New life in Thailand for former drug addict

New life in Thailand for former drug addict

Dylan Kerr used to live in Stoke Prior and suffered from drug addiction.

Dylan Kerr lives in Thailand and works with recovering drug addicts at Hope Rehab Center.

First published in News
Last updated

AFTER giving in to the ‘power sensation’ of ecstasy and losing years of his life Dylan Kerr needed help.

He struggled to find support locally and had nowhere to turn.

“I felt really rejected when I went looking for help but couldn't find it. It takes a lot to admit you need help, when you come forward and get shot down it hurts really bad," Dylan explained.

“It was a terribly isolating feeling that just made me feel like there was no answer to my problems and I was forever just going to be wreck. Mental health services just wouldn't even entertain me.”

Growing up in Stoke Prior he enjoyed many happy years in Bromsgrove’s surrounding countryside. His father was a police officer and his mother a senior nurse.

But at just 18, Dylan was introduced to ecstasy in the town and what started as an occasional thing became much more regular.

Dylan said: “Like so many other young people I had low self-esteem problems and never felt good about myself. This instantly made it harder to give up the feeling, when the magic of ecstasy started to fade I instinctively began to seek out other drugs and booze.

“I lost years of my life trying to find a way out of my addiction. My family tried to help but they were powerless.”

By working towards his own rehabilitation and receiving support from other addicts, Dylan realised he had a drive to help others.

He began to rebuild his life studying addiction at Leeds University.

Later, he worked for the Westminster Drug Project helping homeless people in the West End of London which educated him on how far drugs can take a person.

He said: “Most of them don’t want to change so the only help we could give them were clean needles to stop them spreading HIV.”

Cuts were made to the service and Dylan was left without a job.

But, little did he know his life he would soon change.

He travelled almost 6,000 miles to live half way across the globe for a dream job after being offered a position as a counsellor at rehab centre in Thailand.

The-31-year-old added: “Coming to Thailand for treatment is so much more exciting than in the UK, we focus on recovery coaching. Clients get to spend a lot of time in the community out here. They do Thai boxing, elephant trekking, visit temples and eat in restaurants. This prepares them for a sober life, rather than keeping them cooped up like traditional rehabs do.

“It’s an amazing place on a rocky hill overlooking the port of Siam with monkeys swinging in the trees, a cool breeze from the sea bringing relief to tropical climate. I couldn’t be happier with myself and helping other people.”

Now he is the head councillor at Hope Rehab Center.

He said: “Thankfully today I am free of drugs and I help others achieve the same.

“There is a way out of addiction and you can change, don’t give up before the miracle happens.”

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