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[ Personal Narratives ]

My Drugs Journey

So, how did it all start I hear you cry? Obviously I didn’t start injecting drugs at 13. No one ever chooses or wants to grow up and be imprisoned in the chains of drug addiction.

But it is true what they say. Ok, not for everyone, but smoking cannabis can lead you down a slippery slope of drug destruction. I can bet that 90% of addict started off on weed or alcohol.

For me it all began around the age of 13, 14 I guess. I was doing well at school. No genius, but above average. At the age of 13 I was delighted to discover unscrupulous shop owners, where more than happy to sell under aged kids alcohol, just to make a couple of extra quid.

The intrepidation of having to dress up, pile on the make up and act mature to buy the alcohol was just as exciting as gulping down K’s cider, Diamond White cider, 20/20 Vodka and later Hooch and Two Dogs.

Around 14 I started going clubbing too, back then as long as you had a pair of decent sizes chest the bouncers let you in, no question asked. At first it was over 14 raves but soon I progressed to over 18 nightclubs.

I discovered my cheeky-verging-on-naughty, erratic behaviour could be diffused. Alcohol quickly became a weekend staple due to the defusing effect it had on my ADHD.

Soon alcohol was boring and I wanted a new buzz. Around this time a few of my friends had tried weed, and I wanted to try it too. The thought of smoking drugs sent tingles through my body, the same tingles I get now whilst waiting to score. I tried my first spliff at 14 whilst comatose from a huge drinking binge.

Cannabis was the beginning of my drug use. Prior to this I was adamantly against drugs, and at the time I was still very anti anything stronger. I was a karate champion and more into my sports.

This is where I got my high. Winning karats fighting championships. I was unaware I had the disability ADHD at the time, but doing 8-10 hours of a strenuous activity, Karate, enabled me to burn off the ball of anxious energy in my stomach, just leaving the one of anxious, self doubt in my head.

By 16 I was buying weed regularly. The lure of skunk and weed grew as I soon discovered, the girl who struggled to quieten her mind, had this feat easily achieved by this delightful green plant classified as illegal.

This was the last time in my life I slept naturally without benzos, weed of alcohol.

My cannabis habit is what prompted me to quit karate aged 17 for fear I would be selected for a random sample at a tournament where my furious parents would be watching to add to my shame.

When I reached 18 I would be smoking weed daily in huge amounts in an attempt to self medicate my ADHD. This behaviour continued until I was 24-25. At one point each cigarette break I left the building choosing the bitter UK weather over the cosy smoking rooms of the late 90’s early 00’s, and smoked another splif attempting to soothe my head and keep it calm.

The furious wind froze my slim figure to the bone. My fingers would change colour from scarlet pink to a dull blueish grey.

I was the tender age of 17 when I tried cocaine and ecstasy. I immediately fell in love with cocaine. However as a McDonald’s employee my wages starts at £3.15 and rose to a pitiful £4.78, meaning cocaine was a luxury. I couldn’t afford £40 for a gramme lasting a few hours.

Ecstasy at £1-£10 per pill and lasting all night soon became my drug of choice (DOC). I could buy 100 pills for £100 and I only needed 1-2 for a good night out. The week long depression ensured I would continue to use as I didn’t associate the depression with the come down from pills. You already spent 1-2 days after feeling shit, achy, tired, initially struggling to sleep, the depression was believed to be normal.

It wasn’t until I stopped and the depression lifted, did I realise it was ecstasy making me miserable. I would use 2-4 times a week. During the week it would be .5, maybe 1 whole pill taken in quarters, weekend 1-4 over a mad night out.

Over time the price dropped from £10 to £1, if I bought in bulk. In order to recoup my costs I began to sell them £1.50 – £5. Close friends paid £1.50 – £2.50, so I still made a small profit. As far as I was concerned I deserved a little as I was the one buying and storing a huge amount of pills. It was danger money.

Acquaintances or strangers got the higher price. If we were in pubs or bars the price would average at £3. In nightclubs I could easily command £5 from strangers. I would hear them protest and I would reply ‘if you see someone more fucked than me, who’ll sell you a pill for less, go for it. Otherwise I’ll be dancing here’.

9/10 they came back. I’d enter the club penniless and leave with £50 in my pocket.

By 21, my new boyfriend didn’t like me taking pills. So this was a big influence on my DOC changing to cocaine. Immediately I was hooked due to the calming effect it had on my brain. It took over from ecstasy and became something I’d use on average twice a week. Apart from the first couple of times I tried it, I soon realised alcohol was an important component of this high. Without it the high would be too jittery, you’d consume the gramme quickly counting down the minutes until it was acceptable to slip off to the toilet to do another line. Agitated with taccacardia, you’d clench your teeth or cut your cheek gurning.

Alcohol smoothed the ride. With cocaine you could drink lager amounts and not end up mortal. You were chatty, sociable, fun, coherent. The life and soul of the party.

I had also dabbled with speed, English speed, not crystal meth which is slowly now penetrating the London drug scene. Our speed is amphetamine not methamphetamine and is about ten times weaker. It’s known as the poor man’s cocaine. I had also tried LSD, poppers and Magic Mushrooms.

Then at 24 I met an old friend who was into crack and heroin and being the type of person I am it didn’t take long for me to follow suit.

It only cost £25 for a session where cocaine would cost £20-£40, and then the alcohol £10-£20 and cigarettes £5-£10. Due to paying a mortgage saving up to £40 was preferable. There was no grimy hangover as the after glow of the opiates took 1-2 days to wear off.

I’ve only ever smoked heroin in a splif when I had an addiction to it, occasionally off the foil and I only started smoking it when I began to score my own crack.

Before I scored my own crack I would smoke with other users who had subutex prescriptions. They would let me sniff 1/2 to a whole 2mg.

When I began to score on my own I didn’t have access to subbies. I had smoked b on occasions and at the time I didn’t relate the night sweats, irritability, mild depression and slight body aches that I was regularly suffering, was related to myself withdrawing from subbies or B.

How naive when I look back now. So, anyway, I started smoking b to stop me killing all the light in 5 minutes when I smoked alone.

Pretty soon I was addicted to B. Thankfully a good supply of subbies came my way. I slowly stopped smoking B every day, only smoke crack 2-3 times a week. Still pretty bad, but much better than 6-7 times per week.

I had totally rid my heroin addiction by 29, although I was still addicted to opiates through buprenorphine. I had a manageable addiction to crack smoking twice a week until aged 30 when I moved into my parents house to sell my flat.

This is when I discovered legal Ritalin. Due to a huge increase in work load I began to use it. It enables me to concentrate, complete complex tasks, keep focused and working after 5pm endeavouring to catch up.

But I never did catch up. I started off inhaling the ethylphenidate but it ruined my nose. I quickly realised diluting in water and using a syringe inserted into my back passage gave a much better high and less damaging.

When I got my Ritalin I stopped. I was still smoking crack occasionally and I stopped that too.

Then I stopped getting my scripts around June as from March my use of ethylphenidate and diamorphine increased.

October I was discovered.

Detox November. Ritalin script halved

I returned to using half the time.

January detox. Script stopped

Jan – April using until sectioned (well after as I used in Springfield daily)

Mid April stopped speed. Smoked weed, crack and heroin instead.

Just to clear up any misconceptions, I’m not on benefits and have never claimed off the government. I am on long term sick, but was managing a large project earning £30k.

I have a mortgage on a 3 bedroomed house. Have Merc. Kompressor (needs work atm), had Sky TV, hot tub, bar in garden, rescued pets, gave to charities,

I’m intelligent and have GCSEs (10 passed with 6 graded A-C), A Levels (4), AS Level, C&G, NVQ Level 2, NVQ Level 3, IOSH (health and safety) Qualified, CPCAB (Counselling) Level 2, First Aid qualified and a Member of the Employability Institute meaning I can add MIEP to J** the Junkie (MIEP)

This is as well as other weird achievements like a catering qualification (McD’s), 1Kyu Karate, Level 1 in kayaking and I think that’s most of it.

I don’t have any children, care too much for my pets, they’re pampered. My cats had every toy from the Catit Interactive range, a £150 cat tree, fed raw meat, cooked meat, tuna and cat food. Whilst house cats they were walked daily. They even had cat DVDs.

My rabbit is never caged and is a house bunny with garden access.

I’m a good kind person. I just use drugs as my brain doesn’t produce as much dopamine and serotonin as yours.