Bayside Transformations graduate Demmi Cannon.
Bayside Transformations graduate Demmi Cannon. Alistair Brightman

Meet Bayside Transformations graduate: Demmi Cannon

THE strong, confident woman committed to helping others at Bayside Transformations today is unrecognisable from the abused drug addict of 12 months ago who shares the same name.

Before her 25th birthday, Demmi had been a drug addict for nearly a decade and was stuck in a two-year violent relationship.

Both of which almost claimed her life, one of which almost landed her in jail when she started dealing to support her ice and GHB habit.

"I've been to rehab before and I found it to be more like 'clean time' but not delving into why you started using drugs," she said.

"Bayside Transformations was different because we bring our dysfunctional behaviours we have learned in our lives to issues group and figure out where they come from."

Winding back the clock, 14-year-old Demmi tried to conquer a feeling of abandonment by acting out in an effort to coax her father back home.

"My whole life spiralled out of control from that," she said.

"I started seeking this approval from men and bounced from bad relationship to bad relationship.

"I didn't want to feel the pain so I used drugs to escape."

Deceptively, throughout most of her addiction, Demmi could hold down a job.

"I hid the extent of it from my family," she said.

"The worst day of my life was when my mother and sister found me passed out in my garage."

Demmi was comatose from a near overdose, unaware of her family's screams as they desperately tried to wake her.

Too disorientated to hide her bruised face, a tribute to the domestic violence situation she was living in, her facade finally came crumbling down.

It was a family friend who connected her to Bayside Transformations.

For Demmi, most of her personal growth was in a stage of rehab that required her to look out for other people.

"I think because I was so selfish, I just didn't care... being forced to be a leader and look out for other people was where I grew the most," she said.

"Here, we are a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre based around consequential thinking but also a Christian rehab so it is faith based as well... when I first got here and found out it was a Christian rehab I was a bit offside but God really helped me.

Demmi plans to study psychology in November to work with addicts for the rest of her life.

"I feel like my life has purpose now," she said.