Recovering alcoholic from Chorley gets ready to open up second addiction centre to help others

A former alcoholic from Chorley who battled his demons to fight another day is now getting ready to open a second addiction centre for others struggling.
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Steve Downie, 54, who has been sober over two years, and now helps other addicts at a Self-Management and Recovery Training (SMART) Recovery Group at watchUSgrow community hub on Gillibrand Street, will be opening a second centre at Clayton Brook Community Centre just in time for Christmas.

He told the Post: "As part of my SMART Recovery Chorley expansion plans, I am pleased to announce, we will be running groups, at Clayton Brook Community Centre. This group will be facilitated by a SMART Recovery Chorley group member who lives in Clayton Brook who is currently undertaking training. Opening another SMART Recovery group will provide help and assistance, to people who are struggling with their addictive behaviour."

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Steve found himself between a rock and a hard place with the every day pressures of life and started using alcohol every night as a release.

Recovering alcohol addict Steve Downie (front right), has been sober over two-years and now helps other addicts at Smart Recovery at WatchUSgrow community hub, Gillibrand Street, Chorley, pictured with staff, volunteers and members of the group .He is getting ready to open a second addiction centre in Clayton Brook Community Centre next monthRecovering alcohol addict Steve Downie (front right), has been sober over two-years and now helps other addicts at Smart Recovery at WatchUSgrow community hub, Gillibrand Street, Chorley, pictured with staff, volunteers and members of the group .He is getting ready to open a second addiction centre in Clayton Brook Community Centre next month
Recovering alcohol addict Steve Downie (front right), has been sober over two-years and now helps other addicts at Smart Recovery at WatchUSgrow community hub, Gillibrand Street, Chorley, pictured with staff, volunteers and members of the group .He is getting ready to open a second addiction centre in Clayton Brook Community Centre next month

He said: "I was a functioning alcoholic. I used to hide alcohol in my car, at home, in Lucozade bottles as they were wrapped in a full label so you couldn't see it. I'd eat mints and chew gum all day."

The turning point for him came when his friend came to visit him one day and the pair put an action plan together, including Steve volunteering at a local drugs and alcohol service and decided that his future was within addiction services.

Steve qualified to facilitate the recovery groups by hiring a room to run his sessions, with the help of former drug addict Andrea Horrocks who set up the charitable organisation four years ago.

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The first group was held in April and this week reached its 100 member milestone, on the SMART Recovery Chorley Facebook group.

Steve pictured with founder of watchUSgrow, Andrea HorrocksSteve pictured with founder of watchUSgrow, Andrea Horrocks
Steve pictured with founder of watchUSgrow, Andrea Horrocks
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Steve, who admits he would have "died if he kept on drinking", added: "I am so excited by this expansion, will take us to three groups a week and increase the service that we provide, to help people in their addiction and more importantly their recovery.

"I started SMART Recovery Chorley in May 2022 and it has gone from strength to strength. That is why, with the help and support of Mags Burrett at Emerging Futures, we wanted to open SMART Recovery Clayton Brook before Christmas as this time of year should be a happy time and something to look forward to, but for people who are struggling with their addictions and their families it can be very stressful and full of temptation.

"We now run two groups per week at WatchUsgrow in Chorley and to add a third in Clayton Brook, is a dream come true. I will continue to help people with their addictive behaviour and have plans to reach the Lancashire Community further by opening another group in Preston, early next year. We have two SMART Recovery Chorley groups on FB and LinkedIn and everyone is welcome to join."

Steve said if he had carried on drinking he may well not be here todaySteve said if he had carried on drinking he may well not be here today
Steve said if he had carried on drinking he may well not be here today
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If you are struggling with addiction and need someone to talk you can drop into the centre without an appointment.

SMART Recovery Clayton Brook, will commence its first session on Friday, December 9, from 11am at the community centre in Preston.

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