Ex-drug addict says new life is ‘amazing’ after incredible transformation

A former drug addict who says she was on the brink of prison or suicide has shared dramatic photos of her incredible transformation.

Ainsley Loudoun from Kilmarnock, Scotland, said her life spiralled out of control with daily drug and alcohol binges.

She says she spent life from a very young age "seriously depressed" and was just 14 when she tried to take her own life.

This was the first of a number of suicide attempts.

But two years ago the 28-year-old made the decision to turn her life around with help from regular Cocaine Anonymous meetings and a 12-step programme.

Ainsley told the Kilmarnock Standard : “I lived in utter darkness from a very young age and I found drink at a very young age too.

“I thought it was normal the way that kids drink, and for a while it was normal.

“The drinking continued and developed into cocaine use too. My life just completely spiralled.”

Ainsley said that it came to a point where she felt she didn’t have very many options left in her life.

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She said: “None of my pals or my family wanted to be round about me. Nobody knew how to deal with me and I didn‘t know how to deal with myself. It was a horrible life.

“It came to the stage where there was not going to be any other way out for me. I was hurting so bad and the drink wasn’t taking things away anymore.

“It was either going to be jail or I killed myself or recovery. Those were the options I had left – and so I chose recovery.”

Ainsley’s now been in recovery for two years, is holding down a job for the first time and says her life has been completely transformed.

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She says she had never felt "pure happiness within myself before" and "there wasn’t a day in my life where I’ve woken up and I haven’t wanted to die".

But after turning her life around, Ainsley wants other people in the depths of despair to find the same help she received.

“I just want people to know that there is a way out and there is a solution. I just feel so strongly about it,” she added.

“Life is amazing. For someone that was destined to die or spend the rest of their life in jail I know that If I can change then this can work for anyone.”

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Ainsley’s road to recovery started at Cocaine Anonymous and she says that the organisation can help with a range of addiction issues.

Ainsley said: “I’ve got better through CA – it is not drug-specific either and can deal with any addiction from drink through to heroin.

“To be directed to the meetings, anyone can check out CA Scotland online which has a list of meetings. All are online Zoom meetings at the moment.

“There is also a helpline that can be phoned and everything is confidential.”

Cocaine Anonymous say that anyone can become a member as long as a person wants to quit the drug and attend meetings.

A statement on its website reads: “Everything heard at our meetings is to be treated as confidential. There are no dues or fees of any kind. To be a member, you only have to want to quit, and show up.

“We also exchange phone numbers, and give and seek support from one another between meetings.”

For more on Cocaine Anonymous, visit www.cascotland.org.uk/ or call (0141) 959 6363.

For emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

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