Substance abuse and homelessness are getting worse in Cardiff. For one sober hostel, patience and empathy are the only viable solutions.
As Cardiff’s addiction epidemic worsens, a sober hostel in Grangetown seeks to help those struggling with substance abuse.
For the past 18 years, Dyfrig House has provided a sober living facility where people suffering from the disease of addiction can attempt to establish a better life.
With 40 to 50 percent of drug addicts relapsing after treatment, Dyfrig House and its residents face an uphill battle. However, for Anthony Beer, one of Dyfrig’s project workers, empathy is a powerful weapon.
This empathetic approach has resulted in some dynamic tactics when dealing with residents, such as allowing a severe alcoholic to drink an allotted amount in their room so withdrawals wouldn’t kill them or keeping a room open for a specific resident who recently returned to prison.
Treating troubled and frustrating residents with compassion and patience is part of a struggle Beer knows quite well. “I had a problem with gambling for a good while,” Beer said, “so I know how tough it can be.”
“People are people. Anyone can end up here, and when you realize that most everybody is one or two crises away from going down a path that leads here you want to treat them like people, not clients.”