General Article ‘At 9 I started becoming addicted to drugs. 42 years later I’ve turned my life around’

Topic Selected: Drugs Book Volume: 373

'For years, my life just spiralled out of control. Now I'm on the other side, I can see it was never together anyways.'

By Jasmine Andersson

John has been homeless, imprisoned and lost contact with his family because of his life-defining drug addiction. Now, he is turning his life around and spending the next nine months training to become an electrician. 

I'm a born and bred East Londoner, and lived in Hackney Downs until I left home at 15. I am an only child, and I was raised by my mum and stepfather - if I can use that word. It felt more like I was more dragged up than brought up.

My stepfather was very violent. He was an alcoholic. From when I was about three years old, he attacked me and my mother, until I left home at 15. For a young child, it was a very fearful place. Every day, I wasn’t allowed to talk unless I was spoken to, and if I broke the rules, I was stamped on and thrown against the walls. When I was fed, I was made to eat the food off the floor with the dogs. 

My ...

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