My drug use journey started in my 4th year while in secondary school. There was a day we were supposed to have a football match and all the players were in the hostel preparing to go to the football field. When I finished cleaning and packing my football kits, I proceeded to my friend’s room who was also a member of the football team.
When I got to his room, I met some other members of the team there smoking. They invited me to join so I joined them and took a few “drags”. When we all finished smoking, we left for the football pitch.
After smoking, I felt great. I had so much energy. The match was one of the best games I played during my time in school. We all played well and defeated the opposing team by 3 goals to nil.
After the game I went to my friend’s room to know what it was we smoked before going for the match, he told me it was marijuana.
This was how I started my journey into the world of drug use. And I continued to engage in smoking marijuana throughout the rest of my secondary school years.
By the time I got to the tertiary institution, I continued smoking marijuana and also started engaging in other drugs like cigarettes, pawpaw leaf, tramadol, rophynol and codeine.
Apart from using, I began to sell drugs to other students, to the extent that I became the number one “drug dealer” in my school. I got rusticated from the school because I was caught selling drugs by the school authorities. A year after, I gained admission to another school, and again, I could not continue because of the drugs.
I knew my parents were heartbroken and disappointed in me, so I promised to turn a new leaf. I got admission into a third school a year later.
In my first year, I tried to change, I reduced my involvement in drugs. I was still using but I wasn’t selling. But again, in my second year, I relapsed after I moved to a private accommodation outside school. I interacted with some neighbors who were heavy users and as such, it was easy for me to go back on using. This affected my studies and I had to carry-over several courses. I could not tell my parents. And I did not want to disappoint them. My younger ones had graduated at this point and one of them was already working.
Fortunately, I met a final year psychology student who visited my area frequently. We got talking and I confided in him about my situation and my intention of stopping. The problem was that I could not stop. I had tried so many times, but I always went back to it. He encouraged me to seek professional help and even referred me to someone.
During the course of the therapy session, he suggested that I moved out of the house I was staying in order to avoid the company of the guys I usually smoke with. This was the first step. Honestly, it was very difficult. It was a challenge. There were times when I went back and it seemed like we had to start all of over again. But somehow, I was determined to stop. I needed to stop.
I was able to graduate, even after having an extra year. I was not top of my class, but at least I completed school and I am doing good for myself.
The relationship with my parents has improved and I am currently serving the nation.
It has not been an easy journey overcoming my drug problem, but every effort has been worth it. I am glad I sought professional help.