Adrian Lloyd from Rhyl, Denbighshire was a dependant alcoholic when he was referred to the Work and Health Programme Wales for support in gaining employment in 2019.
Adrian said: “With more than 40 years of drinking being part of my life, one thing I have come to realise is how the excuses surrounding why I drank had become commonplace – hereditary consequence or a feel-good short-term kick. My week was built around an excuse as to why I could have a drink.
“Monday extended to the weekend. Weekdays drink with the soaps, joining everyone in the Rovers Return, Queen Vic or Woolpack, Wednesday was soccer night, Thursday was boring so have a drink to liven things up and Friday well that was the start of the weekend – party-time!
“I’d become a shadow of myself. Drinking affected my appetite, my health and financial circumstances were declining and being physically sick every morning became routine, but I convinced myself this was a natural way of life, everyone does it, right? Wrong!
“I realised that I could miss out on being a grandparent if I continued and there was only one person who could help make me well, and that person was me, but I also knew I had to want to change for me not anyone else.”
At his initial appointment, with the smell of alcohol on his breath and a dishevelled appearance, Employment Advisor, Letitia Calveley, suspected that Adrian had underlying health issues.
She advised Adrian of the provision on offer through the Community Partnership Network (CPN), emphasising the support in place for addiction.
Letitia said: “The conversation clearly made Adrian feel uncomfortable which gave me the opportunity to ask the difficult question of whether he felt he had an issue with alcohol.”
Adrian broke down, admitting that he did and was feeling relieved to be sharing his secret with someone. He was referred to CAIS’ Substance Misuse Service and Intuitive Recovery for intensive weekly support.
Although he found these meetings hard, Adrian attended every week, this in turn enabled him to take the difficult step of telling his son about his addiction, no longer keeping it a secret.
This was Adrian’s first step to recovery and with his addiction now out in the open, and the support he received from Maximus and CAIS, he started to thrive in his recovery.
The Money Advice Service supported with Adrian’s debt problems and benefit application, and when Adrian needed extra help with food parcels, Letitia was able to provide support.
Adrian said: “I’ve been very fortunate with the support I’m getting, professionally and personally. I feel as though a weight has been lifted and I’m no longer in denial. My alcohol intake has stopped, I’m maintaining sobriety and feel confident and much happier. I haven’t had a drink for nearly five months. I have a new life.
“I would really like to use my experience to help and support others who are currently struggling with the same issues I’ve had and that is the next step forward with Maximus’ support.”
For further information visit our Work and Health Programme Wales page, call 0300 456 8025 or email us.