New beginning: My name is Dave Smith and I am a drug addict

Drug addiction is never intended but it happens. We often tell ourselves I am only doing it for fun and boom! we find ourselves in a rehab. Dave Smith (not his real name) has been through a lot in his life. He met his then wife in 1986. They got married in 1992, had kids and life seemed normal. However, in 2000 he left his wife for another man. By 2005 his life had hit rock bottom and Dave was using drugs heavily.

I initially used a lot of drugs in a way that is manageable but after a while it got completely out of hand

Dave Smith

Dave started experimenting with drugs at parties but like so many, he got hooked. As an addict he became more of a loner to avoid confrontations from his acquaintances. He would snap at anyone asking him about his drug use. He used drugs like Tik a lot and later moved into Ecstasy and methamphetamine (meth). Due to the physical effects of drugs he suffered from insomnia, constant teeth grinding and eating disorders. He would sometimes find himself engaging in dangerous sexual practices. It is a miracle that he is HIV negative.

In January 2009 he began his journey to get clean. His ex-wife took away his rights to see his children at which point he hit rock bottom and made the decision to change his life.

Like most people do, I had this myth that my using doesn't impact anyone, it’s a private matter between me and myself. My ex-wife was concerned of what I was exposing our kids to and said to me I cannot see the kids unless I have tested clean before and after I spend time with them.

Dave Smith

The United Nations World Drug Report listed South Africa as one of the drug capitals of the world. According to World Health Organization (WHO) 15% of South Africa’s population have a drug problem. This means Dave is not the only one going through this ordeal. Thanks to Narcotics Anonymous where people like Dave get a second chance in life.

At the moment Dave has been clean for the past six years and exploring new beginnings in his life. Looking back, Dave is ashamed of the person he was and the things he did as an addict. Even after six years, Dave is still taking things one day at a time and now has a good relationship with his kids. He came clean and explained his addiction to his kids which came as a shock to them.

He advises to others like him is to reach out and take a first step of going to a meetings (narcotic anonymous).

People should look around and look for someone who is in recovery and go to meetings with them. Get the necessary support because it is not easy doing it alone

Dave Smith

Pippa Hudson presents a regular slot on Mondays looking at personal stories of people who have started something new.

Having a drug problem contact Narcotics Anonymous on 083 900 69 62

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