Danny Shannon says he spent half his life trying to sell drugs in Cabramatta in Sydney in the 1990s when heroin was everywhere.
He was at ‘bottom’ for 17 years but has now developed an app to help others heal and is sharing his story in hopes it will also lead others on a path to recovery.
The Encapsulator creator said he overdosed so many times that he repeatedly broke his ribs from paramedics trying to resuscitate him with CPR.
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“I died several times during my addiction,” he told A Current Affair.
He still thought he “was invincible” even though he had to be revived “15 times”.
But now Mr. Shannon thinks the only reason he didn’t die is that he would still happen somewhere he could be found, when in use.
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“So many people have died from heroin overdoses, you know. 99% of people I know who have died from heroin overdoses,” Mr Shannon said.
Mr Shannon believes he spent ‘millions’ on his $200 a day habit, which he also funded by committing crimes.
He said he was constantly caught breaking into shops, stealing cars and being the subject of high-speed police chases and had spent six years in prison, even escaping in 2001 climbing the fence at Silverwater Prison in Sydney.
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After more than 50 rehabilitation attempts, it finally worked. Mr Shannon said that although he never used again, he never forgot either.
“It’s like I had no mind, my joy was just rising, I was just an empty shell,” he said of himself at 25.
After a few years of sobriety, Mr Shannon recorded an encouraging video message to his future self on how far he’s come.
Looking at it five years later, he realized that the concept could also help others heal.
“That ability to express myself completely without any fear of judgment from a counselor, case manager or friend was really evident,” Shannon said.
“I noticed that I was able to talk about things without fear.”
Encapsulator is now helping countless survivors like Jessica Gaddes.
At 22, she fell into an ice cream addiction that lasted six years.
She recorded a video and locked it in the digital vault for 18 months before deciding to watch it for the first time.
“I see someone who is still processing their life, as you can see I’m very emotional and talking about the people who matter to me,” Ms Gaddes said.
She also spent time in jail, enough to make him realize she needed help.
“I just remember looking around thinking how did I end up here? I went from a Catholic girls’ high school student, to a real estate agent, to a landlord, to being here,” Ms Gaddes said. .
Counselor Pjero Mardesic said Encapsulator could help addicts take ownership of their recovery.
“We can grow from this, we really have to look inside ourselves and say ‘hold on, I’m normal and I’m having tough days and it’s okay and I just need to keep going. moving forward “and that level of accountability to yourself,” he said.
Ms. Gaddes is proud of her responsibility, but relapse is never far from her or Mr. Shannon’s mind.
“I don’t have to look over my shoulder anymore,” she said.
You can access Danny’s Encapsulator app here.
If you, or someone you know, would like to talk to someone confidentially about addiction, contact safety rope on 13 11 14 or visit Reach.
In an emergency, call 000.
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