Chris Brunt has abandoned a life of drugs and crime in favour of being a dad and providing a stable home for his children.
The 36-year-old, from the Wirral, is also embracing the chance of becoming a mentor to support people reaching out for help – having himself been in trouble with the law since he was 14.
Chris is currently serving an 18-month community order and is supervised by case manager Phil Ainslie of Merseyside Community Rehabilitation Company. He has a medium intensity Drug Rehabilitation Requirement, which means he is drug tested at least once per week.
He said: “I started going off the rails at 10 years old, doing dangerous things like messing about with power lines and railway tracks.
“The drugs started at 12 with cannabis and cider. It continued later with ecstasy, LSD and amphetamines when I attended rave clubs for under-18s.”
Chris started shoplifting, before robbing bikes and cars. His first time in prison was at 16. He committed crime, which was a result of daily drug use and extreme binge drinking, and candidly admits he was jailed roughly four or five times a year.
With seven children from three separate mothers, Chris now wants to ensure his kids come first. His current partner gave him an ultimatum last year when she was pregnant with their fourth child: ‘clean up or clear out!’.
Chris said: “I had been through drug treatment five times in three years, but I knew this would be the last. I had to do it for the kids. My dad chose drink over us, but I want my children to have a stable life, free from the challenges of an addicted parent.”
His case manager Phil Ainslie has been supporting his rehabilitation by ensuring he improves his self-worth.
Chris said: “Phil opened my eyes to treatment options and has shown me what I could potentially be. I used to feel like I am on the other side of life, one of the addicts. I didn’t realise I could be on the right side. I may feel guilty for the life I led, but I have value and I want to give back now. I am one of the lucky ones.”
Due to his clear drug tests for the last four months, Chris was invited to join a mentorship program with Wirral Ways to Recovery. He will qualify in six to eight months and can then become a volunteer mentor.
Click here to download the case study