A FORMER addict who began taking drugs aged 11 has turned his life around and is now clean.

Chris Crompton said he could not go four hours without using substances and had lost all his skills - as well as friends and family.

The 39-year-old sought help from The Well in Barrow after spells inside mental health units.

And now he has recovered and wants to use his experiences to help others in similar situations.

He said The Well, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation charity which he joined in March 2018, helped give him the skills and confidence he needs to thrive and succeed in the world without drugs.

After a successful 33 months rehabilitation programme, he has now returned to his hometown of Wigan, a place he left at the age of 19 for Liverpool due his addiction issues.

The Marsh Green resident said The Well instilled in him a routine and gave him practical life skills, such as cooking and cleaning, which were needed to get by on his own without being dependent on heroin and crack.

“I started using substances at the age of 11 due to childhood traumas,” he said. “I used them to block this out and to help me fit in with the other kids.

“By the age of 27 I couldn’t go four hours without using.

“I cut my family out, my friends out, and lost all my life skills.

“I had a lot of mental health issues because of this as well.

“Every time I came out of a mental health unit I would start using again. It kept happening again and again.

“Later on, I was referred to The Well in Barrow.

“The recovery there was challenging I won’t lie, they made me look at myself on a deeper level, and I didn’t like the person I was looking at.

“They gave me confidence, support, and self-worth.

“I became a better person because of it.”

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Mr Crompton said he was inspired to do better by one of the counsellors at The Well who had been in the same position as him and was now helping others to recover - a role he later took up in the programme.

He went back into education and earned a Level 2 in social work, completed recovery coach training as well as first aid training, and now he is currently training in counselling.

His main goal for the future is to help people who are in the same position he was.

“When I was taking crack and heroin, it was making me suicidal,” said Mr Crompton.

“It just makes me grateful for where I am now and I want to help others who are in the same position I was.

“I am connected with my family, friends, and emotions again.

“My 16-year-old daughter Katelyn has seen me go through it all.

“We had a heart to heart recently. She was saying I now have a better dad than I ever had before.”

He said that recent traumas of a relationship breakdown and his brother’s death would have led him to using again previously but was proud to have got through that clean with the help again from The Well.

He is now a trusted member of his family again and is reconnected with his mum and dad. However, he said he would not change his past as it has made him the man he is today.