A FORMER addict who lived on the streets of Glasgow for almost 20 years has said a drama therapy programme saved his life.

David Clark, who now lives in Whiteinch, is taking his story to the stage at Oran Mor on August 11 as part of hard-hitting performance Recovering Voices.

The 45-year-old struggled with addiction to heroin, cocaine and valium for 25 years before entering Turning Point Scotland’s residential rehab for six months in February.

As part of the programme, he was referred to Creative Change Collective’s Recovering Voices group, which supports people with drug and alcohol issues and helps keep them in recovery.

It is aimed at those with no prior interest in drama or therapy and uses an ‘anonymous’ element which allows participants to express themselves freely.

The group will perform a variety-style script reading on stage at Glasgow’s Oran Mor on Friday August 11, with the show addressing issues around the stigma of addiction and participants’ shared experience. Tickets are free.

READ NEXT: 'Glasgow is unique': Exhibition captures the quirky side of Scottish life

David, who spent 19 years sleeping rough in alleyways and phone boxes in the city centre, said the project changed his life.

He said: “This programme has kept me on the straight and narrow and stopped me thinking about going back to using drugs.

“It has saved my life, when you consider where I came from to where I am now.

“It raises my spirits and it’s good to see the happiness it gives others in the group too.

“I can’t wait until we all perform together at Oran Mor – everyone is really looking forward to it.”

Fellow participant Corey Pearson, 31, has been battling opiate addiction for most of his adult life and joined Recovering Voices as a way of connecting with people again after his drug use left him unable to socialise normally.

Glasgow Times: Corey Pearson, one of the Recovering Voices participantsCorey Pearson, one of the Recovering Voices participants (Image: Recovering Voices)

Corey said: “Addiction and drugs become the sole focus for an addict, it’s their source of peace and comfort.

“Everything else in their life becomes secondary – socialising, jobs, family, everything. I’d become so out of energy and out of touch with myself that speaking to people was a titanic effort.”

He added: “Years of doing that had more or less warped my social abilities. The purpose of joining Recovering Voices was to meet new people.”

Mark MacNicol, Creative Change Collective project director, said: “Everyone involved in Creative Change Collective and Recovering Voices is extremely proud of David, Corey and all the participants for their incredible achievements.

“We hope their stories will inspire others in the recovery community to sign up to join our weekly sessions, which are held in Glasgow and around the west of Scotland.

“The performance at Oran Mor will be followed by a Q&A during which the participants will share insights from their shared experience, and we would encourage anyone with an interest to attend.”