Lee visits our Drop-in-Centre. He has recently entered our Drug Rehab Programme.
I first started taking drugs when I was sixteen. I was going out to nightclubs with my friends who were DJing and taking Ecstasy. I then got into amphetamine. It gradually progressed from a weekend thing to every night because I didnt like the come down.
Somebody introduced me to heroin. When I was coming down off the amphetamine it made me feel good. After a while I wasnt feeling the effects of the amphetamine very much so I started to inject it. I found that it was good so I started to inject heroin. I was about eighteen when I got on to heroin. Eventually, I stopped using amphetamine and was just using heroin.
When I was at school I was only using cannabis every now and again. I wasnt really into the drugs then. I was going to the army cadets, playing the violin and I used to throw the Javelin. I had a full life then. Before I left school my dad kicked me out and I ended up in social services care. I moved into a working boys hostel. Thats when it all started. It went from smoking cannabis and drinking with my mates to taking LSD and picking the magic mushrooms and on from there.
I started using drugs because it was cool and all my mates were doing it. It sounds pathetic but we were all doing it. Thats not why I started on heroin because all my mates thought they were dirty smack-heads. My sister was on heroin at that time. Id go back to her house on a Sunday to chill out and get some sleep. She would be there doing heroin and I started off by just having a line on the foil. It made me feel better just having a few lines.
I started taking more amphetamine during the week because Id have to go to work. I was painting and decorating. I didnt want to be going to work when I was coming down so I started to take a bit in the morning. Eventually, the amphetamine went and the heroin took over.
I first went to prison in 1997. I was rattling for heroin one day and my mate invited me out. He was going to do a burglary. He said that I wouldnt have to do anything but it didnt end up that way. At first he told me to stand outside the garden gate and then he asked me to help him carry something out of a window. I put my hands on the window frame and they got my finger prints. So, I ended up getting a sentence for fifteen months for burglary.
When I was in jail I was pretty chuffed with myself because I did my rattle off heroin and I was going to the gym all the time. When the time came for me to get out of jail I was feeling pretty confident because Id put loads of weight on and that. For the first two weeks I didnt go near any heroin. I had a few nights out on the beer and one night I got too drunk and met one of my old mates. Heb asked me if I fancied a bag. I think that if I hadnt been drunk at the time I would have thought more clearly and wouldnt have done it. I ended up doing it that night and the day after. Then I was back into the same routine.
When I was eighteen months old my mum and dad split up. My dad got remarried and I went to stay with my dad because my mum had a nervous breakdown. I thought my step-mum was my real mum until I was fifteen. All of a sudden, on my fifteenth birthday, my sister took me round to see my real mum. My dad didnt like that so I ended up arguing with him about it and he kicked me out. I then went to live with my nan but she couldnt cope with me so I ended up in care.
When I first went into care I was put into a childrens home in Preston. It was a nice place but when I was sixteen I had to move out of there. I then went into a working boys hostel. It was full of rogues. It was the cool thing to get drunk, take trips or whiz etc. I was the youngest person there. The others were seventeen, eighteen and nineteen and Id just turned sixteen. I just fell in with them and did what everyone else was doing. I didnt want to be the odd one out.
I started to change my mind about things a year ago when I split up with my girlfriend and my two children. I was thinking about getting off drugs then but me being naïve I thought I could get off them just like that. After five months of taking heroin everyday and still thinking that I could stop when I liked I began to realise that I couldnt do it all at once and without any help. I did cut down from doing five £10 bags of heroin a day to doing just half a one. Every bag was a hurdle. Then instead of injecting I started touting. At first I was in the probation hostel and I was on methadone. I dont like methadone. When youre on it you dont realise how bad it is until you have two or three days without it. It rots your insides. I felt terrible on it. I had to get back on heroin to get off the methadone because it made me worse than the heroin ever made me feel. I cut down on the heroin again and got on to diahidracodine. Thats were Im up to now.
Id like to come into the T.H.O.M.A.S. programme because I want to start my life again.
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