his rent, food and essentials. 

At present, Gary has money in his savings account and only drinks (up to) three cans of beer a week. He is grateful for staff intervention in this matter, and is in a better, more financially secure place. 

Staff have also built good rapport with his relatives who live abroad and due to COVID were not able to visit. They are very happy and grateful for the support that was offered to make these life changes.

Gary is healthier and happier and has come to understand that he is not defined by the mistakes of the past. He now participates in activities at the project and is looking forward to one day moving back into the community.

*Gary’s real name has been changed to protect his identity.

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