‘I have been told there are others with the
same conditions as me, but I haven't met
them yet. I am unsure how they cope with
the pain, but can only assume they crave
the drugs as I still do... I don’t want people
to get into the same situation as me.’
in the Milky Way. There was no club to go to and I was on
My parents forced me to go ‘cold turkey’ and my
withdrawal symptoms were horrendous. I was dizzy, sick,
and had severe pain throughout my body. I shook violently
and had terrible mood swings – one minute depression, the
next minute anger. I become paranoid and frightened of
everything around me – even the furniture and Smokey our
cat. When I tried to tell my parents how I felt, they said it
was my own fault for taking drugs.
I saw two drug specialists and was given tablets for a
week to stop me shaking and craving. I then attended day
treatment at a psychiatric hospital, where I was given tablets
to stop my heart racing, as it was over 240 beats per minute.
It took me two years to recover properly because my
body was still detoxing and support was extremely limited.
During this time I became friends with an ex-user, Edwin,
who I met through Trend, a magazine for the visually
impaired. My parents hated him because of his drug-using
past, but he gave me a lot of support. I could ring him and
tell him how I felt.
I moved in with Edwin and we lived on the 11th floor of
a tower block. One day I fell and sprained my left knee,
pulling all the ligaments, which was worse than a break.
Edwin had to help me as I was having difficulty walking, but
he needed to go to work so I was often left alone. I was
getting to the stage where I needed a frame to move
around. Then after eight months, I needed a wheelchair
because I had developed sciatica and my heart would have
been under too much strain without it. Edwin and I parted
because of the stressful situation. I left the flat and went
into a care home until I could be rehoused.
Ten years after my drug use, I nearly died from
septicaemia which damaged my kidneys, and led to me
having a kidney transplant. I also developed osteoporosis
caused by polyrheumatoid arthritis.
People don’t realise what long-term damage drugs can
do. I’ve had friends who have been left brain damaged,
leaving them unable to communicate. I have been told there
are others with the same conditions as me, but I haven't
met them yet. I am unsure how they cope with the pain, but
can only assume they crave the drugs as I still do.
I wrote this article because I don’t want people to get
into the same situation as me.
October 2018 | drinkanddrugsnews | 23