I took drugs for the first time when I was 16. I had left school a few months before. I was a bit of a loner and because of my fitness and weight training, I was against drugs, but at some point, I started hanging out with people who were drinking and smoking hash. I think I was bored and a bit lost. I didn’t have many friends myself, and they all seemed really cool.

One evening we were in a local park when they started passing a joint around, and even though I said I didn’t do drugs, when it came round to me, I knew I wanted to fit in, so I accepted it and I tried it. It blew my mind immediately. Suddenly I didn’t feel self-conscious any more.  I had been told drugs were bad, but this didn’t feel bad at all, and I wanted more of it.

My drug taking continued from then, culminating in getting addicted to heroin, which lasted for about 18 years.  I became very lonely and isolated. I finally accepted the need for help, and now I am free from drugs and happy and content in my life.

I am a part of Five Lives because I want to give back to society and hopefully someone will learn something from my story.