DEPTHS OF DESPAIR: Daemon's desperate cry for help | EDITORIAL

AN Albury alcoholic has resorted to slashing his wrists in a desperate bid to get admitted to hospital for help with his addiction.

Daemon Wolfe, 35, who was drinking up to 11 bottles of wine a day, had been trying in vain to get into a detox and rehabilitation program.

This included going to Albury hospital begging for help but being turned away because there weren’t enough beds.

“I ripped myself open just to try and get into hospital to get help,” Mr Wolfe said.

“I wasn’t trying to kill myself, I was saying, please, no one will help me. 

“Everyone is saying no, sorry, you’ve just got to wait a couple of months. 

“I kept getting referred, referred, referred.”

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Mr Wolfe said he came dangerously close to dying, with the cut so deep he hit an artery. 

The health worker moved to Albury about two years ago with his long-term fiancee.

He said before turning 30, the most he would drink was one or two glasses of wine at dinner.

After a workplace issue not long after he moved to Albury, Mr Wolfe said his drinking began to get out of control.

“At first it was two bottles, then very quickly it was six, eight, 11,” he said.  

“It’s not a lack of discipline, I just couldn’t stop.”

Mr Wolfe described himself as a “top-up drinker” who drank throughout the day.

“I was a dangerous drinker,” he said.

“Every morning or three hours, I used to throw up.”

Mr Wolfe would go into seizures if he stopped drinking.

On August 12 last year, his situation started to escalate.

He was caught driving with a blood alcohol reading of 0.196 after he failed to stop at a red light and crashed into the car in front of him.

In Albury Local Court in November, Magistrate Tony Murray ordered him to attend a three-month full-time rehabilitation program.

Mr Wolfe told the court he was more than willing to get help. 

The only problem was he couldn’t get into a program.

He was already attending drug and alcohol counselling, but that service was unable to secure his admission, and he was unable to get in by himself.

He was told that was due to his location, waiting lists and the time of year.

Mr Wolfe even drank as much as he could before a parole meeting one day, hoping a high reading might push them to help him find a rehab place.

Through it all, he lost his job and partner, and it was then he decided to cut his arm.

He was admitted into the hospital’s psychiatric unit, sobering up for a month, but he relapsed two weeks ago, and requires specialised long-term addiction treatment. 

He is now hoping to be admitted to a rehab clinic in Orange or Canberra, but this could be weeks away.  

“There needs to be one on the Border,” Mr Wolfe said. 

“There’s no help for the ones who want it.”

Lifeline: 13 11 14

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