Sarah (not her real name) is a 23-year old from Guildford who was sentenced to a Drug Rehabilitation Requirement (DRR) by the courts in late 2010 for shop theft offences. Sarah was a daily heroin and crack cocaine user who admitted to frequently shoplifting to feed her drug addiction.
Sarah began providing negative tests after a few weeks of the programme and has now been clean for seven months. She said:
"My life was very low. I didnt know anything about DRR but was keen to go on the programme to avoid going to prison. In the first few weeks I wasnt sure it was going to work for me. I wasn't sure I wanted the help. But after a few sessions I realised that it was an opportunity for me to get some help and change my life.
"I found the group and one-to-one sessions really started to help me build my confidence and talk about the problems that led me to use drugs. When I was offered the chance to study and gain qualifications that motivated me to continue working to address my drug use.
"I didnt have many qualifications and no prospects so it was very positive for me to be learning.
"The support I've had from probation has been so important. My life is so different now from what it was a year ago. Without being here I would most probably be in prison now, or homeless and still on drugs. Now I've got a chance to succeed and I'm feeling positive about the future. I want to go to college to study hairdressing and hopefully go somewhere in life."