It was not until my 300level in the university that I started using drugs. I had just lost my parents in a ghastly motor accident. Being the oldest and a man, I was expected to cater for my two younger sisters. Nelly was in her 100 level in school and Amanda was to write a West African Examination Council. I took up a job as a freelancer for an online news agency. I would wake up in the morning to source for news before going for classes and I would stay awake late in the nights to write all the stories gathered for the day. The pay was great and it made me stayed on the job. I made life comfortable for myself and my sisters.

Then one evening, I was finding it so hard to nudge aside the tiredness in my body system. I needed to read against tomorrow, I was having an organic chemistry examination. My roommate handed a stimulant to me. The result was perfect! I read throughout the night and all throughout the three days I wrote my examinations, I took the stimulant and I wasn’t having sleep issues.

After the examination, I didn’t stop taking it, I continued whenever I needed to boost my body. To make matters worse, he introduced me to lots of combination; Hydrocodone, Oxycontin, Cocaine, Heroin, Percocet, Oxycodone. We formed a gang of pills popping roomies. To me, it became my tea, which I could dissolve in warn water and sip as I work or read.

Fast forward to next year, I was in final year and I had just six months to leave school. I was bundled between writing a project and making a living. My drug use escalated. I took copious amounts of these chemicals every day to stay awake to tackle what I needed to.

Then one night, I went into toxic psychosis. I heard voices in my head, my body shook when I walked, I had difficulty in breathing. And for days, I couldn’t step out. I thought the voices and the unsteady walk were due to stress. I took more of these chemicals.

The voices didn’t stop, my body temperature increased. I became withdrawn; I missed lectures and wasn’t seen at work either. I ran out to the streets, living and sleeping inside the gutter. My sisters were alerted and with the help of friends, I was brought to the mental home. I have been staying here for eight months, lots of harmful chemicals were seen in my system. Although I am recovering, I have lost everything I fought for.

Author

Ukamaka Doris, a graduate of Mass Communication, from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka has a flair in writing and news reporting which led her into blogging. Previously, Ukamaka Doris has worked as an editor at primepost.ng, presenter at Unizik FM, 94.1, Awka and writer at opaqlife.com. Ukamaka Doris can be contacted via phone call at 08167016206

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