Faisal’s story

11 Apr 2023

For many years, 62-year-old Faisal dealt with an addiction to substances

After a stint in prison, Faisal is now living a drug-free lifestyle with the support from staff at The Wallich.

Read his story

Life before The Wallich

“I’ve always done drugs. I was on crack, heroin and spice. Selling it and smoking it.

My 30s was the deepest part of my addiction.

In 2018, I got recalled back to prison. Even though I got a ‘not guilty’ in court, probation still said I was on recall. I was in prison for 13 months.

I came out of prison in February 2021 and I’ve been here [at one of The Wallich’s projects in Swansea] since.”

Getting the right support

“It’s been good since I’ve been here. I’ve had loads of support.

I’ve done treatment, the Twelve Step programme. [The Twelve Step programme is designed for people to achieve and maintain abstinence from drugs and alcohol]

Not many people complete it because it’s so intense. Step four and five, you’ve got to go deep.

You’ve got to talk about your assets, your flaws, your resentments. You’ve got to go in depth into your lifestyle. It is hard.

I feel great now. I don’t think about drugs now.

I can be around people doing drugs and it doesn’t bother me. I’ve been offered drugs and I’ve said ‘nah, it doesn’t interest me anymore.’

They respect my choice. They don’t ask me or try to pass it onto me or nothing.”

Keeping busy

“I’ve done voluntary work up the dog’s home [Many Tears Rescue Centre].


Since I’ve come here [to The Wallich], I’ve bought my own car.

First time I’ve ever had a car taxed and insured legally.

It’s nice to be able to get up, jump in my car and go anywhere I want. Legally.

My favourite place to go is down the Gower.

I’ve got money in my pocket, money in the bank. I go in and pay for things now, instead of pinching them – which I would of done before.

I’ve achieved a lot since I’ve been in The Wallich project. I’m in the process now of moving on.”

Family life and support

“I’ve got family.

My nephew is in the room next to me. I was here before him. They told me he was coming here.

I’ve got two sons and they don’t touch drugs. I see them now every weekend.

I’ve got 4 grandchildren, so I see them all the time. Before I wouldn’t see them at all. Now they’re in my life, it’s great.

My granddaughter is always saying ‘Bampa, bampa, can I stay with you?’ I say [to his son], ‘She’s calling me Bampa again, tell her to stop and call me Midge. It makes me feel old.’ It’s good like.

Soon, I will be able to have them stay over.

A few weeks ago, me and my two sons went out for dinner. It’s nice, it was my younger son’s birthday. We went for a carvery.

It was great for the three of us to be together.

I’m really proud of my two sons. I did have a relationship with them before but when I was on drugs, they didn’t want to know.

I can’t blame them really. I wasn’t clean and tidy. I was skinny as a rake. My face was withdrawn. Now they see me all the time.”

A positive future ahead

“I’ve got my heavy goods licenses. I may go back driving lorries. Or I may go on the buses, I don’t know yet. My options are open.

They’ve put me down for an over-50s complex. They’ve got nice areas.

I don’t want to go back to bad areas, where there are circles of drugs. I don’t want to go back down that road again.

I’ve been there, done that, worn the t-shirts. It’s a mugs game.

I’ve done all my move on papers; it’s just waiting now. I’m open to where I go.”

Hayley, the service’s Assistant Service Manager at The Wallich, said:

“Faisal has been at Gorwelion for two years and has completed a programme with Adferiad.

He’s been free of illicit substances for a number of years now.

Throughout his time here, he has engaged well with staff and will be moving into permanent accommodation at the end of the month.”

If you’ve been affected by any of the topics mentioned in this case study, help and support is available. Visit our Help & Advice page to find out more.

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