Geelong man’s plan to change the future of recovering addicts

ERIN PEARSON, POLICE, Geelong Advertiser

Kane Nuttall, who has been clean for 14 months after 12 years of illicit drug use, said his YOU Project program aimed to reduce relapse rates by up to 40 per cent, reduce the length of inpatient stays and fill the gap between detox units and rehabilitation facilities.

He wants to offer people a space to come and study and apply for work while also rebuilding confidence and lack of social interaction which often occurred in addicts.

Getting people back in employment, he said, was the key to keeping people off drugs.

“Study and being in the workforce gives people a purpose in life again. The program is about team building, getting back those basic skills because you’ve lost trust in that envir­onment,” he said.

“After coming out of detox this program gives you a plan before you get into a rehab­ilitation facility, it gives you direction­.

“You lose your trust in humanity­, you think you’re isolated and don’t know who to trust, so getting people involved­ in something like a netball club, somewhere where they have to learn to rely on someone else again, is very important­.”

Mr Nuttall, who recently completed diplomas in mental health and alcohol and drug counselling said one of the major difficulties of addiction was the social isolation and stigma.

His program, he said, aimed to get recovering addicts to set goals and trust other members of the community again.

“You need to be busy when coming off addiction and if you have no future plan it’s easier to fall back into old habits,” he said. “I enrolled myself and I felt welcomed and accepted, not judged, and you need somebody to hope for you.

 “People need somebody in their corner because there is hope out there.”

Registered Training Organisation AGB worked with Mr Nuttall during his diploma studies.

Chief executive Robert Dejanovic said the organ­isation was raising money to open a drop-in centre at the rear of its facility where Mr Nuttall could run his program. “There is a shortage out there for support once you come out of rehab and similar, that’s why we think what Kane is doing is so great because people who have been through the process make really good counsellors themselves,” Mr Dejanovic said.

“Through our not-for-profit arm Community Veracity we are looking to do out a building behind our training facility.

“Kane is the driver of this and we’re looking to be a support system of that. It’s a long-term project.”

To help fund the drop-in centre visit communityveracity

Published in the Geelong Advertiser