Man who battled addictions for a decade thanks Cheshire rehab Oasis for turning life around

Report by ITV Granada Reports Correspondent Elaine Willcox

A man whose drug abuse spiralled out of control says he owes his life to a programme of support after he finally asked for help.

Matthew Ingram battled drug and alcohol addiction for more than a decade and hit rock bottom when he wasted an inheritance totalling £100,000 in just six months.

He says he was broke, his life was empty and he felt he had no option but to end his life.

Matthew said: "When I got to the age of 26, my life revolved around the pub and drugs and I progressed to crack cocaine, and I was suicidal by the end of it."

The 29-year-old spent a month in Runcorn in Oasis residential rehab centre, and said it was "hard to settle" and to go through detox for the first few days but then he embraced the treatment.

He added: "Coming back to the centre gives me nice memories, I was safe here, I loved this place, it felt like my second home. I met some amazing people and finally saw a future for myself."

But recovery centres like Oasis say demand for places 'is off the scale' and they are operating at capacity.

Faith Noone, Centre Manager, Oasis Runcorn says demand is 'off the scale'

Centre manager Faith Noone says 'sometimes it can almost feel like a conveyor belt as one person leaves, another is waiting to come in, so there is a fast turn around.'

She said: "During the pandemic, with people working from home it meant, they didn't feel they had to curb their drinking or drug taking during the day for work purposes, so it's getting worse and not going to improve any time soon."

Matthew has lost three friends to addiction and has written a book, 'Endless Possibilities' about his experience, and also writes a blog with the same name to help other addicts.

He said: "There is a way out, and it's not death and using more drugs and alcohol because it's not the answer, just reach out."

Matthew often comes back to the Oasis Centre in Runcorn to share his experience and how he's turned his life around.

He met two people who are in recovery at the centre right now after reading his story and that gave them the courage to ask for help.

A free 24/7 confidential live chat service for help and support with addiction is available on the Oasis Recovery website.