There are\u00a0many varied components to recovery as Dr Gordon Morse reflects.\r\n\r\nJohn and Louise met under a railway arch in London; they shared an old mattress and slept under cardboard boxes. They had both run away from very abusive families \u2013 John from the West Country, Louise from Yorkshire. They left their homes when they were only just teenagers, completely under the radar of social services. No one noticed they had left, no one even bothered to report them missing. John hadn\u2019t been to school for years and was unable to read or write.\r\n\r\nBy the time that they met under that railway arch they were in their late teens, both with injecting heroin habits. Their relationship was more about self-preservation than anything else, and John started stealing more so that Louise wouldn\u2019t have to continue to sell herself.\r\n\r\nAfter another year or two, they decided to move back to Somerset where John had friends. It was there, after Louise had been discharged following an emergency admission with another accidental overdose, that I met them, about eight years ago. I got them both titrated up to a proper dose of methadone and allocated them the support of a keyworker. Without the daily demands of miserable withdrawal symptoms, obtaining funds, using drugs and repeating this several times a day, they were able to take stock of their lives and what they wanted to achieve.\r\n\r\nOpportunities are few for those with drug addiction, criminal records and health problems, and progress has not been quick \u2013 but it has been remarkable. When I last saw them, they had been housed in a tiny bungalow. John had been to literacy classes and they were both working in the local business \u2013 poetically, a cardboard packaging company \u2013 where Louise was supervisor. They lead quiet lives \u2013 John likes a bit of fishing, Louise likes walking their dog. They are both still on methadone, and when they come home from work each day, they still smoke a bit of heroin to ease old memories.\r\n\r\nSo Louise and John have come a very long way. OST hasn\u2019t achieved this for them \u2013 their own resilience and the opportunities offered by my colleagues have done most of that. And if anyone says to me that this is not \u2018recovery\u2019 because they are still smoking a bit of heroin, all I can say is that this story is the embodiment of what recovery from addiction really means \u2013 and I doubt it would have been possible without the stability and safety that OST has given them. Indeed I doubt that they would still even be alive.\r\n\r\nDr Gordon Morse is medical director at Turning Point and a member of SMMGP. First published in the IDHDP newsletter, March 2017.