I was about 12 when I began smoking a little bit of pot. I began drinking too and occasionally I tried speed. I never fitted into school and I found a pair of mates who were the same and we’d use with each other. It’s hard to explain why I started but I suppose I relied on these things to make me feel better. When I got too many thoughts in my head – happy or sad – I’d try and wash them out with drugs.
I started smoking pot more often in the week and doing crazy things on the weekend. By the time I was 13 or 14 I was using pot every day and drinking and popping pills and I was in and out of different schools.
In early 2012 I got a job working with my family. I’d only smoke pot during the week but would go really crazy at the weekends – coke, amphetamines, methamphetamines … I got prescribed benzos as well. Whatever I could get, really.
“Mum was pretty strict and told me I was going to see a drugs counsellor. I knew she was right and that I needed to pull up. I’ve been seeing my counsellor since I was 16. I went into detox for a week and did all right for a few weeks afterwards – and then I realised I was a mess again. I’ve stayed with my counsellor and I’ve been in detox and spent three months in rehab. I had 100 days clean afterwards and then I got that ‘I’m going to use tonight’ feeling. I went to my mate’s place and drank heaps and popped a goog – an ecstasy tablet.
At the moment methamphetamines are my drug of choice – but I try and get a couple of days a week when I stay home and don’t use. I had a pretty full-on one last night though – I’m not going to lie. I was coming down from a bender and seeing people running around outside my front yard. I was tripping out, which freaks me out a bit. When that happens I try and stay calm and remind myself it will stop.
I had a solid group of mates but since I got out of rehab my friends have changed. Some mates got really full on and others stopped. They stopped robbing people to support their habit and robbing dealers to get some drugs in their system. I’ve been in some serious fights with my mates about drugs and money … it gets a mess. I don’t know who to hang around with now because it’s so easy to use when you’re with mates.
I see people being a bad influence on others. You’ll see innocent people hanging around and someone thinks it would be funny to see that person on drugs, so they give them something. I’ve told my mates not to give anyone their first drug.
If I was a 12-year-old kid again I’d warn him to choose another life and not to go down this hectic path. Because you will always be in debt and you could go to jail. I used to think I was better than other drug users but I’m just the same – standing in Cash Converters hocking all my stuff.
Mum has been pretty good and she’s tried to get me the right help. I don’t want to be a fully grown adult and still be using. I love drawing and I’d like to be a signwriter or a graphic artist one day. I’ve got to pull up before I get in big, big shit.
Nick’s* mum Felicity* also shared her story with us. You can read her perspective here.
* Names have been changed to protect the persons identity.
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17 year old Australian teenager Nick* was interviewed by Sarah Marinos.