A former ice addict has spoken about her battle to remain free of the drug in the hope her story can help others who are facing the same dark times she did.
Caitlyn Taylor, 21, from Nowra in southern NSW, said her battle with mental health, which began at 12 years old, led her on the path to drug addiction.
Miss Taylor told Daily Mail Australia her mental health battle coupled with constant harassment from her abusive ex-boyfriend also led to suicidal thoughts and an eventual attempt on her own life.
Over time it caused her to develop agoraphobia and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Former ice addict Caitlyn Taylor (pictured after her treatment) has spoken about her battle to stay free of the drug in the hope her story can help others who are facing the same dark battles
‘Looking back on it, I think about how drastically it would have affected my family had something terrible happened,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
Miss Taylor said her turning point came just 11 months ago when she put motorists and herself at risk.
She had smoked ice before stepping onto a highway at 4am and remained there until paramedics arrived and were able to get her to safety.
‘I destroyed anything in my path to get drugs. I didn’t care about my family or anything. It was about the drugs – not my family,’ she said.
She said the addiction only made her feel ’empty’ but felt she needed the drugs to ‘cope’ with life at the time.
‘If I had not asked for help, I would potentially be dead. Now, because I asked for help, I am the happiest I have ever been.’
Miss Taylor said she was also lucky to have the support of her family, despite some roadblocks along the way.
‘My mother has been through a lot with me and my mental health and she is one of the main reasons why I wanted to improve my life,’ she said.
‘She has helped me and lifted me up in many ways until I learnt how to do it myself. She has sacrificed a lot to help me get to where I am now.’
Miss Taylor was kicked out of home during her years of addiction and mental health issues and she said this severance from her family was a real wake-up call.
‘Missing my little sister’s birthday because I had been kicked out of home was difficult and a real turning point for me. I am very close with my little sister,’ she said.
‘She is like my guardian angel on earth, and knowing I’d missed her birthday was extremely upsetting and helped me realise that I needed to make a change.’
Miss Taylor looked for someone or something that could help her break the deadly cycle of addiction, and she found it in the Triple Care Farm organisation.
TCF is a not-for-profit body committed to supporting Australian youth who suffer from substance addiction, homelessness, mental illness, disengagement from society, abuse, unemployment and family breakdown.
Miss Taylor wanted to give back to the organisation that helped put her on the road to recovery.
Miss Taylor (pictured before treatment) wanted to give back to the organisation that helped her on the road to recovery
‘Triple Care Farm called me just when I had given up hope. I desperately needed to make this change in my life and it has truly transformed my outlook on everything,’ she said.
‘I was so thankful to be able to participate in the Tripe Care Farm Program and if this opportunity had not become available, I would still be battling substance abuse and addiction – or even worse, I would be dead.’
She finished her treatment in June this year and is eager to spread the organisation’s message.
It costs TCF $27,000 to support just one person through the program and provide six months of aftercare support, so they host a number of fundraisers throughout the year.
The next fundraising event, Abseil for Youth, is scheduled for Sydney and will be held at 1 Market Street, a 33-storey high rise building, on the 18th and 19th of October.
All funds raised go back into TCF programs to help youth recover from drug addiction, mental health issues and homelessness.
The organisation, which is funded by the Sir David Martin Foundation, aims to hit $280,000 in fundraising this year for Triple Care Farm Rehabilitation and Withdrawal programs.
‘Without fundraising events such as Abseil for Youth, many young people like me wouldn’t have the opportunity to turn their life around for the better,’ Miss Taylor said.
The next Triple Care Farm fundraising event, Abseil for Youth , is scheduled for Sydney and will be held at 1 Market Street (pictured), a 33-storey high rise, on the 18th and 19th of October
‘I want to show people who are going through difficult times like I was that life is worth living and that things can get better, I like to encourage people to understand that it is OK not to be OK. Asking for help is not a bad thing – it helps you grow stronger.’
Triple Care Farm looks after youths between the ages of 16 to 24.
‘Our Goal is to fund effective programs that help young people in crisis regain their health, get off the streets and achieve their goals the website states.
‘Our Vision is to create an environment where young people can grow in safety, with hope and opportunity.’
If you wish to register for the Abseil for Youth you can do so via the Triple Care Farm website.