When I was 29 I went into rehab, as I was smoking a lot of weed (about £20 a day) and drinking from the moment I got up 'till the moment I passed out.
At the time, I was living in Kingston, where I was 'attending' university, well in fact I had dropped out, in all but name, for about a year. (My glittering academic career slowly petered out - 1st year: fine; 2nd year: fail, 2nd year retake: fine; 3rd year fail... kicked out.)
Up to that point, from about the age of 17 I had only managed to keep things on track for short bursts, while slowly slipping further and further into heavy drinking and all sorts of bits and pieces on the side - be it clubbing and all the pills that go with that, a stage of hallucinogens, or coke and heroin towards the end - but always with drinking and smoking weed as the 'bread and butter' of my addiction.
So, at the age of 29, I finally took stock of the situation, which had become undeniable; I had no control over my drinking or smoking, my life wasn't going anywhere, and I was emotionally bankrupt. I had hit my rock bottom, lost all my self esteem, and needed to do something drastic.
Thankfully I got funding from my local drug and alcohol team, and went to a 'therapeutic community' based residential rehab. (Alpha House) This was based on a mix of CBT, building life skills, and introspective therapy.
After 13 months I left, having been in a supervised house in Portsmouth for a while, and tried to get my life back on track. That didn't go too well.
I cut myself off from my friends - and within a couple of months had relapsed. That was 2 years ago, ever since I have been in a rut - back on and off the wagon. Each time learning a little more, each time hoping I have cracked it.
So this time, I am trying to do everything by the book: follow people's suggestions, get some 'service', and get a sponsor. And hopefully, fingers crossed, I will crack it.