‘There’s trust back in my life’ – An addict’s journey from alcohol and drugs to recovery


Dave Collins says he can’t describe in words how great his life is after his recovery from drug and alcohol addiction.


He told TVNZ1’s Breakfast he’d tried rehab multiple times. But, at first, it was only to “get people off my back”.

“I always had someone or something to blame,” Collins said.


But, after relapsing, he realised he needed to take stock and look within.

“I didn’t want to feel the way I felt anymore … I stopped fighting. I stopped getting in the ring,” Collins said.

“I can’t even describe in human words. It’s incredible. There’s trust back in my life.”


Instead of people staying away from him, Collins said he was now trusted to take care of someone’s house while they were on holiday, or was trusted with keys to people’s cars and homes.

“I don’t obsess about [alcohol or drugs], I don’t think about it,” he said.

“I’m just so grateful to be living this life today.”


He now works as a programme director at Retreat NZ, a private, non-profit 30-day rehabilitation programme for people with drug and alcohol addiction. The live-in programme costs $12,000.

“It’s one of the things that keeps me in the game, when you see that fire of recognition in these peoples eyes.

“Often, people external to them recognise the difference before they recognise it in themselves … we’ll love them until they can love themselves.”


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