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A drug addict who was given just months left to live made a dramatic transformation one year on from her police mug shot.

Caroline Best’s life was once ruled by her addiction to heroin and crack cocaine, and saw her spend 15 years in and out of prison due to shoplifting to fund her habit.

Just 12 months ago, the 36-year-old was told she had 12 months to live after doctors revealed her addiction was causing her heart to fail.

They also told her she was too unwell due to her drug taking to undergo an operation.

But, in an incredible act of kindness, an officer called PC Stuart Toogood, from West Midlands Police, reached out to Caroline in a bid to help her turn things around.

Caroline was soon enrolled on a rehab programme.

Now, following an intense stint in rehab, Caroline is living in a dry house for recovering addicts.

And today, Caroline is celebrating 12 months off drugs – with her looks completely changed thanks to kicking the habit.

Her heart problem has also rectified itself after making huge changes to her life.

Caroline is now helping other offenders to kick their habits.

She said: “Thanks to Stuart Toogood, I’m now a productive member of society and I thank him for helping me do something I couldn’t do on my own. 

“I am living proof that we can recover.”

PC Stuart Toogood from Birmingham Neighbourhood team added: “Our Offender to Rehab Programme has so far successfully placed nine prolific offenders into rehab.

“Of the five who have completed the programme one has gained full time employment at Timpson, two have worked as volunteers for Birmingham Mind charity and completed adult education courses.

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“They have also been ambassadors for WMP, presented at several business conferences to raise awareness of the programme and the benefits of it for the business community.

“And two people are in aftercare at dry houses − one should be progressing into employment soon whilst the other is about to undertake adult education courses.

“Four other people are currently in treatment and doing well. Several others are in the process of being assessed for rehab placement.

“This has resulted in a huge reduction of shop thefts in and around the Birmingham North and East regions as many offences were being committed by a core group of offenders.

“We are certainly seeing a benefit in this new approach.”

This content was originally published here.



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