Yoorana Gunya and the Community Drug and Alcohol Team (CDAT) has hosted Jeff Amatto at their recent Walk and Talk for Life on Tuesday to share his story.
Jeff Amatto, a Wiradjuri man from Wellington spoke about his journey struggling with alcohol and drug addiction.
He detailed his experiences growing up on the Nanima Mission and the connection to his culture which disappeared after moving into Wellington.
Jeff said he saw the impacts of alcohol and drug abuse as well as DV upon the Indigenous community which was traumatising.
By the age of 15 he had begun drinking, before moving on to heroin by the time he was 16.
Jeff said his experience of being at rock bottom began when he was 17.
After several stints in prison, which Jeff said were due to him trying to feed his alcohol and drug habit, he realised at the age of 29 that if he went back to prison he probably would not survive it.
Jeff found himself enrolled in a drug rehabilitation program on the Central Coast called The Glen.
Following the three month program, he got involved in the Glen's 12 month transition program which helped him to give back, helping those who faced similar journeys to him.
While he states it hasn't been easy he has remained sober for the last twelve years.
Jeff said AA and Narcotics Anonymous may have helped him to get sober, but his connection to his culture has kept him sober.
For the past few years he has been sharing his story and advocating for more cultural rehabilitation centres and less jails.
Yoorana Gunya's Taylor Bliss said it was a great turn out organised by Yoorana Gunya with the support of Binaal Billa.
Ms Bliss said the community loved hearings Jeff's story, with the event finished off with a lunch provided by the CDAT committee.
Walk and Talk for Life is about giving people a chance to connect and form friendships so they can be a support to one another, and overcoming the stigma that can be associated with mental health.
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