Wednesday 22 November 2017

'So many people are taking drugs...it's not going to get rid of their problems' - Mother who became homeless due to addiction

Louise Kavanagh
Louise Kavanagh
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

Mother-of-four Louise Kavanagh started taking heroin when she was 28 - and her life quickly spiralled out of control.

Her battle with addiction caused her to become homeless and she spent a year living in a tent while pregnant with her fourth child.

Originally from Clondalkin in Dublin, she turned to drugs when life became "too difficult" for her.

She had to raise three children by herself after her partner, who was struggling with his own addictions, was admitted to rehab. That's when she started taking heroin.

Louise, now aged 36, has been clean for over a year and will celebrate her son’s first birthday on Saturday.

She started her recovery by taking methadone and with the help of her family and friends, she has managed to get her life back on track.

Reflecting on how it all started going downhill, Louise warned others who are using drugs as a form of escapism to look at those whose lives have been ruined by narcotics.

"I was told that it would help with the pain, and it did, for a while," Louise told Independent.ie.

"So many people are taking drugs now, whether it’s cocaine or pills, and they think it’s going to get rid of their problems, but it won’t, it just makes them worse."

Her parents looked after her children when she was at her worst.

Louise's mother passed away three years ago, but her father has been "like a rock" to her.

"Without my dad, I would be lost," she said.

"I never wanted my kids to see me like that [on drugs] and my parents couldn't have me under their roof."

While Louise admits she is the happiest she's been in a long time, she is still struggling to find suitable accommodation for her and the children.

She is currently living in a B&B in Tallaght and with Ireland experiencing its worst ever housing crisis, she fears she will never have a place she can call home.

"It was horrible living on the streets. You could only sleep in the tent from 9pm at night until 9am in the morning and then you would have to spend the whole day walking around. Sometimes I slept outside the Dáil...when it rained, it was horrible. But when my son was born, it changed everything. I knew I had to get clean."

If you or someone you know is struggling with drug addiction, contact Drug and Alcohol Information and Support on 1800 459 459

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