Calvary’s flexible addiction program better supporting clients

Nick Larkin is as recent graduate of Calvary Riverina Drug and Alcohol Centre (CRDAC), completing six months of residential treatment and the Day Program.

“Stay focused and remain positive” is the advice he gives to anyone trying to overcome an addiction.

Nick’s story

The 57-year-old is extremely proud of what he has achieved over the past 6 months, having battled an alcohol dependency since he was a child.

“I grew up on a farm in a place called Mudgegonga, not far from Albury Wodonga. As I got older, I sort of looked towards my brothers. They’d often have a beer and I suppose it was just normal to have a drink from a young age,” Nick said.

“I ended up in Wagga in March in pretty bad shape and it went from there. In the last six months I’ve recovered remarkably well and I’m getting my life back on track.”

two people posing with a certificate

When Nick first came through the doors of CRDAC, he was in a wheelchair.

“The first part of my journey was to walk again. I had a few falls, I’d lost a lot of weight, and I hadn’t been eating well. I’d been drinking and smoking. It had taken its toll,” Nick said.

After the six month residential program, Nick transferred to the Day Program, moving into one of the centre’s cottages.

CRDAC Day Program

The Day Program is an outpatient program which can be undertaken separately or to complement CRDAC’s other services. For Nick, it was the perfect transition to support him to get his life back on track.

“The Day Program is a lot more relaxed. You’re still learning and sharing how you feel but you’ve got more freedom. People tend to open up a lot more in the Day Program because you feel really safe and supported by staff and other clients,” Nick said.

Following COVID, Calvary Counsellor Diane Kroker relaunched the Day Program making it more flexible for clients to complete across 16 weeks rather than eight weeks.

“Life is busy and by ensuring the program fits in with our client’s lives, we are allowing more people to prioritise their recovery while keeping up with the everyday demands life has,” Diane said.

This flexibility gave Nick the time to discover his passion and turn it into a career. Through the program, he did volunteer work at the Wagga Botanic Gardens.

“I kept going back to the Botanic Gardens and they were really happy with my work. They even gave me more opportunities when they found out I was a carpenter by trade, and eventually I was offered a casual job as a gardener,” Nick said.

“I worked hard and I was determined…”

“I think my achievements show others going through similar situations that what you want can come true if you put your mind to it.”

Get support

If you think you might need support call Calvary Riverina Drug & Alcohol Centre on (02) 6932 6800 during business hours. Clients must be aged 18 years or over.