After struggling with alcoholism and drug addiction for over 20 years, a woman at Newtown Abbey is harnessing the power of social media to help others recover.
ynsey Brown has over 15,000 followers on TikTok and interacts with vulnerable people every day.
A 41-year-old man from Rathcoole said:
Lindsey’s mother died when she was just four years old and she started drinking heavily when she was 16.
“My nanny and my grandpa brought me and my sister in. They gave us a wonderful life,” she told the Belfast Telegraph.
“Actually, I started drinking when I was 12, and it got really bad when I was 16.
“I was dating all the wrong people.
“In my late teens and early twenties I became an alcoholic and got into the rave scene. Then I started drinking ecstasy four or five times a week and alcohol basically every day for years.
“I was speeding and taking drugs of all kinds to the point where I spent half my life drinking and doing drugs.
“I became addicted to heroin.
“I got medication to get rid of it and tried Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, but none worked for me.”
About three years ago, Lindsay took up track running and also took a “Mindset” course run by Kim Calvert, a Lurgan woman who specializes in mentoring others on how to improve their mental health.
“She’s helping people all over Northern Ireland,” Lindsey explained.
“I practiced what she said every day.
“I had good days and bad days, but that combined with running really worked for me. I was a functional addict for 20 years.”
She currently runs for Team Ireland and is also competing in the Masters (40+) competition in Poland in March.
“I always thought, ‘I’m from public housing, I wasn’t smart enough to go to college, I’m addicted, I don’t deserve a good life.’ just,” she added.
“I want to use my knowledge of addiction, my knowledge of fitness and running, my knowledge of mindsets, and my knowledge of how I have changed my life to help others do the same. .”
Lindsey’s first ambition is to visit the local prison and talk to the inmates before they are released.
“Many of those people walk out and go back in a bad cycle and end up drinking and using drugs again,” she said.
“I want to talk to people about six months before they’re released and make sure they understand that they don’t have to go back.”
While she believes the government needs more funding for mental health issues to help people with addiction issues, Lindsay also believes that “the real-life He said more should be done to share the stories of people with ‘experiences’.
“It’s nice to go to college and study these things or be a doctor, but those people have no idea what it’s like to be an addict,” she said. “Addicts need to hear from other addicts who have been in exactly the same position.
“I want to spread my name in Northern Ireland and help them.”
Between 2020 and 2021, nearly 3,000 people with drug and alcohol problems turned to the service for help.
According to official figures last month, there were 212 drug-related deaths in 2021.