I remember being really, really young at parties, all my family really chaotic and drunk. Everyone would be having a really good time then at the end of the evening it would all turn crap. I saw my mum being thrown through a window by my dad, stuff like that horrible, violent stuff.
I saw people managing their feelings with substances. My family immigrated to Australia when I was 12 years old from Scotland. This had a huge impact on my life, I was very isolated, just even in language, culture, friends and family.
I started using substances on a regular basis when I was 13. I would steal my parents’ tranquilisers and abuse alcohol. Then I left home and school at 15 and my drug use got worse, it became just anything I could get my hands on. This is when I first used speed and heroin.
I moved to Sydney and got a really bad speed habit. Moved back to Brisbane and tried to sort myself out but I was still really young and didn’t know I was suffering speed psychosis. So I started using tranquillisers again to manage how I was feeling and my anxiety.
This wasn’t doing the trick so I started using heroin. Had a period of abstinence where I went back to school in my early 20’s however couldn’t manage and relapsed again. Everything continued to go down hill.
I had a crop that would finance my heroin use. I had lots of anxiety provoking behaviour which would make me use more. A friend of mine visited me one weekend who had been in treatment and when I saw her I noticed that she was healthy and happy. She spoke to me about where she had been and I decided that I would like to give treatment a go again as I had been in therapy and self help groups in my late teens.
I made contact with the treatment centre but it wasn’t until 6 months after that I got admitted. So then I worked on my anxiety and learnt how to have a drug free lifestyle. I later started working in a treatment centre, worked and lived overseas. Now I am in a healthy happy relationship, applying to get in to university and have healthy friends.