Inside Out West enters the world
of drug addiction as we follow Joe, a drug user, through rehabilitation.
Can he overcome his £400 a day habit and break free from his
In 2003 reporter Scott Ellis was invited to make a film
about Joe Bell's addiction. He and his girlfriend Lisa were in the depths
of a desperate habit.
Now Joe has had enough, but can he leave drugs - and
Lisa - behind?
Joe and Lisa have been addicts for over 10 years. They
regularly take crack and heroin, funded by Joe's thieving and Lisa's prostitution.
Pure cocaine was first extracted from the leaf
of the Erythroxylon Coca Bush, which grows primarily in Peru and
Bolivia, in the mid 19th Century
There are two chemical forms of cocaine: hydrochloride
salt and freebase
Hydrochloride salt, or powdered cocaine, dissolves
in water and, when abused, can be taken intravenously (by vein)
or intranasally (in the nose)
Freebase refers to a compound that has not been
neutralized by an acid to make the hydrochloride salt. The freebase
form of cocaine is smokable
Crack is the street name given to the freebase
form of cocaine that has been processed to a smokable substance
The term "crack" refers to the crackling
sound heard when the mixture is smoked
Source: Drug Rehabs
The pair are no longer together - Joe has decided to
try turn his life around.
He wanted a film to be made about his journey back to
normality as a warning to others.
The life he has lead for the last decade is something
he doesn't want anyone else to have to experience.
With such an overwhelming habit Joe believes his only
hope is to go into rehabilitation. He is sent to Broadway Lodge.
The journey begins
Set in the peaceful surrounds of a country house in Weston-super-Mare,
Broadway Lodge has been helping sufferers since 1974.
The registered charity offers treatment and counselling
services for those with drug and alcohol addictions as well as people
with eating and codependency disorders.
It is known as one of the top rehabilitation centres
in Europe but can it help Joe rid himself of years of drug abuse?
Although the world of rehabilitation is private, Inside
Out is given permission to follow Joe as he enters Broadway Lodge to begin
Seeing as Scott can't be with Joe all day he gives him
a video camera to record his own diary.
No soft option
Although it sets out to help and empathise with people
and their problems, Broadway Lodge is not a holiday camp.
The rules are strict. Any drug use or violence means
an addict is ejected immediately.
Joe will be helped by his counsellor Charma, a straight
talking Scottish woman.
Joe will see Charma every day during his stay at Broadway
Lodge but his treatment is not isolated.
Each day patients join in two group meetings, where opening
up to others about drug addiction leads to close friendships.
It's all part of the treatment.
Sharing experiences from a place addicts know all too
Although the rehabilitation centre is tough on behaviour
it still aims to build confidence in its patients.
able to enjoy the peaceful surroundings at Broadway Lodge|
"I really feel trusted in this place," says
Joe as he holds up a large bunch of keys.
Patients are encouraged to lock up after themselves as
they come and go, so are given a set of keys to the whole facility.
As Joe completes his day's video report he muses over
an ironic fact.
"Six months ago I wouldn't be sitting here talking
to this camera - I would be stealing this camera," he admits.
Two weeks on
Joe has gone two weeks without drugs but is finding it
He sees his counsellor every day but it is becoming a
battle of wills.
"Every day he tries to wear me down," his counsellor
Charma says. "But I am aware when it is happening."
|"If anyone was iffy about selling
to me I would just show them the track marks on my arms or the injection
marks on my body."|
Joe is finding comfort at Broadway Lodge but just venturing
out for a trip to the shops reminds him of his life on drugs.
As he walks around the streets he knows so well, Joe
can't help but think of his days spent trying to score.
Week three sees Joe's behaviour become somewhat erratic.
Staff are concerned and his counsellor asks Joe if he has been using.
"I was quite offended. I thought she could see my
commitment," Joe says.
Despite his adamant stance Joe is tested for drugs.
He is clean, but his behaviour earns him a written warning.
Living under constant close scrutiny is hard for Joe.
He isn't finding the strict routine easy and the treatment is difficult
Mist begins to clear
Five weeks off drugs and Joe is beginning to think much
more clearly. However, a more centred way of thinking, without the cloud
caused by drugs, brings back painful memories.
Joe is finding it emotionally hard to deal with how he
treated his mother, Mary.
|Joe Bell found
it hard to deal with his past life|
"I'm ashamed. Emotional blackmail is what I used
to use to get what I needed - which was drugs," he says.
Reporter Scott Ellis spoke to Joe's mother before Joe
"I have been with him when he was taking drugs,"
she said. "It was the first thing he did when he got home."
Looking back at how he used his mother's love is tough
for Joe, but the pair have become much closer since he entered Broadway
Lodge and they now speak on the phone every night.
Joe's realisation of his past ill treatment of others
offers hope for Mary. "For the first time
in over five years I have got a real sense of hope that things might change
for the better," she says.
As the sixth week comes and goes, Joe is becoming stronger
both physically and mentally. He is growing more and more confident that
he can live life without crack.
All of a sudden his old life - Lisa included - seems
a world away, but his memories of her are laced with guilt.
Joe is having to deal with what he did when he was on
drugs. Although he is now a different man, he still needs to come to terms
with his former self.
As he admits to his poor treatment of his ex-girlfriend
Lisa, Joe tries to send out a message to her.
"I've found a way out!" he proclaims.
He is one of the lucky ones - Lisa is still on drugs.
A new beginning
Joe has managed to complete the eight week treatment
and is excited about the possibilities of a new life.
He stays on for secondary treatment until Christmas
where he will have more freedom but still receive counselling.
Joe and his family can now look forward to a future away
from drugs and, although they say that recovery never really ends, at
least Joe's has begun.