FORMER drug addict Jay Marrinan, who is training to help others overcome their dependence, has paid homage to the charity that helped him turn his life around.

Jay, 40, said the support he received from the Swindon and Wiltshire Alcohol and Drug Service brought him back from the brink of death.

Jay, who was addicted to alcohol and drugs for 23 years, is now hoping to repay the charity for their hard work by becoming a volunteer counsellor working with other addicts.

“I can’t thank them enough for everything they done for me,” said Jay, of Moredon. “They offered me so much support and I’m so grateful. There is no judgement from anyone here and they just offer the help people need.”

Jay first went to SWADS four years ago, where he worked with volunteers to overcome his drink and drugs issues. But when his mum became sick three-and-a-half years later, he fell back into a cycle of heavy abuse and his life spiralled out of control.

“My mum was ill and I had to keep travelling to London,” he said. “I became complacent and moved away from my support. I didn’t realise how much I needed the people around me.”

“On February 18 I woke up in hospital having taken an overdose. I came very close to dying, which is not what I want, so had to do something about it.”

Within a week Jay was back with SWADS putting his life together again. He is now looking at courses to become a qualified councillor so he can help those suffering from similar addictions.

Jay said: “I have sat in on a few initial assessments and hope to carry out some assessments myself soon. “The next stage is to go to college and get the qualifications I need.”

Julie Mattinson, a team leader at SWADS who has worked with Jay, said: “He’s got all the qualities needed to be successful as a councillor,” she said.

SWADS, which is based in Milton Road, offers therapy for people with differing levels of drug and alcohol dependency. More information on 01793 695405 or