Jed’s story

Read about Jed's recovery from heroin then alcohol

‘I was 16 years old when I took my first drug, temgesic. But the first drug I fell in love with was DF118s. They are both very strong painkillers. Back then it was great. I would take up to 30 tablets a day quite easy. Then I met my sweetheart heroin. I loved it. I was 18 at the time. All my mates were on it, all at different stages of their own little hell. It was a time when we were all together – it was a laugh.

‘But then, all of a sudden, darkness starts to set in and the big group goes to smaller groups then the smaller groups go to a couple then, before you know it, you have no mates left apart from the drug who you think is a mate, who pretends to be there for you, and you can’t do anything without it.

‘Then it turns on you, you can’t sleep, you don’t wash, you steal from your family. My wee sister says now she never knew me until she was 14 - she’s now 23.

‘Now I had nobody.

Quitting

‘By 1997 my ma’d had enough, I’d had enough, and I was going to quit. In November that year I remember buying my last bag and smoking it in my room while watching Gladiators.

‘It took me four days to get a sleep, my ma and da would take shifts watching me wriggle about, scream, cry, beg for ‘just one mare bit’. This is torture even writing this 12 years later, in fact it is giving me shivers.

‘I did it with the help and support of my family – a very lucky guy.

‘Then I had choices. I was 24 years old when I became an alcoholic. I believe drink is a creeper of a drug. It creeps up on you and the next thing you know, it’s got you by the throat.

‘I did it with the help and support of my family – a very lucky guy.

‘This led me down a path of destruction, of mental health issues, of suicidal thoughts, anxiety and depression. This lasted seven years until I was 32, when I got the help at the right time – once again a very lucky guy.

‘I went on an eight week course, Monday to Friday, 10.30-2.30 called the community day programme. This changed my outlook on life. I could now get on public transport without having a panic attack, I could go to concerts with my mates when they were still using and drinking.

Getting a job

‘I felt great and every day my confidence was coming back. So in January 2006 I went to college and did basic IT, then I took an introduction to counselling, and then counselling skills.

‘Now, after an HNC and a course at Strathclyde University, I am a qualified counsellor. I got a job counselling teenagers in high schools in Lanarkshire and now I have a job with Glasgow children’s charity With Kids.