Many people try a range of drugs at various times in their lives, and then stop.
For others, their drug use becomes a bigger part of their life as they use more, and more often.
What helped me to come off Methamphetamine?
As I stared at myself in my sister’s mirror after a major come down, I could hardly recognize the gaunt and sickly reflection that was staring back at me. I stood there reflecting, thinking about how my life ended up this way, going from a fit, healthy young man with a good job, steady income and a good relationship to losing everything, living alone on the streets with nothing but the clothes on my back.
I needed to make a change in my life quickly before things got worse.
I knew I had to separate myself from everyone that used and dealt Meth, I had to keep myself busy and preoccupied by going back to work and going back to the gym. To steady my mind and thoughts I went back to composing music and expressing my feelings and emotions through rap and song writing. To strengthen my spirit and reconnect with positive people and my culture I joined our local kapa haka group which was so powerfully overwhelming that I broke down in tears during one of our waiata.
I then went on to study the certificate and bachelor’s degree in social services to get more understanding about myself and to move in to a role where I can support others through their addiction issues.
The first few months will be hard but only as hard as you make it, be true, stay focussed and remember why you’re on your journey of recovery.
– T. F.
Meth free for 14 years
I lived in active addiction for 26 years, 10 of those years was using methamphetamine.
While I thought my life was normal even though it continuously spiralled out of control those that were truly close to me and cared about me my whanau saw otherwise. While they wanted to help me and tried many times so eventually realised that they had to let me go to follow my journey which ever that maybe good or bad. I received a final letter from my mother asking where her son had gone, his morals, values emotions were all gone, I had become a body without a soul. She wrote about how only I could help myself as they were not prepared to put up with what I had become and
were preparing themselves for my funeral.
That letter was beginning of my recovery, seeing in words that I could not escape the hurt I was putting on my whanau through hurt a part of my soul that remained.
The journey of recovery was not easy to begin with I had to isolate myself from the society and culture I knew, the drug culture, I lost all my friends or who I thought were friends. I knew I couldn’t stay isolated, so I threw myself into something I had only previously dreamed about doing speedway
racing, it was a new adrenaline rush where I began meeting new people that’s lives did not solely revolve around drug and alcohol use.
Whilst speedway helped in my recovery there was still something missing I was still not myself and still struggled at times. I visited my doctor who suggested I go to an outpatient rehab centre which I did. He also discussed how if I got into full recovery it would be good to see me help others reach
that goal. After some thought I enrolled in a social work degree. With the combination of rehab and study I learnt a lot about myself and the illness I had called ADDICTION.
Recovery isn’t easy to begin with, but it is worth the journey. Life is so much more fun andworthwhile being drug free.
Only you can change yourself with help from others but you have to make the first step.
– G. S.
10 years in recovery from meth and other drugs
17 years alcohol free
“They find someone to enable them to keep their addiction, then they lie, they scheme, they steal you, you name it, they go down that path of getting that drug, that’s why they call it ‘chasing the dragon.”
“When you come off it its harder than being on it, its so much worse, its an itch that constantly comes and goes, 4 years clean I still have to fight every day to stay off it.”
“My p addiction was there but no one knew, you cant smell, you cant actually see whats going on, its there but not physically in your face, like weed is, it’s a drug that sneaks up on you.”
What advice would you give to a person trying it for the first time?”
“Are you prepared for the consequences after you take the first hit, the first hit goes straight through your body and within the hour you’re searching for another hit, are you prepared to lose your family, are you prepared to go to jail, coz that drug can kill and take lives while its at it.”
“I lost so much weight, I lied to my family and said I was because I was working so hard, they brought the lies”.
“One hit is nothing, you have to have 3 or 4 hits, just to feel that high to enable you to feel nothing.”
“I had nothing to my name, you sell what you got, home theatre system, car, all gone.”
“Personally taking the drug, I don’t care what I did or who I did, as long as I got it, and if I didn’t get it I was an arsehole, everyone coped it if I didn’t get my hit.”
How did you come off it?
“I went to jail for the 3rd time and it was the hardest experiences coming off the drug coz I was put in the at risk unit when you just have to sweat it out, the whole dilutional demons are out to get you, you’re crawling up walls, scratching at your face, pulling at your fingernails, I looked like someone who had been homeless for 60-70 years coming off my hygiene, didn’t even care about it, I just wanted my next hit.”