CONTENT WARNING: Please note that this story contains topics of drug addiction and suicide. This is Doug’s individual story, and all recovery journeys and experiences with dependency will be different. We recognise that it is an incredibly courageous step to take and believe it’s important to share stories like Doug’s to provide hope.

After battling an ice addiction for ten years, Doug, thirty, engaged in a residential addiction rehab program with The Banyans. Three years later, Doug says his life today is incomparable. This is Doug’s journey to addiction recovery.


Watch the video to hear Doug talk through his drug addiction, how he engaged in The Banyans addiction rehab program and his life in recovery.


Doug’s mental health and addiction journey began at thirteen when he was diagnosed with anxiety. During his teens, he began self-medicating, forming an addiction with alcohol and anti-anxiety medications to cope with his feelings. Soon after this, Doug fell into harder drug use and developed an ice addiction – which he battled over the next ten years. Eventually, after toing and froing with the idea of addiction treatment, following a failed suicide attempt, Doug booked himself into The Banyans residential addiction rehab program. Three years later, Doug is living a full and happy life in sobriety and says that he is in awe every day of the life he now lives.


“I received three weeks of addiction treatment three years ago, and I now have the life I dreamed of with my wife and now two little girls; I didn’t think life could be so good. I didn’t think that was possible for me. I want people to know that even when you can’t feel it, there is hope out there.

“Me and (my wife) Kaylah could be at the worst spot in our relationship – I could have ice, and my mind was off it. My dad got cancer, I’d take ice, and my mind was off it. Whatever was going on, I’d take ice, and my mind was off it. I thought, well, okay, I’ve got to face life now, and it scared me.

“For ten years, I relied on methamphetamine and other drugs to escape the real world and the daily and extreme anxiety I felt. I was reaching breaking point, and I knew that this dangerous trajectory I was on had to end.

“I’d called The Banyans multiple times when I was high as I knew I needed help, but when they would call back, I would dismiss it and pretend I was okay.

“If I didn’t get better, I wouldn’t be here… I knew I needed the best help. The night before I went, I tried to kill myself. When I woke up, the first thing I did was call The Banyans. The joy I feel now, seeing my wife and kids – I really didn’t think it was possible to have what I have now.

“Eventually, at the worst point, I had become suicidal and was putting the people I loved the most at risk. I realised that something needed to change – if not for myself, for my wife and my little girl. That’s when I booked myself into drug addiction treatment, Doug says.

“I had an ice addiction for ten years. I was lost and thought there was no hope for me at all. Now every single day I wake up is a joy. I’m free. I’ve got a beautiful family. My life now, compared with three years ago, is incomparable,” Doug says

Doug’s wife, Kaylah, on his addiction

Doug with his family after addiction treatment with The Banyans

“We did have Aliyah before Doug went to rehab, and she was six months old. So those six months were pretty scary. That was when I said okay, that’s enough, you need to leave, pack your stuff. I can’t raise a child in this environment, Kaylah says.

“He would say this is who I am; this is who I’m always going to be. I’d say, well, that’s not who you are. At the core of you, that’s not who you are.

“I was also fearful of losing a lot of money with nothing changing. Him coming back and nothing changing… our life now is peaceful.


Addiction recovery is possible

While Doug’s journey to addiction recovery was not without its challenges, this story shows that recovery can be possible. Here at The Banyans, we believe sharing stories like Doug’s is vital. Not only to normalise reaching out for help but to show that there is always hope.

When it comes to addiction recovery, it’s also important to understand that addiction often stems from underlying mental health concerns. The Banyans Senior Psychologist and Clinical Director, Peter Hayton explains, “Anxiety disorders significantly impact a person’s quality of life. The ability to work, socialise and even leave home can all be affected by the disorder. If left untreated can cause a person to self-medicate and turn to addictive and sometimes illicit substances. Often a holistic approach is recommended to recover from addiction, as it tackles overall underlying issues.”

“I thought I’d never get off it (ice). It killed me that I would choose my ice addiction over my own family – which I was fully aware that I was doing – but I couldn’t stop.

“I knew I needed the best help. I would ring The Banyans quite regularly and speak to them about coming in. They’d always follow me back up – and I’d just push it to the side and say, nah, I’m not going to come.

“This is how bad it was, the night before I went (to The Banyans), I tried to kill myself. I’d tried it a few times. And when I woke up the first thing I did was ring The Banyans, three hours later I was on the plane.

“I knew I was in good hands. Every single program I was all in. I was treating it like it was going to change my life. It was tough, you’ve got to make hard choices, but I knew deep down what I had to do.

“Even when you can’t feel it, there is hope out there. It can be so hard to reach out for help. If I can give any advice, don’t wait until it gets to the point where everything is completely broken. It doesn’t have to get there. I wish I’d come in years ago, I really, really do.


About The Banyans addiction treatment centresThe Banyans addiction treatment centre's

The Banyans offers confidential and effective mental health and addiction treatment programs based in Brisbane. Welcoming guests from all over Australia, and Internationally, The Banyans world-class facilities are steeped in clinical excellence. Our holistic programs utilise evidence-based therapies to support guests to achieve long-lasting, measurable results. We help those seeking support to rediscover health and wellness following experiences of stress, anxiety, depression, substance misuse, addiction, dependency, trauma, or grief. Everything we do is based on the values of care, respect, and joy to help guests feel supported, respected, and free to explore the sense of joy that comes when you experience the fullness of life.

The Banyans inpatient Residential Programs take place in our luxury accommodation nestled in Brisbane’s serene hinterland. With programs ranging from two – twelve weeks and accommodating just ten guests at a time, this program is ideal for intensive, focused rehabilitation.

The Banyans outpatient Day Programs provide the effectiveness of our Residential Programs while offering the flexibility of attending one day per week (for up to eight weeks). The Banyans believe work, family or other commitments shouldn’t be a barrier to treatment. Therefore, our Day Program allows guests to seek drug addiction treatment while balancing life’s demands.

The Banyans also offer Online Programs for those who may have circumstances in life that make it difficult to travel to our luxury Brisbane facilities.


Seeking support with drug addiction treatment

Doug standing in front of The Banyans Addiction Treatment Centres

One of the most powerful things we can do for ourselves and for our loved ones if we’re experiencing drug addiction is to truly believe that addiction recovery is possible. Asking for help is one of the hardest steps that someone can take in their journey. If you or a loved one is ready to seek help, you have made a brave decision.

The Banyans is available 24/7 to help you begin your journey towards addiction recovery. You can call our expert team any time for a confidential discussion on 1300 226 926 or submit an online enquiry to begin learning how we can help you to rediscover the fullness of life.


Doug and his family are passionate about sharing their personal journey and wanted to work with The Banyans to publish Doug’s story in order to help normalise seeking help and to increase hope.