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At the Triple Care Farm Student Graduation held on December 17 2015, Kelli, the mother of one of the graduating students shared the story of how her family came to seek assistance from Mission Australia’s Triple Care Farm, ultimately changing their lives.

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Blake comes from a loving and stable family environment of a mum, dad and sister.

His journey into the world of drugs began at just 13yrs of age. I didn’t know drugs were the problem. I thought his behavioural changes were to do with maturing. I could not have been more wrong.

Over the next two years, Blake’s behaviour became dramatically worse - he was argumentative, aggressive, deceptive, and only wanted to spend time with friends he would not bring home. He regularly ran away from home, first for days, then months, then years.          

By age 15 he was expelled from school, and that is the day I found out the ugly truth. Our son was on drugs. Blake left home for good that day. Our lives would never be the same.

The next three years were peppered with visits from our regretful son who periodically wanted to get off drugs. He was now on every kind of drug you can swallow, smoke, inhale, inject and selling it for a living too. None of his attempts to leave drugs worked - even with our support, that of our GP as well as hospitals and mental health professionals.

There were many calls for help - all of which we ran to his side, and then he would return to his drug world after a brief respite with us. There were many visits and calls from the police and continual theft from our home of anything that could be sold.        

We became resigned to the fact that we would likely see him next dead or in jail. A family decision was made to cut him off, to no longer respond to him. He was now going to have to do it alone.

I felt like something had died in me. I was seeking help on a weekly basis just to try and cope with the turmoil and how it had left our family, physically, emotionally, and financially. We were broken - we were just existing. 

Another Christmas passed and I was miserable. My son was missing from our family, so I decided to send him a message. He responded and we began to message spasmodically over the next month.

He decided he wanted to go into rehabilitation.

Then I received a very distressing phone call from Blake, he was sick, scared and needed help - he had overdosed. I took him to a doctor who spent the next two hours trying to book him into a hospital, Detox or Rehabilitation Centre in Queensland, where we live, but there was nothing available, with months to years on waiting lists. So, the doctor sent me home with Detox Medication and told me I would manage his detox.

Out of the blue a work colleague called and asked if I was okay. She had a background in social work and gave me the number of a counselor who might be able to help. I was then put in contact with Triple Care Farm.

Everything was going to plan. We had an interview booked with TCF, but trouble struck. I received a phone call from someone associated with Blake from drug world, threatening me and my family. I went to the Police who told us to get Blake out of town. We left the next day, snaking our way towards Bowral. Throughout this time Blake was coming down off drugs and was explosive, aggressive and extremely volatile, telling me he wasn’t going to the TCF interview.

Long story short, these weeks were some of the most difficult in my life emotionally, physically and psychologically. I got him to the interview, he walked out and told me he was not going to rehab! I drove to Melbourne to seek refuge with my brother to get through the next period, waiting for news from TCF. 

Blake treated me worse on this drive than I have ever been treated in my life – I wanted to die, in fact, at one point I decided to kill both of us by driving into an oncoming truck, trouble was I just couldn’t make the decision to kill someone else besides the two of us on that day.

I finally got the call from Triple Care Farm - he was accepted. Dropping him off he turned to me, saying he never wanted to see me again. Every night, Blake called me and was angry with me - he said he didn’t want to be there. Eventually, he agreed to continue with the rules of the program and to his credit he did!

Blake completed the TCF program, beginning work with his dad’s building company after arriving home. After 8wks, his dad told me that he can’t fault him at work. He is punctual, attends in uniform, gets on well with all personnel, works well in remote and difficult environments, and does anything that he is asked to and does a good job. Blake has abandoned all those from his previous life and started again.

At home Blake is kind, courteous, helpful, generous, caring and most of all, grateful.

Triple Care Farm saved my son’s life. I am so thankful to everyone who has made this possible for our family.

- Kelli

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