Burnley dad and former drug addict who runs recovery group at Church on the Street helping others battle the deadly habit
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But now the Burnley dad-of-two has turned his back on crime and is helping others escape the grip of drink and drugs.
Anthony Horrocks runs a Next Step recovery group at Church on the Street (COTS), the charity that helped to pick him up when he "hit rock bottom."
"My house was being used as a crack den. People were abusing it. My kids didn't want to know me. My mum and dad washed their hands of me. I knew then I needed to change, but it took me six months to finally ask for help."
Despite having "a good upbringing," Anthony turned to drugs around age 12 to cope with childhood bullying. He began taking glue and sniffing lighter fluid before progressing onto cannabis and alcohol and eventually to heroin and crack.
The 48-year-old soon fell into a life of crime before finally freeing himself from crack and heroin for two decades.
But, he said: "I still took cocaine and spent 17 years in and out of prison, causing harm to my parents. It has a ripple effect: our families suffer if we're on drugs."
When his relationship with an ex-partner broke down due to his other drug habits, he feared losing his children and began using crack again "to block out the pain."
Fortunately, he met COTS founder Pastor Mick Fleming in March 2020 while receiving food parcels from the charity.
Over numerous weeks, the pastor encouraged him to seek help, and when Anthony hit his lowest point, he finally felt ready to change.
With Pastor Mick's help, he moved into Elisha House Recovery Community in Colne, where he completed 12 Steps Rehab. After 13 months, Elisha House helped him find a new home.
Becoming a Christian, Anthony started volunteering at COTS, landing a job there one year later where he teaches people coping techniques and relapse prevention - "what we can do instead of going out and taking something."
He has also found that helping others keeps him on the right path and allows him to give back.
"Without the help I received, I wouldn't be where I am today. I'm so grateful to Pastor Mick and Elisha House for what they have done for me. The Church saved me.
"I have got my life back. I have two children who didn't want anything to do with me. Now I'm clean, and I see them all the time. I even have a season ticket for Burnley Football Club - I've never been able to do that before. It's great."
Anthony hopes his story will inspire others to seek help.
"I'll always call myself an addict. It's a life-long battle. I deal with it every day. I know many people from Burnley who are into drugs and alcohol. We have brains that want us dead.
"Life can be hard, but drugs are not the solution. You have to find other ways to cope. What I have done shows anyone can do it.
"Many people will support you if you want to change your ways. A lot are forgiving. You can't keep beating yourself up for what you have done in the past."
Next Step runs on Tuesdays at 11am at the Bethesda Street venue.