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Helping others keeps mum alcohol free

Horizons volunteer supervisor Angela Straub with Katherine Carey and Barbara Stephenson Muir Group Housing Association, which introduced Katherine to Horizon.

Horizons volunteer supervisor Angela Straub with Katherine Carey and Barbara Stephenson Muir Group Housing Association, which introduced Katherine to Horizon.

A former alcoholic says she owes her life to Blackpool’s alcohol support service, Horizon.

At her worst, Katherine Carey was drinking a litre and a half of neat vodka a day as a way of avoiding her troubles, and when she was diagnosed with diabetes, through the drink, she did little to control it and slipped into a diabetic coma.

After years of alcohol abuse, it was as she lay recovering at Blackpool Victoria Hospital that she decided it was time to turn her life around.

Katherine, 38, sought support from Horizon, based on Cookson Street, Blackpool, and entered into a six-week rehab programme in Chorley.

Now clean, she is a volunteer Peer Supporter with the organisation.

“If it wasn’t for Horizon I would not be here now, and if I can save one person from my experience that will keep me clean for another day,” she said.

“Drinking just became part of my life and at the time I didn’t think anyone could be going through the same pain and misery as I was.

“But now I’m clean I can see there is an unbelievable amount of people who have their own stories but all want the same thing – just to be clean and live life on life’s terms.

“I started volunteering to keep me clean.

“It sounds selfish but doing this reminds me every day how close I was to losing everything.”

Katherine, of Argosy Avenue, Grange Park, said being clean had given her back her relationship with daughter Chloe, 18.

She added: “She’s had it rough, but we are friends now and that’s something she never had.”

Surrey-born Katherine came out of rehab in September 2012.

She is now 15 weeks pregnant and is taking a night course on health and social care.

Horizon service manager Maggie Cork added: “Katherine is an inspirational role model for our service users and a much valued member of the project team.”

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