Private Residential Rehabilitation Program treating Drug, Alcohol and Gambling Addiction. Recovery for every step of the process.
Gavin Crosisca explains on Sunday night program the struggle he had being addicted to Cannabis and the damage it caused to those close to him.
Gavin Crosisca is available to present his story and struggle with addiction, educating the community at AOD forums, as key note speaker at your sporting club or next business function.
3AW with Neil Mitchell
EMT interview part 1
EMT Interview part 2
Harrowing effects of addiction
Sunraysia Daily, Mildura VIC by Ashlee Falvo
07 Apr 2018
General News - Page 4 - 1280 words - ID 936915089 - Photo: Yes - Type: News Item - Size: 1041.00cm2
"During 12 years of addiction, I had never once tried to quit. The funny thing is, the first time I tried, it worked. I've been clean 18 months now, and the depression, loneliness and pain is gone. I'm finally at peace with my life, free from addiction." TOM* is a clean-cut young man wearing a tucked-in, collared shirt, sporting an immaculate haircut - the picture of health.
I had organised to anonymously interview a former ice addict, so when Tom walked towards me and shook my hand, I thought it was a case of mistaken identity. Tom looks nothing like an addict. "With me, personally, I think it was always bound to happen," Tom said.
Speaking of an addiction spanning more than a decade, Tom said he knew he had an addictive personality, but like a lot of young men, thought he was invincible and untouchable. "Like most addictions, it started with gambling, progressed to drinking and ended with my life in ruins, and me developing a $500-a day ice habit," he said.
Tom, a promising sportsman, moved away from Sunraysia as a teen to pursue a career as an athlete. He returned to Sunraysia in his mid-20s, well within the grips of a gambling and alcohol addiction, and started his own business. "The gambling came first and, before I knew it, the drinking had started," he said.
"Among my group of friends, I was always known as the one who would take it a step further than the rest of the boys. "I was the one who would have more to drink, I was the one gambling more than just a punt or two. "For them it was more of a social thing, whereas I was gambling and drinking alone. "They all seemed to be able to control it, but I couldn't. Before I knew it, I was gambling and drinking every single day, in complete isolation." Tom said he would spend four to five hours a day drinking and gambling.
"I was able to keep it pretty well hidden from my loved ones because I was living away," Tom said. "I was still working, still maintaining the image that everything was OK." Once he returned to Sunraysia and was back on the visual radar of family and friends, Tom's addictions became harder to hide. "It progressed pretty quickly once I moved home," he said.
"It got to the stage where I was living by myself, drinking countless bottles of wine to put myself to sleep every night, gambling the days away on my phone. "I'd be up at 2am putting bets on, I couldn't drive past a TAB without stopping for a bet." The combination of isolation, loneliness and the guilt of lying to his loved ones escalated into anxiety and depression, and Tom says the gambling and drinking wasn't providing the escape from reality it once did. "I was feeling miserable, and I was in a pretty deep financial hole because of gambling," Tom said. "I went out and found ice it wasn't forced on me by anyone. "I had heard that it gave you a rush, made you forget everything and that's the kind of escape from reality I was looking for.
"When I was using ice, I didn't care about the financial trouble I was causing, I didn't care that I was hurting everyone. "Ice made me numb, so I didn't have to feel anything at all and that's what I wanted." Before long, Tom's financial troubles from gambling and alcohol progressed into financial troubles from ice. "Running my own business and having access to other people's finances gave me a window of opportunity," Tom said.
"I used that money to support my drug addiction instead of paying bills, which made me hate myself, which made me use ice more. "I was stuck in a cycle that I couldn't stop." As the business started to go under due to the financial strain, Tom's family and friends began to suspect that drugs were involved. "I was weaving a web of lies, one lie on top of the other to try to get through it," Tom said.
"I tried to cover it up as best I could, the last thing I wanted to admit to was using drugs.
"At first, I blamed gambling, I would rather admit to that than drug use, but no one really believed me. The game was up, I was in too much financial trouble to talk my way out of it." With his physical health deteriorating, his mental health suffering and his addiction secrets on the brink of coming to the surface, Tom made contact with Sober Living Housing in Melbourne.
"I didn't tell anyone until after I'd made the call," Tom said. "I guess, looking back, I kind of dropped a bombshell on them all at once. I told them I was addicted to ice, that I was gambling out of control, that I was in massive financial trouble, and that I was leaving for rehab the next day." Tom said his biggest fear was losing his long-term partner as a result of a decade of secrets and lies. "She had put up with so much from me already, the erratic behavior, the lies, the denial - all of it. I was terrified she would run for the hills when the truth came out." Tom's parents were "absolutely wrecked" at the news of their son's addiction. Weighing just 55 kgs, within 24 hours Tom was on a plane and checked into the facility, where he would spend the next three months before transferring to South Pacific Private in Sydney.
The next few months in residential rehabilitation changed Tom's life. "I needed every single day of the few months I was in rehab," Tom said.
"The first day I met Gavin Crosisca, (director of Sober Living Housing), I knew I had met the person that could change my life. "He challenged me every day and didn't make it easy, but rehab isn't meant to be easy. I'll forever be grateful to Gavin for saving my life," Tom said.
Now 18 months' clean, Tom is back in Sunraysia and said he is working hard to get his life back on track. "I did a lot of damage during active addiction, so there's a lot to repair," he said. "I hurt a lot of people, I let a lot of people down, I let myself down. "I isolated myself and I lost a lot of people I really cared about. These are all things I work really hard towards repairing and fixing." Tom said if not for his family and the support of his partner, he may not be alive today. "I'm the luckiest guy alive that my partner stuck by me and is still in my life," he said.
"I'm thankful that my loved ones didn't turn their back on me. I was fortunate to be in a position to have people to lean on, to help me with the cost of rehab. But what about the addicts who don't have the luxury of that? "The ones who have no one to help them out, who are stuck in the cycle of addiction with no idea where to turn for help. "The longer you leave it to get help, the worse it is for not just you, but the relationships in your life. Your chances of going back out there and using again are so much higher.
"The ability to get in to a rehab can be the difference between getting clean and changing your life, or staying on drugs and winding up dead or in jail," Tom said.