“My older brother Jason, who is 25, became a heroin addict 3 years ago.  He fell in with a crowd of addicts near our home.  After some trouble he moved to Aberdeen in the hope for a new start and to get himself clean from drugs.”

Jason was referred to Turning Point Scotland’s PITSTOP’s service in Fraserburgh.  The service offers supported housing for adults who are homeless and have problems with drug and or alcohol use to enable them to maintain their own home in the future.

Shannon said:

“We noticed a big difference in him when he went to live at PITSTOP.  The staff were a massive help and support to my brother and also to my mum, who understandably went through a lot of stress and worry.

“They helped him to believe in himself again and he began to beat his addiction.

“He now lives in the north of Scotland where he has a little flat and takes each day at a time. I believe if it weren’t for PITSTOP I think he would have given up on himself.”

Shannon is now determined to look at opportunities for other services like PITSTOP to be rolled out across the country.  She said:

“A lot of people believe addicts are scum who go about robbing people for their next fix and bring all their problems on themselves.  I felt this until my brother became ill with his addiction. Most people do not understand that drug addicts are people, many who have been through a lot in their life.  They are someone’s son, daughter, brother, sister, mum, dad or friend and they did not grow up wanting to become addicted to drugs and lead life in the way they do.

Shannon continues:

“I believe that putting someone on methadone for years and years and just leaving them to get on with it isn’t working.  Addicts need help to come off drugs and support to help them become part of society once again.”