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Recovering alcoholic opens up about life in rehab in emotional S4C documentary

07 Feb 2022 3 minute read
Dewi Rowlands. SOBRI on S4C’s Hansh service

A man from Anglesey is calling on alcohol and drug addicts to reach out for help to deal with their problems.

After years of alcohol addiction, 29-year-old Dewi Rowlands started a recovery plan last year at the Ty Penrhyn Centre in Bangor.

In a special documentary called SOBRI on S4C’s Hansh service, Dewi shares his experience and gives his insight into life in a rehab centre.

Dewi Rowlands. SOBRI on S4C’s Hansh service

“You decline very quickly. Half the time I was drinking – I was drinking and I was just crying. ” said Dewi.

“This time round, there were two options. Either carry on, and die, ‘cos that’s gonna happen to me, or I’m choosing to recover and change myself completely.” Dewi said of his journey at SOBRI.

According to Dewi, society’s prejudices can be challenging and encourages communities to try to understand the dangers that people face if they do not receive support.

“The picture people have in terms of addicts is pretty straight forward. They see people on the street, they see people stealing. But what they don’t see are people who haven’t reached that point yet.

But that’s where we would be if we didn’t stop. ”

‘Break the vicious cycle’

According to Marc Yates, therapy leader for North Wales Recovery Communities at Ty Penrhyn, the rehabilitation centre is trying to break the vicious cycle of drug use, crime and imprisonment, with its members receiving various support while there.

“The greatest challenge in recovery I think is learning to live with yourself again. Forgiving yourself for the many, sort of bad things that are done, over time.

“We have 17 residents in total, we are classed as a residential recovery community. We do boxercise and gym and obviously the main parts are the group sessions.

“We are members of the community as well, so people can come and go as much as they please.”

The UK Rehabilitation Network called UKRehab estimates that 40-60% of people with drug use disorders are facing relapse at any point in their recovery process.

Since being at Penrhyn House, Dewi says that having the support of a community of people following the same path has been key to him.

“The hardest thing about being in recovery is that when you feel so good, you think things will go bad for you again.

I understand now that I have to wait in the first step, out of the 12 steps. Every day I have to remind myself – I’m powerless with alcohol. ”

“They always say I can do this by myself. But I can’t – we’re doing this as a community. And I can’t stress how important it is, that you are connected to other people in recovery “

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