In just two years Donna-Louise Edmonds has confronted her heroin addiction, found recovery, retrained and is now starting a job at Addaction Cornwall.

The mum-of-three can’t believe how much life has changed and can’t wait to start helping other people reach their recovery goals by working at Cornwall’s drug and alcohol service. Donna, 46, and from Truro, tried to overcome her heroin addiction several times before, including when her youngest daughter was born, but the support she needed wasn’t available.

This time, she spent time at Addaction’s residential rebab Chy, in Truro, and has moved on with the confidence, learning and support to achieve her goals.

Donna said: “I’m so glad I finally found recovery. It took me to get really depressed and anxious before I faced it properly, but now I can’t wait to get started and enjoy the new life I have.”

Donna first took heroin 24-years-ago while abroad with two friends. “I was having a relationship with a guy who had been into heroin," she said. "I found out he had a thing going with my friend and took his heroin. It was the first time I’d taken it. I didn’t take it again for about four weeks, but when I next had a problem I took some more and it became the way I coped with stress, a way of getting away from it all."

In 2015, Donna did a detox at Boswyns in Hayle and from there went to stay at Addaction Chy for the initial 12 week programme.

“On day one 12 weeks seemed such a long time, it was very daunting and I was so anxious. But after just the first day I felt part of the place, it’s such a caring environment. The first two weeks dragged because you’re not allowed out. Then suddenly, it was week four and I thought it was going too fast and I wanted more time there.

“After eight weeks I applied for one of the move on flats in the grounds.

“It was sad to leave the main house, but you still get a lot of support and I was able to continue with things like the art therapy which I had started in the main house. They also let my daughter come and stay with me one night a week, which was fantastic.”

After three months, Donna was put in a family hostel with her daughter and straight away went back to volunteer three days a week at Addaction Chy. Last March, Donna started training courses with Addaction Cornwall, including the volunteer courses, and by April was running support groups at the community service.

She now has a new home with her youngest daughter in Truro and was offered a job with Addaction Cornwall as a recovery worker for Truro and Newquay.

“My kids know all about what I’ve been through and are so proud of me for recovering," she said. "They feel like they’ve got their mum back. They all spent a lot of time at my mum’s house because I would be ill and my mum could see I wasn’t coping. She was an amazing support and propped me up. I’ve got a great relationship with my mum. Now I can be that support for them.”

To find out more about Addaction Chy or the Addaction Cornwall community drug and alcohol support visit