When I first came to Extern’s MYDAS project, I was an active alcohol and drug user, and had problems with self-harm and eating. I was missing school because of my poor mental health, and my home environment was very negative.

My keyworker met me every week for one-to-one sessions, which helped me learn about the negative aspects of my alcohol and drug use. She also helped me recognise the ‘triggers’ which led me to use drugs and to drink.

By working with her I managed to reduce my drug use on a weekly basis. As well as that, though, Extern supported my whole family, and they were able to refer both of my parents to a family support worker to help them cope with their own issues.

"My keyworker is always there for me, no matter what, and I have never felt judged by her. She has helped me to get alcohol- and drug-free now, and this was the first time in years that I could enjoy Halloween without using drugs or drinking."

I have become a better member of my family and can communicate in a more positive manner. I have goals now, I can see a future without alcohol and drugs and feel hopeful that I will become successful in whatever I end up doing with my life.

Michelle (17), MYDAS, Westmeath