Young mum Amy Broomfield was dealing with prostitution, drug and alcohol addictions before beating her issues with the help of Teen Challenge
Young mum Amy Broomfield was dealing with prostitution, drug and alcohol addictions before beating her issues with the help of Teen Challenge Megan Masters

Mum battles drugs, prostitution to regain life and son

THERE were times in Amy Broomfield's life when she didn't think she would survive.

After being trapped in a cycle of substance abuse and prostitution there were moments she didn't know if she would come out the other side.

But with the help of not-for-profit Toowoomba rehabilitation service Teen Challenge, she works full time, is clean of drugs and alcohol and has her eight-year-old son back in her arms.

Ms Broomfield said she was ready to talk about her past if it meant even one person would seek the help they needed.

She said her story began when the father of her child passed away from cancer before the birth.

As a New Zealand citizen unable to access welfare assistance, she was left in desperation.

She said she was always a carefree person who rarely followed the rules, so she began to dabble in drugs.

She met another man who got her an interview as a prostitute, which signalled the beginning of a massive downward spiral that saw her living with regular domestic violence and a drug habit costing up to $1800 on a bad day.

"I was in such a bad place I was looking for anything to distract me and that led me down a destructive path," she said.

In an effort to outrun her problems, namely her easy access to harmful drugs, she placed her son in temporary care and moved to Queensland. 

She got what she described as a "normal" job nursing in Brisbane, but it wasn't long before the cracks began to re-appear in her life.

She was soon back to earning big money through prostitution and the drug habit spiralled out of control again.

"Once you're in the industry and have a taste of the money you can earn it becomes hard to comprehend how people live on a normal wage," she said.

"By then I wasn't an emotionally present mother and I numbed myself to cope.

"I upheld working in a normal job and doing drugs and prostitution for a while but things came crashing down and I was stuck in the cycle.

"I felt like I'd lost my soul. I owed people money for drugs and became homeless, so that's when my son was taken off me."

She mused that during all of this, she never felt like she had a problem she couldn't cope with on her own, but that it was a choice and nobody would notice at her "real" job.

By the time she recognised how big her problem was, she also discovered many rehabilitation services in Australia required a Medicare card or Centrelink documentation.

It threatened to derail the young mum's chances at a healthy life with her son in his country of birth. 

It wasn't until she found Teen Challenge that she felt help was finally available.

After a nine month stint re-learning how to live her life and look after her son, the team at the facility was amazed at her progress and regularly had her back to pass on help to others.

She said she was more than happy to share her tale if it would help the little facility, which receives no government funding, continue to help people like herself who are desperate to change but unable to do it on their own.

The service is holding a fund raising garage sale at its facility on September 3 from 6.30am-1pm.

People can donate items to Teen Challenge at 85 Bedford St on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays between 1.30pm and 4.30pm until September 3.

Phone 4637 0211 to find out more.

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