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SCOTLAND: After a 20-year drink and drug addiction, man reunited with family through drama therapy

Recovering Voices poster (Image credits: Recovering Voices)

"A former soldier has been reunited with his estranged family after battling a heroin and cocaine addiction for 20 years.

Matthew Murie, from Clydebank, became a lorry driver when he left the Army. But after falling into a trap with alcoholism and drugs, the 44-year-old lost his licence and his life spiralled out of control. Due to the severity of his addictions, Matthew had no contact with his sister, Pamela Gilfillan, 47, and his young niece Paige Gilfillan, 16, for five years. His relationship with his mum, Nancy, 68, also broke down. [....]

It wasn't until January last year, when Matthew sought specialist recovery help, that he began to turn his life around. He was put on a 12-step programme after reaching out to Safe as Houses, where he was later introduced to Recovering Voices - a team of specialists who help people bring about positive change in their lives through creative practices.

Recovering Voices, devised by film writer and director Mark MacNicol and the charity Creative Change Collective, is a 'drama therapy' programme for people in the recovery community who had no prior interest in acting or writing.The weekly sessions are designed to keep people in recovery and allow them to work towards performances at the end of a six-month programme.

[...] Matthew was finally reunited with his family in 2022, when his sister, niece and mum turned up to support him at a performance by the group at Oran Mor in Glasgow. He said the pride his loved ones had in him was the most special moment he'd had with his family in 20 years - and he was then able to spend Christmas with them."

Click to read the full article by Ruth Suter for the Daily Record here


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