A new life after dependency – Yousef’s story

After years of drug and methadone dependency and almost 20 years on Centrelink, Yousef has turned his life around and found work as a delivery driver.

Yousef’s personal challenges and drug use had made it impossible to hold down a job. He wanted to work, yet his reliance on the methadone program made it difficult to commit to anything else for years.

Once the Liverpool job seeker met with MatchWorks Employment Consultant, Lisa Tran five years ago, he immediately felt at ease.

“I had a very good relationship with Lisa from the start,” Yousef said.

“She was understanding of my circumstances, but also firm when needed. I remember telling Lisa that my dad was going overseas one time so she asked whether it may be a goal for me to go overseas in the future. It made me consider how I would love to be able to go overseas to visit my family but being on the methadone program made that impossible as I was dependent on my daily dosage,” Yousef said.

Lisa suggested a referral to MatchWorks Health and Wellbeing services.

MatchWorks Employment Consultant, Lisa Tran and Health and Wellbeing Consultant, Aleksandra Kopanja were an important part of Yousef’s support team. They helped him turn his life around after 20 years on Centrelink.

Conquering his methadone dependence

With a new goal in mind and more determination than ever, Yousef started the journey to overcome his 15-year reliance on the methadone program. He found a GP who was supported him to conquer his dependency. Lisa and MatchWorks Health and Wellbeing Consultant, Aleksandra Kopanja were also an important part of the support team and helped Yousef to:

• Improve his mental health by identifying and addressing past traumas and negative thinking patterns.
• Build self-confidence, self-esteem and motivation.
• Attend group workshops and one-on-one sessions with MatchWorks.
• Get his HR truck licence and accident tow truck driver accreditation.
• Land a job with a delivery company who could train him.

Positive changes

Yousef is now on the path to achieving his goals and is drug-free for the first time in his adult life.

“It’s been so long now that I have lost count of the number of days,” Yousef said.

“I have improved my understanding of my mental health and negative thinking patterns. This meant I could improve my routine, my sleeping, my eating habits and start cooking for myself and not rely on junk food.

“The contact with MatchWorks has kept me motivated, eager to work and able to leave Centrelink after almost 20 years. I’m stronger and more confident now. I’ve reconnected with my family overseas and have been able to provide them with some financial support,” Yousef said.

“I’m proud of Yousef for making so many positive changes,” Lisa said.

“He’s happy with his job and has a great routine. He used to need a lot of support whereas now he’s usually too busy living his best life to pick up my phone calls!”

Yousef hopes to visit his family at the end of the year.

“I feel like a completely different person with a different mindset and perspective on life,” Yousef said. “It was a hard and lengthy process, but it would not have been possible without help from MatchWorks.”

Find out more about our employment services for job seekers and businesses, or call 1300 13 23 63 to chat to your local team.