A former addict who lived on the streets in Glasgow for almost two decades told how a drama therapy programme saved his life as he prepares to take to the stage next month.
David Clark, 45, struggled with addiction to heroin, cocaine, and Valium for 25 years before entering residential rehab with Turning Point Scotland for six months in February this year.
Through the programme, he was referred to take part in Creative Change Collective’s Recovering Voices group, which supports people with drug and alcohol issues and helps keep them in recovery.
It is aimed at those with no prior interest in drama or therapy and uses an ‘anonymous’ element which allows participants to express themselves freely. The group will perform a variety-style script reading on stage at Glasgow’s Oran Mor on Friday, August 11, with the show addressing issues around the stigma of addiction and participants’ shared experiences.
David, who lives in Whiteinch, said Recovering Voices had changed his life after he spent 19 years sleeping rough in alleyways and phone boxes in the city centre.
“This programme has kept me on the straight and narrow and stopped me from thinking about going back to using drugs.
“For me personally it has saved my life when you consider where I came from to where I am now.
“It raises my spirit and it’s good to see the happiness it gives others in the group too.
“I can’t wait until we all perform together at Oran Mor – everyone is really looking forward to it.”
Fellow participant Corey Pearson, 31, has been battling opiate addiction for most of his adult life and joined Recovering Voices as a way of connecting with people again after his drug use left him unable to socialise normally.
“Addiction and drugs become the sole focus for an addict, it’s their source of peace and comfort.
“Everything else in their life becomes secondary – socialising, jobs, family, everything.
“I’d become so out of energy and out of touch with myself that speaking to people was a titanic effort.
“Years of doing that had more or less warped my social abilities.
“The purpose of joining Recovering Voices was to expose myself to new people.”
The show at Oran Mor will mark a major achievement in the participants’ recovery journey, with family, friends, and members of the public invited to attend.
Creative Change Collective is a charity that specialises in addressing social challenges to help bring positive change in people’s lives through creative processes associated with film, theatre, and performances.
Its Recovering Voices programmes, which are funded by the Scottish Government through the Corra Foundation, are being delivered in residential rehab facilities, prisons, and community groups across Glasgow, Renfrewshire, West Dunbartonshire and North Ayrshire.
have been rolled out to Renfrewshire, North Ayrshire and West Dunbartonshire.
Those in the recovery community are encouraged to self-refer and online sessions are available to people who do not have a local group or are unable to attend in person.
Tickets for the Oran Mor show are free and can be booked here. For more information about Recovering Voices, contact email@example.com.
Mark MacNicol, Creative Change Collective project director, said:
“Everyone involved in Creative Change Collective and Recovering Voices is extremely proud of David, Corey, and all the participants for their incredible achievements.
“We hope their stories will inspire others in the recovery community to sign up to join our weekly sessions, which are held in Glasgow and around the west of Scotland.
“The performance at Oran Mor will be followed by a Q&A during which the participants will share insights from their shared experience, and we would encourage anyone with an interest to attend.”