I was nine years of age when I smoked heroin for the first time

“I was nine years of age when I smoked heroin for the first time with my friends. Most of them are dead already. I got addicted when I was about sixteen, and I was nineteen when my mother and father found out. They didn’t realize anything till I landed on their doorstep as an addict. I was even able to hold on to a job back then. I was a forklift driver, but one day I was too stoned and I had a bad accident. I tore the ligaments from my knee to my waist and I was out from work for about six months. This was the time when everything got worse. They wouldn’t give me proper painkillers in the hospital because they saw the drugs in my urine samples. I was still lying about it back then because I didn’t want my family to find out. The pain was so bad that I started taking heroin and all sorts of drugs just to get away from it, and then it just got worse and worse and worse. I’m 35-years-old now, and I don’t even remember the time when all my day wasn’t just thinking about where will I get my next hit from. Within the last two weeks, three of my friends died from heroin overdose. I’m absolutely sure they would be still alive if there was a clean and safe place to go to inject, and my health wouldn’t be as bad as it is now. Who knows, maybe we’d all be off of drugs too by now. You know, my dream is that I will able to live a normal life one day, and dying in a dark and dirty alleyway will not be my only future. People need to understand that coming off drugs isn’t just about a decision, we need help!”

#SaferFromHarm

– This interview is part of a collaborative campaign between Humans of Dublin and the Ana Liffey Drug Project to raise awareness of the importance of medically supervised injecting facilities in Ireland. For more information, please visit Ana Liffey Drug Project’s Website.

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