A woman who once turned to sex work to feed her £400-a-day cocaine and heroin addiction has completely turned her life around after appearing on the TV show Skint.
Kayleigh Hutton, 33, has spent the past five years getting clean and, having turned her life around, is determined to help others who have fallen on hard times.
Aged just 18, Kayleigh started selling sex on the streets of Grimsby, surviving on a mixture of M-Cat, crack cocaine and heroin for a decade before she was able to seek help.
She was approached by Channel 4 staff who urged her to feature in Skint in return for a chance to seek help in a rehabilitation centre.
Speaking to Grimsby Live, she recalled:
I was broken. I was a working girl. They came to me and asked if they could do some filming. I had just come out of hospital with deep vein thrombosis and I was looking for help from anybody.
By the time producers Cath and Emma ‘took [her] under their wing’, Kayleigh had lost three children to the care system through addiction.
While she says she ‘never looked back’ after going into the rehab facilitated by Channel 4, her recovery wasn’t easy.
During a six-month residential programme at the Phoenix Futures recovery centre in Sheffield, she was placed on a methadone programme with a daily intake of 110ml.
She had previously been dependent upon 135ml while on the streets. Within four weeks she had reduced the dependence to zero.
I was climbing the walls to try to make myself better. All I knew was I didn’t want to be where I was in my life.
Since then I have not touched a single drug. Being a mum and waking up everyday knowing I am drug-free is the best feeling in the world.
I am all about family and work. I don’t do anything else. My family are my high.
Kayleigh now volunteers in administration with Addaction, helping addicts beat their demons, and has since reconnected with her mum and one of her daughters.
Passionate about recovery, Kayleigh says:
If [I] can help one person, it will make [me] feel better. I had lost my life through addiction, lost my children, lost my home and lost my dignity.
I have worked my backside off to get to where I am. Until you have lived that experience, you do not know what it has been like.
Now, Kayleigh is looking to help others as a recovery worker herself. What an amazing story of human resilience.
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A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.