I was 16 when I started experimenting with drugs and I used them as a form of escapism. I became addicted to substances like cocaine, amphetamines and ketamine and took them continuously for three years. During one binge I took a cocktail of cocaine, ketamine and ecstasy for three days straight and was terrified I was going to die.
Sadiq Khan recently revealed that more than half of London's clubs have closed in the past eight years. This steep decline of licensed venues, due to forced closures, could cause more harm than good by encouraging clubbers to attend unlicensed venues, including illegal raves. These unregulated environments lack the appropriate security, and health and safety measures to manage potential drug misuse.
The need for secrecy and the attendant shame kills lawyers and unemployed people, magazine sellers, rock stars and sex workers. When we use alone, there is no one to rescue us if we take too strong a dose, or if we use drugs that (thanks to prohibition) are not what we thought they were. In my country and others, we impose so much deadly shame on people who use drugs.
Jason had lived this life for several years, hoping after every relapse that this might be his addict partner's final awakening, her rock bottom but he had been a victim again and again -suffering a monotonous chain of trauma, lies and disappointment. And here he was, he hadn't budged an inch, scavenging through a few happy moments to get him through the day.
The safety and welfare of children must be paramount: there can be no compromise on that principle. But in many cases, a child's welfare is best served by staying with its mother if she can be supported to parent well. Today Nicky Morgan announces a new approach to children's services. But if we really want to improve children's welfare, we need to make sure there is support available for mothers too.
I am on the precipice of full time addiction and the glimpse I had over the top has scared me beyond belief. I came home with a plan of attack but that's when it became clear to me, that I needed to revisit my OCD experiences and formulate a plan that didn't so much deal with the addiction but addressed what had caused me to start down that road at all.
Kate is one of central Middlesbrough's drug addicted, street prostitutes who sells her body for as little as £15. Fellow journalist Jack Gaskarth and I met Kate when out researching one evening. We wanted to find out how and why these woman end up on the streets and explore this via documentary film.
The nature of addiction means it's never possible to know if you'll become addicted before trying a substance. Nor is it simple to pinpoint the moment that a habit becomes an addiction. Taking the idea of 'illegal' drugs out of the equation might help you think more about what you're predisposed to - most people underestimate the dangers of alcohol as a drug, too.
The stigma of addiction is a pernicious and inhumane phenomenon. The continuing description of drug addicts as criminals rather than people who are unhealthy or sick prevents them getting well and consigns their family to years of misery and often destitution. Addicts should be treated and supported into recovery. Their entrapment in criminal justice is a waste of police time, a waste of the state's money and dissuades addicts from revealing themselves for treatment for fear of the criminal consequences.
Up until the age of 40 (2002) I was a responsible gay man. I ensured that I used protection every time I had a casual sexual encounter. I was not in a committed relationship at that stage, so it was not even an option for me to bareback with someone. I found that exceptionally scary at the time, as I was aware of how easy it was to contract STDs, especially HIV.