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Sam - Interview 28

Age at interview: 28
Brief Outline: Sam first experienced drugs at fifteen, when he smoked a cannabis resin with friends. Sam has experimented with many illegal substances including skunk, ecstasy and crack cocaine. In his early twenties, Sam decided to give up drugs completely, though it took around three years to do so. He started by giving up smoking weed.
Background: Sam lives with his partner and their child. He is a part- time youth worker and has just started university. Ethnic background: White British.

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Sam first experienced drugs at fifteen, when he smoked a cannabis resin in a friend’s caravan. He also took what he thought was amphetamines on a school trip to the museum. He found both times highly amusing. He and his friends started smoking cannabis in joints or a bong. At sixteen or seventeen, Sam started going to pubs mixing smoking with drinking, which he says messes you up. From there he progressed to ecstasy tablets.
 
He doesn’t know why he wanted to do drugs, only that he did it with friends and it went on from there. He says he would get quite down during that period, and doesn’t know if he was down because of taking drugs or if he took drugs because he was down. It got worse and he became depressed at 18. He was prescribed antidepressants to calm him, though he had told the doctor he was taking drugs and drinking. He was off work for three months, taking antidepressants and still doing drugs. For two months, he wouldn’t go out, except when his dad took him to the doctor. One of his friends would bring him food, as he didn’t go to the shops. Smoking skunk and taking acid led to intense paranoia, which convinced him to give up taking acid.
 
He now realises that a lot of the problems that he thought he had when taking drugs were actually caused by drugs: feeling depressed, not getting on with people, feeling too scared to do things, not doing well at college, not being able to talk to his parents. he thinks his mental health problems were caused by long-term cannabis use and other drugs. In his early 20s, Sam decided to give up drugs completely. He started by giving up smoking weed and it took him 3 years to give up completely.
 
Sam is a youth worker, lives with a partner and their child. He plans to continue working while studying youth work at university. 
 

Sam thinks lack of motivation is one of his biggest problems but he’s lucky to have a job he enjoys (played by an actor).

Sam thinks lack of motivation is one of his biggest problems but he’s lucky to have a job he enjoys (played by an actor).

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So if I’d actually had the motivation because motivation is one of my biggest problems and the only way that I’ve got motivated now is having something I like, and doing something I like. So we’re like that and that really scares me because the current situation in the country is that opportunities are going. They’re taking away opportunities for jobs. They are taking away opportunities for activities and these young people are smoking weed and they are doing things, you know. And their motivation is going to be down to a minimum. So they are going to start thinking about doing things, you know get a bit of money out, be like that. And it scares the life out of me because the potential for young people getting themselves into states. But it’s not that I’m. I know some people have it a lot worse and that. I didn’t have it. I’m alright I haven’t got a lot of money that but I’ve got somewhere to live and I’ve got stuff and I’ve got by, you know. I’m still alive. I had two friend die on the way to get here, bless them. One was heavily drug related, he killed himself actually. He was getting. Actually I don’t really want to talk about that one.

 

Sam dropped acid into his eye and had bad trip that left him very frightened. (Played by actor)

Sam dropped acid into his eye and had bad trip that left him very frightened. (Played by actor)

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Acids does a lot of that yeah. The thing is acid’s emotional it doesn’t just affect your, all your own visual senses. It affects your emotional senses you know. Skunk’s hallucinogenic, THC is hallucinogenic so you get, you know that’s why you see bright colours and music sounds brilliant because you’re hallucinating. Acid is something else. It not only, it really plays with your emotions like you know and if you’re having a good one, you’re having a good one. If you’re having a bad one you have a really bad one. I’ll come onto that incident later like it, if we’ve got and it scared the life out of me.
 
Which one was that?
 
I was at a party, in fact I helped to organise a, quite a large free party and everything was cool, I was loving it. Taking loads of laughing gas, loads of it, I was selling loads of laughing gas. I was doing loads. I was just doing everything. And then I took some acid. I took too much acid. I asked this guy to stick drops of acid in my eye because I thought it was funny. You know they were selling drops, just putting drops on people’s hands and they were sucking them. I said, ‘No, no, no I know if you can stick vodka in your eye and it gets you pissed, if you stick acid in your eye it’s going to get pissed a lot quicker isn’t it?’ So he put drops in them. He actually put about four in them and that’s a lot of acid. And I was alright for a while and then I started to think people were talking about me and that everyone hated me like. I’d stole somebody’s cider earlier on and it was actually their like land we were using and then I was just like. ‘They’re going to get me now. They’re really upset with me. They’re going to get me. They’re going to get me.’ And so I decided to walk off. And the weird thing was I heard a story before I left that another guy had left and he was tripping and the police had found him naked in a field. And he’d been arrested and gone to the police station. So that was in the back of my mind, the police are going to get me. They’re, whatever I do don’t get naked in the field otherwise I’m going to get arrested. So I’m trying to find, and these are along long lanes in the middle of like countryside. I’m trying to get back and I’m going the wrong way and I’m going the long way and I don’t know where I’m going. I’ve got to get back and this car is behind me. And I’m up against the hedge as far as I can, like proper as far as I can so the car can get past there’s no problem. This car is behind me and it slowly following me. I didn’t know if the car was there but I, it felt like it. And then drove off and then the car was behind me again. And I’ve got no idea how long it took me to walk the four miles to get home but every step of that way there was somebody there trying to get me or be behind me. I just couldn’t take it and I couldn’t go home because everybody at home was going to know there is something wrong with me and I don’t, I want to go asleep. I don’t feel like I can sleep. I just, [sigh] I’ve got. I just need help. 
 
So I went to the place that gives me help. I went to the pub. I went to the pub and I’m in the pub crying at the landlady telling her that I need help. And she’s screaming at me telling me I’m a fucking idiot and I need to go home and go to sleep. And I’m saying, ‘No you have to give me beer because beer will help’. She goes, ‘No you can’t have any fucking beer’. And like she was basically screaming at me and trying to get to get me out of her pub, not in a horrible way just she, she knows that I weren’t right. She didn’t know what I was doing. She knows I weren’t right. She knew I needed help. And I think before that I’d probably been there a couple of times and she’d seen me in particular ways and it was so scary. I said, ‘I’m never going to do acid again.
 

Sam would like to understand more about the system they would put in place before agreeing to the legalisation of drugs. He says that people can still get hold of drugs, despite them being illegal. (Played by actor)

Sam would like to understand more about the system they would put in place before agreeing to the legalisation of drugs. He says that people can still get hold of drugs, despite them being illegal. (Played by actor)

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People have committed suicide because of cannabis and stuff, you know. I don’t think people realise the actual dangers of just that drug. People act like it’s a soft drug and like it’s quite interesting when I talk about it with young people that actually do you realise it’s got the potential to be not a soft drug? I think you know, drugs affect everybody differently. What happened to me might not necessarily happen to the next person but then it might or something different. I’ve seen somebody who took ‘base’ a lot go completely off their head and she, they got locked up for their own good. Do you know what I mean? The more I think about it, this is a really weird experience but the more I think I’ve seen some really crazy shit. A lot of people losing their mind and that’s the thing. It.
 
Where do you stand on the legalisation of drugs or the legalisation of cannabis?
 
Oh god. I wouldn’t know what to say. People automatically think because I’m a drug taker or an ex-drug taker, sorry. Better make that clear, ex-drug taker that I would support the legalisation of drugs. I don’t know if I would. I can see the benefits because obviously there’d be some control over who gets what and how and. But then again people will still get what they want because they can now and it’s illegal.
 
So, you know, I don’t. Before I could say, ‘yes’ or ‘no’ I would have to understand the system that they were going to use in order to do that. I can see the benefits in some ways but then I’ve seen what happens to somebody addicted on heroin and I wouldn’t ever want to do that. If I said it was ok for heroin to be legalised I don’t know if I could live with myself, you know. I’ve seen somebody rob her family completely dry, get them in hundreds of thousands pounds of debt like. Put them, you know. I couldn’t be responsible for doing that to somebody. If I was to like, if we had a vote and I voted ‘yes’ on it I couldn’t do it.
 

But then again selling drugs, you know, if they made acid legal to try once or twice, you know, some people. But some people could go off the deep end on that you know. So like I said, drugs affect different people differently. So I, it would depend on how they were going to police it and to be honest they would never police it. Look at mephedrone that’s a new one isn’t it. Was legal, started to make it illegal now, but people are still buying it and getting it now, you know. When it was legal loads of people were abusing it and now it’s illegal people are still abusing it. So what difference does it make? Do you know what I mean? It’s just although the government would be better off from a tax perspective if they start taxing drugs. It’s like alcohol though, you know, really they should reduce the sales of alcohol actively but they don’t because of the massive amount of tax they’ve got on it. So do we really want them in the same situation with drugs. You know, we’re making a lot of money off drugs so. I don’t know. Sorry it’s a confusing subject for me. I sort of feel, you know, betraying my friends who completely disagree with me like, you know what I mean. And then my new self is sort of saying, you know, you should ban it. But then really [sigh] I wouldn’t know. I don’t know. 

 

Sam has experienced mental health problems and thinks they were caused by his use of cannabis (skunk). (Played by an actor)

Sam has experienced mental health problems and thinks they were caused by his use of cannabis (skunk). (Played by an actor)

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Probably the best thing that, the most important thing that I’ve realised is that a lot of the problems that I thought I had when I was taking drugs that I thought were caused by a lot of things was actually caused by drugs.
 
What kind of problems you thought you had?
 
Feeling depressed, not getting on with people, feeling too scared to do things, not doing well at college. Not being able to talk to my parents and have a decent relationship with my parents, not having any money to buy things I wanted. All of that was down to drugs. Then my depression because I did end up going to the doctors again and getting more tablets and they referred me to a psychiatric place. That was mostly down to smoking weed. I’d basically I’d smoked. It got to the point when I smoked weed and like I’d hear people saying horrible things about me like in my head. And I could actually hear the people say, you know, ‘You’re shit. You’ve done this, you done’. Yeah. And I have done some horrible things, you know, of course I have of. I was completely off my brain half the time.
 
And cannabis was really, really to blame. I’ve looked into it a bit more now , like you know long term effects of cannabis can cause, you know, depression, becomes long term depression and I think it’s definitely done it. I think about taking the other things like the hallucinogenic side like acid and mushrooms, PCP, I get flashbacks or well not even flashbacks like. Sometimes I get a really strong déjà vu that I feel I know what’s going to happen next and I actually like see it, visualise it in my head and that. I don’t take drugs anymore. I’m clean now. I just, they were no good for me. I know
 
I made a decision to give up drugs probably completely I’d like to say 8 years ago. And I didn’t manage it until about 5/6 years ago. I wasn’t taking drugs when I started being a youth worker. It was. I wasn’t 100% off but I was nearly off but it’s not easy like. Smoking weed was my first step. I stopped smoking weed because that was a constant through all of my life like, it felt like. All my drug taking like that was the constant thing. But that was what was causing me the most difficulty. I’d have a smoke and I’d just go. I’d start to realise that I would go blank quite and I wouldn’t be able to interact with people.
 
And you started with giving up cannabis?
 
Yeah.
 
Because of the mental effect?
 
Because of the effects, yeah. And I got better. I stopped going to get help because like the doctor at the psychiatric place I went sort of pointed out that he thinks it’s cannabis. I was on. When I got there I was honest about it, obviously he weren’t happy about me getting hallucinogenics and that and he reckoned that somebody like me that could be problematic] which obviously it was [laugh].
 

And you know cannabis was first out and I felt so much better. You know, I thought it would be really hard because that was one of our set routines but I managed to sort of step out of that and I just started smoking more because I was smoking nicotine like so I just started smoking more and that sort of covered me for that. Yeah it was a bit weird at first but now if I was in a situation where someone was smoking cannabis it wouldn’t even bother me like you know. Don’t even interest me in the slightest because I know what it does to me. And that’s what makes me laugh when people like go ‘Oh yeah cannabis is ok’. It’s like actually I know it’s not. It's really not.

 

Sam would like to move to another area of the country with his girlfriend and baby, away from the network of dealers and other drug users. (Played by an actor)

Sam would like to move to another area of the country with his girlfriend and baby, away from the network of dealers and other drug users. (Played by an actor)

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I’d love to say that I’d never go back to the way I was but in all honesty if my life was to fall apart it’s probably the first thing I’d do. Recently I lost, I lost a big chunk of one of my jobs. I lost 24 hours. My first reaction was to head for the pub that I used to go to all the time. And I did get out and I did got extremely drunk and it wasn’t a working day so that was alright. But the way I was feeling, you know, the way I was feeling I could, I was wobbling. Luckily my friends were very supportive of me. They kept me away from doing anything I regretted. But I probably could, you know, if I hadn’t of had my girlfriend and other things to make me think, ‘Hold on don’t do anything silly’ I could have slipped into it again. So...
 
And this is because of losing? 

Because I lost something that was precious to me. I, like I said before, youth work means a lot to me. You know, it’s one of my reasons for being like I am. So if I was to lose say, god I shouldn’t even say it, but say my partner was to ever go or take my child or whatever or something was to happen to anybody that I loved I would have a hard time staying the way I am. And that’s scares me, that really scares me because I know the attraction. I know that if I wanted to feel nothing I could go and I could get that. I could feel better, you know. It’s only a matter of 20 minutes then I’ll be alright. Do you know what I mean? But I wouldn’t really be alright. But, so that does scare me. But I think if I ever get into that situation I’d leave the area because if I’m not in this area then I’ve got a lot less access to things, you know. One of my ambitions actually is to move away from here. I do love it. I’ve got some really close friends here but I’ve done a lot of things there, I don’t know. But I think to take, to take me to a new level so that I’ve got a fresh start, you know, I can develop what I’ve developed already. I think moving away and going somewhere new would be good for me and my family. And I think we could develop it and I feel that would be good. 

 

Sam thought the medication doctors gave him didn’t help his depression so he tried to medicate himself by using ‘uppers’ and ‘downers’, depending on how he felt at the time. (Played by an actor)

Sam thought the medication doctors gave him didn’t help his depression so he tried to medicate himself by using ‘uppers’ and ‘downers’, depending on how he felt at the time. (Played by an actor)

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I just wanted help. I just wanted help and they were trying to feed me fucking tablets again which turned me into a goldfish the last time, you know what I mean. And I was, I was drinking a lot of vodka. I was drinking so much that sometimes I was pissing constantly. I couldn’t, sorry this is a bit horrible, but I was drinking so much that it felt like I was constantly dripping. And I think that’s a sign, I’m not 100% I think that’s a sign of like bladder problems, kidney problem. I was just drinking. I was getting pains in my kidneys. I’d drink a bottle a day easy, just neck it down like, you know. I was under. I remember waking up, this is not long after I started again with the psychiatrist, I remember waking up outside a flower shop with a metal basket that I’d stolen from a supermarket. I’d put the metal basket through a car window and I’d ran outside this flower shop and apparently I was head butting it. But I can’t remember any of that. I just remember waking up and this woman screaming at me. 
 
So basically what I thought was that the only person that was going to help me is me and I. That is how I started then to try to control myself and try to cut down on what I was doing. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. But the fact is the doctors tried to give me tablets and that wasn’t going to help me. Help, the main thing was I sort of picked out a few things that they were saying. I sort of, self medication has always been a thing with me and they made that, they made me aware that I was smoking weed to keep myself, try and make myself happy but in fact that wasn’t helping. So, you know, what I should have been doing  is take an anti-depressant instead of the weed and that, you know. But I’d been basically medicating myself so when I felt down I’d do uppers or if I was up I’d do downers. So that started to become apparent. The way I need to do it is I need to take it all out of the equation. I don’t need to balance myself. I need to just go neutral and then I won’t be in this situation. And it wasn’t as cut and dried and that. It took a long time and I went through various processes of being really, really happy, really, really sad. And things that happened in my life affected that, you know. If I get a girlfriend that would be even better. If I’d lost one then I’d get worse. Have an argument with my friends get worse. Started to feel comfortable with the group of friends that I had, get better. Do you know what I mean? And it was a constant balance and drugs just sort of weaved in and out of that. And it was, you know.
 
 

Sam thinks that many of his relationships had ended because of his ‘crazy’ use of drugs. (Played...

Sam thinks that many of his relationships had ended because of his ‘crazy’ use of drugs. (Played...

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I’d been involved in a relationship that went wrong. And that went wrong due to me taking drugs, I think or it was a part of it. Because I’d sneak out of the house at night and run off and go and do drugs with other people and obviously she was thinking that I was going off doing something. I was probably 17/18 then.
 
And she was not doing drugs?
 
She didn’t do drugs. She knew I was a drug taker and that but I was getting right off my brain like, I’d eat 3 or 4 tablets like in one go and be like eyes rolling in the back of my head and falling around and that. And I thought it was hilarious, what after I thought it was hilarious. I didn’t think it was hilarious like a day later when I’m lying in bed sweating and trying to be sick and basically feeling that I don’t exist anymore like. Do you know what I mean?
 
 

Sam describes how bad he felt after mixing base (crack cocaine) with ecstasy tablets that he suspected had been cut with ketamine. (Played by an actor)

Sam describes how bad he felt after mixing base (crack cocaine) with ecstasy tablets that he suspected had been cut with ketamine. (Played by an actor)

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I was a drug taker and that but I was getting right off my brain like, I’d eat 3 or 4 tablets like in one go and be like eyes rolling in the back of my head and falling around and that. And I thought it was hilarious, what after I thought it was hilarious. I didn’t think it was hilarious like a day later when I’m lying in bed sweating and trying to be sick and basically feeling that I don’t exist anymore like. Do you know what I mean? And proper horrible or on a ‘base’ come down where you’re sort of like trying to have breakfast and you’re putting the cereal in the fridge and the milk in the cupboard like. Do you know what I mean? Just completely shot through it.
 
This was the come down from ‘base’ and ecstasy and did various things. It depends. Like the comedown depended on what you were taking like, you know. Some of the tablets we were getting were cut heavily like you could tell. People were saying they were cut with ketamine. At that time I didn’t really understand what ketamine was. But now I, from experience now I know they had ketamine in it because ecstasy doesn’t make you hallucinate the way I, we were hallucinating off those pills.
 
 

Sam feels responsible for introducing his friends to illegal drugs. (Played by actor)

Sam feels responsible for introducing his friends to illegal drugs. (Played by actor)

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It’s horrible to think but I think I’m responsible in a lot of ways for a fair number of my friends taking drugs because I was in there and I was getting involved in it and they were coming like they were coming from where they lived to where I live and coming out for a drink or whatever. And then I’d be like, ‘Do you want some drugs?’ like you know, and I weren’t forcing it on them but it was there and if I hadn’t have been in that situation I wouldn’t have put that on them. And you know, some of the states some of them have got in like. And I got in some states, you know, but I just, I feel responsible, I do. You know, I’d never do that anymore though like but...

 

Sam’s school work just ‘went out of the window’ when he was stoned. He thinks his life would have turned out differently if he hadn’t been smoking cannabis during his school years.(played by an actor)

Sam’s school work just ‘went out of the window’ when he was stoned. He thinks his life would have turned out differently if he hadn’t been smoking cannabis during his school years.(played by an actor)

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The most regular thing was the cannabis. I remember smoking a pipe and a couple of bongs before I went into my math’s exam for GCSE. There was like three of us just run offsite and went and had a smoke and went in. And I was so, I was so messed up I couldn’t find my seat when I got into the hall because everyone was already sat down. I was bumping into the seats and that. I never passed that exam and I didn’t pass subsequent exams later on in life as well because I was still stoned out.
 
So my work just went out the window. I didn’t do hardly any work or I’d just go in there stoned and be laid on the desk with my head like on the computer and that. And like we found it was funny to do random things instead of doing the work like. We made up a load of posters and of like animals smoking spliffs and that and stuck it all around the school promoting drugs to people, you know. Proper messed up. Like on Fridays we’d run away and go down to the, like wait to 12 o’clock until the pub opens and then run off and go to the pub man. Have a smoke. We’d be drinking spirits and smoking dope outside and that.
 

I’d have a very different life I think because for a start if I hadn’t of been smoking weed at school I would have probably done better on my exams because I ain’t really intelligent but I ain’t thick like. So I would have probably got enough to give me a better opportunity to carry on. And then I wouldn’t have been smoking weed at the next school so I wouldn’t have got kicked out because that was the reason why I got kicked out the first time from the college because I was smoking weed. I wasn’t doing coursework as I was getting fucked instead of doing anything.  

 

Sam was on antidepressants but continued using skunk and other drugs. (Played by an actor)

Sam was on antidepressants but continued using skunk and other drugs. (Played by an actor)

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Well he was saying that I, it appears that I’m depressed and like. And that I, this visit to the GP I was only telling him about the cannabis and the ecstasy. I wasn’t saying about the acid or some of the other things that I was [ha] doing. And at that point I was doing anything. I wasn’t using some, actually yeah that’s not true. I had at that point smoked crack but I wasn’t using that actually at the flat and I hadn’t done that regularly. That was a one-off thing I done with my mate and actually I was a lot younger when I done that. But like yeah the doctor. I told the doctor some of it. He was like, you know, ‘You’ve obviously had something wrong with you’. He wrote me off work. That’s what I wanted. I got three months off work. I had these antidepressants. So I started taking them and doing my drugs. I’d take them regularly and he was trying me on different ones and it got to the point that I couldn’t leave the flat. I was, I felt like I was a goldfish in a bowl like. And I tried to get out the door and I couldn’t physically like. I had no food and the shop was just over the road because I lived right in the centre of everything. So all I had to do was make it across that road. Get some food and come back in and I couldn’t do it.
 
In the end my friend, one of my friend’s at the time he had to bring me food from his house. He used to steal it and bring it to me so I would eat for the two months that I was off work because I wouldn’t go out.
 
Eventually once I started going back to work I still was getting really down. I was still getting depressed. I thought I was depressed I’d go up to the pub and I’d talk to people and tell them how depressed I was and how shit my life is. But then I’d go out and smoke a load of weed and drinking a load of beer and that. And, you know it got to the point that I was crying. I was just at the pub crying at people just saying how shit my life is. I want to die, everything is fucking crap like, you know what I mean. What’s the point in it? Still I was smoking weed, drinking, doing pills. You know because that was fine, life was fine once I had a smoke. I’d just sit there quiet just like, you know. But what I think happened is I started. Although I had been although I’d not realised very introverted for, when I was smoking weed I thought a lot of the time I was an extrovert and I was joining in. But sometimes I know I spoke to people, sometimes people would look in my eyes and there’d be nothing there. And I’d be just zonked I’d like and I’d have no feelings, no emotions at all. I’d just, I’d taken a lot out of myself.
 
So yeah, basically I started to cut down on weed thinking, ‘This has got to be it, man. This skunk is the problem’. Because I’d like, I’d long surpassed smoking dirt but by then it was skunk all the time.
 

And that, the whole thing was to me, this is my life, you know what I mean. But at the same time it was eating away at me and they were, it was eating away at me.  

 

The relationship between Sam and his parents was very strained when he was using drugs. (Played by an actor)

The relationship between Sam and his parents was very strained when he was using drugs. (Played by an actor)

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I was going home man. I would sit up in the shed and have a smoke because I didn’t want to talk to my parents like, you know. I just, I got up at. I’d leave the house and they must have wondered why I was going up the garden all the time. You know what I mean. Because at that time I hadn’t even told them I smoked. And I just completely ignored that situation. And so I’d be going up to the top of the shed like and having a smoke in the shed at night and coming back and, ‘Yeah I’m going to do my homework’. Like stumbling, grab a load of food from the kitchen and go upstairs. And my room was a state like I’d. I was losing my temper a lot back then as well. So I was smashing holes in the walls and I had a fish tank and I booted the fish tank, smashed it all over the floor and I think I smashed a guitar over it. And I’d just leave it in there and they wouldn’t come in because they were scared of what I was going to do. So it was, it was just mental and my head wasn’t in, you know,
 
So how was your relationship with your parents then?
 
Strained, very strained.
 
How were they coping with you?
 
They just didn’t, I feel my mum just ignored the fact like, you know. When I moved, just before I moved out I said to her, ‘You know I do drugs, you know, I’. I was just like screaming at her, ‘You know I do drugs’. My dad said, ‘She just ignores the fact you do drugs. She don’t want to recognise it.’ You know because… there was all sorts going on.
 
Ok but were they trying, were they able to talk to you?
 

No they, I wouldn’t listen to them, Fucking idiots aren’t they, I didn’t want to listen to them. They were just going on at me. So I ended up moving out.  

 

Sam describes what it was like to be a heavy user of cannabis(Played by an actor).

Sam describes what it was like to be a heavy user of cannabis(Played by an actor).

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Going back when I was just smoking weed we’d sort of stay up all night. All, actually no it wasn’t we’d go to the club. When we come out of the club sometimes we’d just go and find it, because I was living with my parents. We’d just go and find somewhere to hang out. So it could be like in an empty school, you know, in the playing field or it could be, you know somewhere where people can’t see us. We’d have a smoke, take some more drugs, might even phone up and get drugs delivered to us, like you know. This could be at 4 o’clock in the morning like, you know what I mean. And it’s just what we did, smoke or smoke. 
 
I remember going to the 24-hour garage because we didn’t have no rizlas or fags and that and we couldn’t get no drink. So I ended up like. I had enough money to buy a can of coke so I could make a “hop can” like, you know what I mean, just anything just to keep us going. And like a lot of people used to go back to people’s houses after the club and that so we’d go with them even if we didn’t know them that well. We’d go around the house and sit up doing drugs until fucking it was time to go home, 6'00 in the morning. Do the walk of shame back through the town and that. You know people looking at you like. You’d got drugs all over your face and that and you’re covered in like stains from your beer and you’d been up all night so your eyes are like that [showing]. Then you’ve got to get in past your parents like. That’s always the worst one, trying to get in like. The best way is just to tell them to fuck off and walk up stairs so they think that you’ve had an argument with them.
 
I think by that point we started moving on to skunk and that as well because it was becoming more widely available in our area, like. You know, it was slightly more expensive because we were paying like a tenner for eighth block, like probably a bit less than that sometimes if we knew the kids like, sort of blag them down and that. But yeah like once we started smoking skunk I was like so much better on it. It was worth the extra money and that. And obviously the varieties and that were all different. It was quite hard to keep all my timings together because it’s just. It’s so blurred from what I was doing back then like, you know. And as I get close to present day I’ve got a clearer sort of recollection but back then I was just literally. I must have been stoned every day by that point but by the time I got to my exams.
 
So how old were you 15/16?
 
I’d be yeah, about 16. You know it’s just smoking, smoking constantly like, you know and we, we’d. That’s just what we did like. We’d go out in town and if we didn’t have any block in at home I remember snorting a load of, or hooting sorry, hooting a load of gas because we couldn’t get any smoke like so we got some pressurised lighter gas so we’d be hooting that over the top of a jumper or whatever and just hooting that and it gets you really, really high really quick. We didn’t even think about the fact that it says you can die instantly on the packet or nothing. But...
 
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