Unfortunately our society suffers from a lot of issues that get ignored instead of being solved, and drug addiction among young people is on top of the list. We often avoid speaking of the topic as a kind of denial, but the ugly truth is that addiction is real and it’s all around us, and the bright side is that there’s a cure and it’s never too late to start over.
4 brave and strong young adults shared their stories with us. If you know anyone who needs help, these stories of survival might tell you where to begin.
E.; Female; 18 y/o
“It all started when I was young. The first thing I started with were cigarettes. Actually I didn’t like them as much as I liked the feeling of doing something different and unique from those who are my age, I was 15 back then. I smoked cigarettes for 6 months, and there was a voice inside me telling me to try anything odd and new, I had drugs on my mind, though no one of my circle was an addict or even interested in such things. I was searching myself for someone who’d show me that road. I talked to a guy from Twitter, I didn’t know him that well; all I knew about him was that he was an addict, and later we’d smoke and drink together sometimes. I was addicted to cocaine, It went so deep that I sold all the jewellery my mother bought for me. From a time to another, I’d steal more from my family, I sold my laptop and my camera, and at times I’d wake up in the night to look for something to sell in the house. I spent a lot of time not knowing that I got addicted, until this slide started, the money would be lesser that my mother noticed. When she knew, all the doors to get any substance were closed. Everything around me was telling me that I can’t keep being like that. My attitude changed and it was noticed. I lost so much weight, and I had dark circles under my eyes. My mother tried to make me quit at home, and a week passed. I got my phone back, I called I my ex to get a dose and I left the house again. My recovery started when my mother knew about it again, I got the jewellery of my friend and it was worth around 50,000 LE. Her father knew and he reported me at the police station. My family transferred me to a recovery house. It ‘s by far the hardes experience I’ve ever faced.
Recovery isn’t easy. The whole thing isn’t easy. It takes will and a lot of effort, it will hurt, and you’ll suffer, but it will set you free. It’s almost been a clean year, but I’m still suffering.”
D.; Female, 20 y/o
“Well it all started since I was 13, I used to abuse all that I could reach. As a 13 years old simple painkillers were my peak, I don’t know why I abused them. Like Panadols don’t get you high, I guess I was more addicted to the tendency of abusing. By time I was introduced to stronger drugs like Solpadine and Multi-relax, I never got physically addicted though, but I knew something was wrong, I tended to abuse and I was addicted emotionally. 4 months ago I was introduced to a drug called Lyrolin, most of drug users know it. It all started when a friend gave me 3 pills of it and told me how to use it. At first he made me promise to never approach the drug without him by my side. I liked Lyro, I liked how it played with my mind and balance, I liked how I used to enjoy music much more when I was on its effect but what I loved the most was how I would fall asleep like a baby when I was on it. I had to wait another week to meet my friend and take Lyrolin again. One day I asked how he’d get it and the answer was my starting point to what I thought was a ray. Lyrolin is a drug that you can buy from any pharmacy with no prescriptions you can even get it delivered to your door step, unfortunately. The first thing I did next day was that I went to the pharmacy and asked the pharmacist for a pack of Lyrolin. The normal dose was 3 pills a day, after less than 20 days, this dose wasn’t enough for me. I had to upper it to 5 pills then to 8 till I reached 10 pills a day of an upper Lyro, and 3 pills of downers, Multi-relax. The next thing I remember was 3 months later my best friend slapping me and screaming to my face that I am an addict and that he was going to tell my brother unless I took a step to recovery. The fact that my brother can know about my addiction slapped me right on my face, not out of scariness of him, but I wouldn’t take the disappointment look in his eyes. I kept thinking of every single person I know who can help. I was mind blocked. I felt time stopping, all I could think of is ending my life. I have a cousin who studies medicine and he is the only one who’d be open about the fact that I am an addict. He was the reason I stopped, he talked me out rather than shouting at my face and blaming. I spent the next three days locked up in my room and they were the worst of my life, the amount of pain I felt I thought was impossible that a human being can bear it. The stronger the pain got, the more determined I was to quit. All I could cope the pain with was my pack of smokes, with every breath I inhaled and with every smoke I exhaled I felt my soul. I felt it was something, my soul was a child begging for freedom and fresh environment. With every smoke I put off a day of the past gone forever and step to a clean future was taken.”
Z.M.; Male; 23 y/o
“It all started 8 years ago, I was 15, I didn’t really know what I’m doing or why I’m doing it. My family is lovely, they never abused me or anything. But still, I took that road. I didn’t know what that road was when I started it, and yet, I did. I had some friends who used to use, I was curious to try it, I didn’t even know it’s addictive. And I did, and suddenly found myself a drug addict. I used to go get the drugs by myself, a 15 years old dealing with drug dealers, not very nice. But I survived, 8 years, of course I overdosed a few times and it was awful, my family knew, but I convinced them that I quit when I didn’t. I always wanted to but I never had the guts to face that pain, 8 years I’ve been thinking about it but I never did anything. I was a coward, my mom always knew that I didn’t quit but she never said anything direct cause she knew it won’t matter, she knew I gotta want to quit. Of course I don’t have to talk about what I lost along the way: my health, my education, my parents’ money, their trust, my friends, you can say I lost everything along with myself. I was a slave to the drugs, they controlled every inch of me no matter how much I tried to deny it. There’s nothing called controllable addiction. The one thing I never tried was medical help, so one day (after 8 years of suffering) I decided to see a doctor and ask him for help, and he did. He prescribed me stuff to get me through the first 6 days of the withdrawals. I survived, I always thought that after those 6 days I’d be fine and it’d be over, but it turns out it was the easiest step. Addiction is an illness, psychological more than physical. I have to spend the rest of my life trying to control it. It’s not easy, it’s not pretty. It’s a war, a real war within. I’m doing my best, or at least I like to think that I am. If these words fall into any addicted individual, hear this: seek medical help. I know you can’t do it on your own. I know it’s so hard. I know. But it gets easier, I promise. It’s never too late.”
A.; Male; 21 y/o
“I started when I felt like that there were boundaries that needed to be broken, and in fact they were when I smoked for the first time in 6th grade. It was me and a friend of mine, we motivated each other. Until the first time I went to a concert, I tried drinking vodka, but I didn’t get high. I felt that time, that those boundaries got broken, and I started going out drinking in public, I got drunk, and I was happier and peaceful more than ever. A day later, I had a hangover, so I decided that I’d never do that again. That day, I stood a lot in front of the mirror, I felt like there was someone inside me screaming to me that I was killing him. I spent some time without drinking anything, but meanwhile, there was nothing that would make me happy, I was always depressed. Unfortunately, I started drinking again when I encountered an emotional wreck with the girl I loved, in fact I’d walk in the streets with expensive bottles, I’d drink anywhere in front of anyone. Later on I got introduced to new kinds of drugs: mind trip, joker, and Scooby snacks. I spent almost 600,000 LE on drugs in my years of addiction, what made me stop is when my father travelled to KSA and left my mother some money, I took it from her and there wasn’t a cent in the house. Also, one day, the mother of my friend called me after she knew that we were involved with drugs, she said that she saw pictures of us. I confessed to my mother later that I was an addict, she didn’t expect it. I went to detox, and group therapy sessions, and later on I was on and off with drugs due to some events. The last time ever, I took the decision that I won’t do anything that would damage me, that I would do anything I love. I found a job, I got back to making art and writing, I got back to college, and I started going to concerts again and joined The High Institute of Cinema. I’m even willing to get courses and get trained at banks and learn how to play music”
We’re all addicted to something; some are addicted to food, others can’t leave their phones, and some got addicted to drugs. It’s an illness, but there’s always a cure and it’s never too late to seek help. Set yourself free.