A former heroin addict has revealed how she turned her life around after being given just one year to live.
Caroline Best has been clear from the substance for an incredible 12 months after doctors told her she was on the brink of death if she didn’t give up her addiction.
In her former life she was known as a prolific thief in addition to her addiction to heroin and crack. She’s been in and out of prison for the last 15 years due to her shoplifting habits, which she used to fund her addictions.
However, the last year has been an entirely different story for Caroline, after she was told her heart had begun to fail as a result of here drug use and doctors would be unable to operate on her until she rid the damaging substance from her body.
Police in West Midlands have now shared Caroline’s story on how she managed to regain control of her life, with a little help from PC Stuart Toogood from Erdington neighbourhood police team.
Caroline joined a rehab facility in August last year, and after an intensive programme, she successfully celebrated 12 months clean yesterday (August 27).
The 36-year-old said:
Thanks to Stuart Toogood, I’m now a productive member of society and I thank him for helping me do something I couldn’t do on my own.
PC Stuart Toogood from Birmingham Neighbourhood team said:
Our Offender to Rehab Programme has so far successfully placed nine prolific offenders into rehab.
Of the five who have completed the programme, one has gained full time employment at Timpson, two have worked as volunteers for Birmingham Mind charity and completed adult education courses.
They have also been ambassadors for WMP, presented at several business conferences to raise awareness of the programme and the benefits of it for the business community.
And two people are in aftercare at dry houses − one should be progressing into employment soon whilst the other is about to undertake adult education courses.
Four other people are currently in treatment and doing well. Several others are in the process of being assessed for rehab placement.
He revealed the scheme had successfully resulted in a huge reduction of shop thefts in and around the Birmingham North and East regions as ‘many offences were being committed by a core group of offenders’.
PC Toogood added:
We are certainly seeing a benefit in this new approach.
Now, Caroline is helping PC Toogood in working with other offenders to show them it is possible to get out of a life of crime.
What an incredible transformation.
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Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the LADbible Group team in 2017.