Although they may have a drinking or drug problem that is affecting their life in all sorts of ways, people are not always motivated to seek help. In the case of a recent client who attended our Caboolture services, it was family members who kick started the client’s recovery. It took some time for the client to come around to the idea of accessing our support.

Lives Lived Well services are underpinned by a stepped care model of support, that provides help for people at different stages of their recovery journey. Support can be intensified if needed.

This case study highlights the different levels of support and programs available to people in the Brisbane North region. It also shows the dedication of our staff to supporting clients as they face a multitude of challenges in recovery.

Carla’s story

Carla (not her real name) is a 46 year old mother of one child, who came into our Pettigrew St Caboolture office with her family late in 2021. At the time, she was consuming more than two bottles of wine a day and had been doing so for more than 10 years. She needed a walking frame to move and displayed significant cognitive impairment. She had been admitted to hospital a number of times with health complications stemming from her alcohol consumption. And yet, at the time, Carla did not want to stop drinking. She was only there due to family pressure.

Lives Lived Well offers a community-based detox service in Caboolture but Carla was deemed too high risk for the service, as she had a history of strokes and seizures. She initially refused any intervention. However, our clinician Lyndal was able to establish a good rapport with Carla, and continued discussions with her. Together they explored the pros and cons of Carla’s drinking and talked about Carla’s fears if she were to stop drinking. Medical advice given at the time said Carla was at imminent risk of death if she did not stop her alcohol consumption.

Eventually, Carla agreed to be referred to HADS. In the mean time, she was living in a hotel by herself (her family would not let her return to the family home). Lyndal and Carla worked on a reduction plan and Lyndal regularly checked in with Carla. Lyndal also continued talking with Carla’s family, including her father in New Zealand.

When Carla was admitted to hospital for detox, Lyndal accompanied her to ensure the admission went smoothly. Carla spent eight days in detox before transferring to hospital rehab for three weeks. Lyndal continued to maintain regular phone contact with Carla during this period. While Carla was in hospital, her family joined our Breakthrough for Families program, designed to assist families impacted by a loved one’s alcohol or other drug use.

Early in December, Carla agreed to check out our live-in recovery service in Caboolture, Wunya and transitioned there straight from hospital. She completed the treatment program over the next month and then moved into our Caboolture Day Rehab program, where she achieved 100% attendance. She was an engaged and articulate participant in the group program. By the end of this program, Carla was walking unaided. She has now set herself a goal to run a marathon!

Lives Lived Well continues to provide counselling support to Carla and her family. Our counsellors have helped Carla connect to employment, DV and housing support services.

We are proud of our AOD Counsellor Case Manager Lyndal, who went above and beyond to walk alongside Carla on her journey back to health. In Carla’s own words:

“Staff were incredible when I didn’t know if I was going to live or die. Long may I continue to keep on with what I’m doing. It’s getting harder because life is getting busier. But with the support of LLW Clinicians who are there for me, I feel like I can do this. This is my absolute truth 100%. Lives Lived Well support saved my life.​”