A RECOVERING drug addict has completed a mammoth bike ride in the latest move to transform his life.
Andrew Wareing from Gainsborough cycled around 1,225 miles in just 13 days to help raise money for Teen Challenge – the charity which helped him turn his life around.
Now the 38-year-old hopes that by telling his story it will encourage other addicts to seek help.
Andrew first started taking drugs when he was just 13 and thought he had it all under control. He took heroin aged 23.
“Then it all went out of control. I was knocking on death’s door and needed to do something drastic,” he said.
Andrew turned to Teen Challenge, a Christian-based organisation which help drug and alcohol addicts.
“It’s my faith that’s helped me with my addiction. You have to completely change your lifestyle – and I chose God.”
“I chose to turn away from the life of addiction that I lived in Gainsborough, and Teen Challenge has been fantastic.”
“It’s hard to get off drugs and you need to do something to completely change your life around, but I want to tell all addicts in Gainsborough that there is always hope.”
“You can get stuck in addiction. It gets to a stage where you need to take drugs to feel normal. It wears you down and it turns you into something you can’t stand.”
“You have to live with it day in and day out, but it’s my faith in God and my determination that helped me out of it.”
“I just want people to know that there plenty of people out there who can support you.”
Since getting off drugs several years ago, Andrew has been working for Teen Challenge, at Whitchester House in Scotland, helping others overcome their addiction.
He recently decided to do charity bike ride around the Scottish coastline to raise much needed money for the organisation.
“Since I got off drugs, I’ve been trying to keep myself fit, plus Whitchester House needs help to carry on the work that’s needed so I thought that I should do something,” said Andrew.
“I cycled about 1,225 miles in 13 days. My aims was to do about 100 a day, which I did every day, apart from three.”
“It was very hard work. I had the weather against me with strong winds and rain and I was in tears at points and nearly didn’t finish it, but I did.”
“To go from where I was with addiction in Gainsborough to doing something like this is amazing. People may think they are too far gone with drugs, but this just shows that you can do anything.”
Andrew’s mum Christine, who still lives in Gainsborough, said she was “extremely proud” of her son.
“He very nearly gave up on the bike ride because of the head winds. It was the hardest thing he has ever done, but he was determined to do it.”
“It’s just made me so happy. I’m very proud of him. I know how hard it has been.”
Christine added: “Teen Challenge has changed his life. They never gave up on him. He came out once and went back on drugs and they took him back.”
“At the end of the day, it’s up to the individual. There is hope for drugs addicts and any other addicts.”
“To addicts I would say get yourself into rehab whether it be a Christian one or any other rehab.
“People out there do care.”