Illegal Drugs & Mental Health

My Experiences

This will probably be my most candid blog yet, but one I feel is important to write. When I was 11 years old I began to smoke cigarettes. At the time school dinners were 65p, and a packet of 10 Regal King Size were £1.20, and a box of matches were 10p. My pals and I would look to put our lunch money together and share a 10 pack of cigarettes a day. A few months later, I started drinking at the weekends. To get money for this I would steal bread/milk from the local shop for my Mum and I would use that money to buy the £1 bottles of cider & cigarettes for a Friday & Saturday night. By the time I was 12 I was smoking weed/hash (cannabis resin/hashish). My first experience smoking it was in a miniature vodka bottle bong that a girl I’d never met before gave me. This girl would end up becoming my best friend! It could have been anything really, but I smoked it. I got the giggles, the munchies, and went home to bed. It was a bit of a laugh, so I continued to do it when I could. I started to smoke bongs, joints, lungs (2ltr bottle with a carrier bag taped to the bottom), and buckets (2 ltr bottle with the bottom cut off and put into water).

At 14 I took my first Ecstasy tablet. I told my Mum I was going to the local fun fair and spent my £10 on a brown speckled Mitzy. Later that night another friend turned up with their dealer boyfriend and gave me half a Ferrari. I had the best night (or did I really?). Music was the best I’d ever heard. Colours just looked amazing. I loved everyone. I was happier than I’d ever been. Laughed harder than I’d ever laughed. It was amazing. The next day? I had one helluva come down. I was depressed for a few days. No amount of weed or drinking was bringing me back up. I started to steal more to get more money to get more E’s. This began my addiction to them. I couldn’t go a weekend without them. No way I could go to a party without taking one. I couldn’t possibly have fun without them. What started off as taking just one or two a night, ended with me taking 3, 4 sometimes 5 in a night. I would be so high that I couldn’t open my eyes and my jaw would be rattling.

One night I took a bad E. What does that even mean? Well, when everyone else was getting all warm and coming up, I just went down. My mood just went so low, and colours weren’t bright and beautiful, it was just dark and cold. It was a horrible horrible feeling that I was stuck with for the next 6 hours. I remember going home and laying on my Mum’s living room floor, watching her ceiling fan whirl around thinking “this is how I die”. Horrible night! Did this stop me? Nah, I just stopped taking as many in one night, and mixing them with other things like speed/base/coke. There was not a single day of my life where I was not off my face on something.

On My 16th birthday I was homeless, and I’d had the morning from hell due to my ex. When I went my friend Gordon’s house, he suggested we just ‘get on it’. We went to a local dealer, who opened a brief case that was just like a junkie’s heaven! Absolutely everything you could think of. I got myself 3 red scorpions (acid tabs), a bag of speed and some weed. We then picked up a bottle of vodka on the way back, and just got absolutely wasted in his house. I spent my 16th birthday, tripping balls, standing in his living room with my socks and shoes off, stepping off his light blue carpet to his dark blue rug, thinking it was the most amazing feeling in the world. Whenever I stood on the rug, it felt like I was being pushed by my shoulders into the ground. Like I was sinking into the floor. As I did this, Gordon lay under his couch cushions in just his boxers, stroking the couch telling it how amazing it was. Madness!! It was a mental way to spend a day, let a lone a 16th birthday. I just resolved myself to believing this is how my life was. I needed drugs to achieve the feelings I needed.

When I needed to chill, I’d have a joint. If I need to have a good time, I’d get me some E’s. If I wanted to be productive, I’d get some speed/base/coke, and this was how I thought my life needed to be. I was also drinking every single day. There was not a day from the age of 15 to 17, where I didn’t have a drink of something.

Where on earth did I get the money to feed such bad habits? Stealing mostly, and my best friend at the time, had a Mum and Grandparents that would see her alright, as well as this she claimed benefits, so we always had money. Whatever she got, she would give me some too. It wont surprise to you to know, it was at this point I began to drop out of school. I had become a complete and utter waste of space. I was in an abusive relationship , with a terrible drug habit, complete alcoholic, thrown out of my home, not a real friend in sight, and now pissing my education up against the wall.

This was a very dark time in my life. One I wish to god had never happened. One I wish I could go back and change. It is by far my biggest regret.

When I fell pregnant the first time, I didn’t want a baby. Far from. I remember crying as I left the doctors office and thinking “what the fuck am I going to do?”. It was only a few days later I lost the baby. I felt awful. This baby had not survived because of how polluted my body was. Whilst I tried to convince myself it was a blessing, as I wasn’t ready to be a Mum, I couldn’t help but feel really sad about it. When I attended the hospital after my miscarriage for a check-up, they told me that I lost the baby because I wasn’t looking after myself. I weighed just over 6 stone at 5ft 3”. I was a walking skeleton. A few months later I fell pregnant again, and this is when I stopped all of my drugs & drinking. I went completely cold turkey through my pregnancy, yet, when he was born, I went back to weed. It was my only vice. I liked to have small joint of an evening whilst watching the TV. What was the harm?

The Facts

I’ll tell you what the harm is. Weed, as much as people like to sing its praises, is not all the good it’s cracked up to be. Yes, they can extract parts of it to make CBD oils that have been proven to help certain diseases and illness, but smoking pure weed? Or worse cannabis resin when you have no clue what’s in it? This is not good for you at all. Here are some #Facts about Cannabis

What is cannabis?
It’s the most widely-used illegal drug in Britain, although the numbers of people using it are falling.

  • Cannabis is naturally occurring – it is made from the cannabis plant.
  • The main active chemical in it is tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC for short).
  • THC is the ingredient in cannabis that can make you feel very chilled out, happy and relaxed.
  • THC can also make you hallucinate, meaning that it can alter your senses, so that you might see, hear or feel things in a different way to normal.

There are many myths about cannabis  – that it’s safe because it’s natural, that using cannabis will completely ruin your life, your health and your future or that using cannabis will lead you into using other, more dangerous drugs. What is true is that cannabis can have some very real, harmful effects on your mind and body, as well as creating longer-term problems:

  • Cannabis effects how your brain works. It can make you feel very anxious and even paranoid, it can make it difficult for you to concentrate and learn, make your memory worse and make you feel less motivated.
  • Tobacco and cannabis share some of the same chemical ‘nasties’ and just like smoking tobacco, smoking cannabis has been linked to lung diseases like tuberculosis and lung cancer.
  • Using it has also been linked, in some people, to serious, long-term mental health problems.
  • An arrest for possessing cannabis could lead to a caution, a fine or even jail.

Courtesy of FRANK

 

I was a long term weed smoker. I smoked it from I was 12 until I was 23, with breaks in between for pregnancy. I smoked resin and actual weed. I once smoked thai stick weed with a friend of mine, just before we got on a bus. I think that is the most high I’ve ever been. I don’t think we talked to each other for hours!

I would smoke cannabis daily, sometimes getting up and having a small joint just to chill me out for the day. Whilst I was smoking it I felt ‘normal’, and thought I looked perfectly normal. It didn’t inhibit me from functioning. My house was always clean, shopping done, kids were looked after, and like I say, I felt OK. So, what was the harm? What I didn’t realise is it was really affecting my mental health. The truth of cannabis and all other drugs is that they alter your brain. All of them. You cannot look up a single one, without it stating that it will alter your brain. WTF? Why do people still see this as ok!?

Why write this blog? What’s it’s purpose?

In all honesty, I hope that people read this and realise they’re making their mental health worse and stop doing drugs. It’s that simple. Lately social media has exploded with articles, “facts”, and pyramid selling groups offering pure CBD oil that will cure all your ales. I then see ignorant people putting up comments and posts singing the praises of cannabis (not CBD), and what a wonderful thing it is. Really? Do people really believe this? You have people petitioning for weed to become legal, and those who choose to share posts saying how the government make cannabis illegal just to spoil our fun. Or because they want to withhold the cancer cure from us. I see all these things and I just have to shake my head. It’s bewildering why so many people believe that cannabis is so good for you to ingest/smoke, when the facts state otherwise. Genuine CBD oil, not the snake oil being sold in these pyramid groups, really is beneficial. I really hope that more trials are done, and it can become more widely available from the right sources. CBD oil is a derivative of cannabis, it has taken out all of the bad bits, and left us with the good bits. Legalising weed is definitely NOT a good thing. Especially given the amount of cross pollination that has been happening with weed over the years. You just cannot be sure what kind of high you’re going to get, or how it will affect you.

Having suffered with mental health issues for more than half my life, being a part of online communities for mental health, and knowing people personally who suffer like me, I can honestly say that the vast majority of people I know like me, have dabbled in drugs. I’m not talking about people having a small joint from time to time, or those that maybe smoked a little bit in their uni days, I’m talking about people like me. People who have taken a broad spectrum of drugs, experimented, mixed uppers/downers in one night, who are still doing them now, despite having mental health issues. Who still insist on looking to illegal drugs to help them ‘feel better’ or have a good time, when all they’re doing is making their mental health worse!

If you have mental health issues, or if you have a family history of them, you really NEED to stay the fuck away from illegal drugs. Well really you should stay away from them regardless! They’re illegal for a reason. Not to spoil your fun, but to keep you safe! Have a little faith and trust in those who have been appointed to test these drugs, and their judgement that we shouldn’t make them legal. I for one will never vote to make cannabis legal. Ever. CBD oil yes, Cannabis no! I’m a walking FRANK advert me. Ending up like me isn’t even the worst-case scenario. I suffer with depression and anxiety issues, there are way worse than me out there. I know of people who have BPD/Schizophrenia due to their drug use. YES illegal drugs can cause BPD & Schizophrenia. That is just frightening. Take a moment to really think about that.

Know your facts about drugs. Stop sharing these stupid posts on social media that are made up by sites with names like ‘weedisamzing.com’. How stupid is that? Where is your reputable source? It’s just a means for you to justify your habit. Also, another thing that irks me is when people say things like “I’ve smoked it for years and I’m fine”, as they look at least 10+ they’re actual age, cough up a lung daily, and have absolutely no drive/motivation for life! Yes mate, you’re tiptop! Or “I know so-and-so who’s smoked weed every day for yeeeeeeeeeears and never had a health issue”. Yup, also great. Just like these people that my Mum tells me about that get into their 90’s drinking and smoking and are totally fine. Not sure I entirely believe her to be honest but let’s roll with it and say these people exist. Let’s say there are a lot more Keith Richards out there. Brilliant. They’re a fucking anomaly! Also, let’s not dare to be so naive as to think that Keith Richards is free of his demons or mental health issues. The man is a fruitcake!

If you are reading this, have mental health issues, and do drugs, please, fir the luv o’ jeebuz, stop! Think about the harm you’re doing to yourself. Think about why you’re feeling the need to use drugs. Is it because your friends/partner does? You need to keep up with the joneses? Do you really need these people in your life? Get yourself educated on the real harm you’re doing, instead of focusing on the small positive effects. Do you like having mental health issues? I’m pretty sure you don’t. So why continue to make them worse? I know more than anyone how hard it is to give it all up. I have been there. I am just so thankful that I gave it all up when I did. God only knows where I’d be now.

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