Former addicts tell their stories on line

Two drug websites launching today aim to put a face on addiction with "raw, authentic and uncensored" video testimonials from former addicts. and are part of a three-year, $1 million project by the Drug Foundation and Ministry of Health.

The websites feature stories from a variety of men and women about the highs and lows of drug use and treatment.

"I don't want to go back down that road. It's very dark, very messy, and very lonely in spite of the fact it feels so loving, and so nice, and so social at the time," one man said.

"It's a complete love relationship. That's what makes it so powerful, so destructive for me. Because that becomes more important than my relationship," another said.

"I tried everything to convince myself that my using was sweet. Yet every day, I had proof that things were really f....d up."

Drug Foundation executive director Ross Bell said the websites would help addicts find support and treatment options.

"Those struggling with drug addiction are often caught in a spiral. They want to change but a life without drugs is unimaginable and they see nothing but barriers between themselves and help," he said.

"The stories on these websites show people that others have been where they are and that change is possible."

Mr Bell said the videos were not "preachy" or designed to scare people off drugs.

"Many of the subjects talk about how drugs gradually took control and how their lives and relationships disintegrated as a result," he said.

"It's stuff many people who use drugs will identify with, so we also try and give them information they can relate to about where to get help and what life is like in recovery."

The websites also contained practical advice, such as how to deal with withdrawal symptoms.


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