The scale of addiction stretches from the homeless person without money shelter family and any luxuries whatsoever through to a highly professional executive, with their large house, family contact and financial security

These two people may seem a million miles apart but what threads them together is their reliance on a drug to make it through the day and their fear of not acquiring that drug on a regular basis.

There will also be an enormous fear of being discovered and the time and effort it will take in order to deceive those around them can be exhausting. It is interesting that once homeless, that particular fear may be alleviated as the addict is now exposed and they have no where to hide. Does that mean the addict at the other end of the scale is in fact suffering to a greater extent as they are not only preoccupied with the secrecy of obtaining and using their drug but they are gripped by a terror of being found out and exposed for what they really are? That is questionable because being homeless may bring up a myriad of different feelings, ranging from the shame and embarrassment of where they have ended up through to the desperate feeling of failure.

Who is suffering more? Perhaps there is no answer to that; these experiences are so personal and so devastating no matter which end the addict finds themselves.

Is it necessary to wait until there is nothing to live for? Maybe there is a chance of stepping off the scale at different levels?

There is no stereotypical addict, only people searching outside themselves to get the magic "fix" or escape from life's problems or change feelings that they are finding impossible to deal with. The answer is not outside, it is within and the great search can stop and change direction and begin on a safe path towards recovery.

The therapeutic group will support, encourage and provide a safe, non-judgemental place which will welcome any person who is suffering from the disturbing and baffling disease of addiction.

"I am a 42 year old man and have suffered from addictive behaviour since the age of ten. Stealing came first, later I went on to take and deal in hard drugs. I have taken most drugs. Spent years on heroin and crack. Known many people die of addiction. Done various prison sentences. Declared bankrupt...Come very close to death...

I attended a treatment centre which addressed addiction in a very thorough way. I received treatment there, not only for my addiction to drugs, but also my compulsive overeating. I learned a great deal from Rochelle and the other clients. I found her to be quite a challenging counsellor, but also caring.

I am abstinent today. I am over two years clean from heroin and crack cocaine.

I have done the work and I take credit for that while at the same time remembering the care and support I received from people like Rochelle that helped me make this possible."