Tammy Smith

Alcohol and Drugs

(The ubiquitous teenage activity)

Tammy grew up in a large North London family and from a young age she suffered from bouts of anxiety and depression. She never finished school and at the age of 15 was introduced to alcohol and illicit drugs. She became a regular on the London nightclub circuit with like-minded friends and for the first time in her life she felt part of the world. The scene for disaster was set.

Tammy attended her first Alcoholics Anonymous meeting in 2002. She was 28 years old and it would be more than a decade before she would finally be free from alcoholism and drug addiction.

By her late 20s the impact alcohol and drugs had on her life was considerable. With frequent visits to GPs for prescription medicines her life spiralled out of control eventually leading to probation orders, prison and admissions to psychiatric hospitals. After numerous failed attempts to stay clean and sober Tammy entered a rehabilitation treatment centre in Suffolk where she lived for a year before returning to London to rebuild her life.

After being reunited with her autistic son, Tammy started sharing her recovery journey with others and became a volunteer at various alcohol, drug and homeless facilities. This lead to her qualifying as a counsellor and psychotherapist – then to university where she passed her Masters Degree in Addiction, Psychology and Therapy – with distinction.

Speaking in schools Tammy is the first to acknowledge that sensible drinking for teenagers does not usually lead to alcoholism but of those who abuse alcohol 12-15% will become alcoholics. The percentage for drug and prescription drug misuse is much higher.

Tammy now has a thriving practice in Harley Street, London. She has a profound understanding of the addictive process and her personal experiences (whilst not a qualification in themselves) are certainly valuable to today’s teenagers.

The London, Brighton and Milton Keynes marathons are all on her list of achievements. Watch this space.

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