"It’s a bit of a mad one. I started smoking weed when I was about 15 and it just kind of grew from there. I knew a lot of people, it was easy to pick up and by 16 I was taking coke and psychedelics. Whatever I could get my hands on. And I would do whatever I needed to, to get it.
“The summer after I finished school was when it got really bad. I was in a toxic relationship with this girl. It was my fault, I wasn’t right in the head and would kick off over nothing. I wasn’t sleeping and the doctor had prescribed me sleeping pills. I realised that if I took a few of these they gave you a trip. I had a fight with the girl and I ended up taking the pills and boxes of painkillers with a load of alcohol. I collapsed at home in my mum’s house.
“I was left with only 11% of my kidney functioning and nearly died. But I was still acting as if nothing had happened. I didn’t appreciate how close I’d come to dying. This is when I was referred to Young Gloucestershire and their specialist Drug and Alcohol Worker, she was a legend.
"I was proper paranoid. I found it hard to even come into town. I would have massive mood swings. It sounds wet, but one minute I would be kicking off and the next sat in a corner not able to talk to anyone.
“The staff at Young Gloucestershire actually cared. They don’t act like it’s a job, it’s what they want to do. They kept me busy on training programmes. I met new people and it got me out of a rut. They met with me regularly and set goals. I didn’t want to let them down. YG gave me counselling which helped me think about the circumstances that had led to me to my overdose. My dad went to prison when I was younger, my nan dying, the wrong people, nothing to do, it was like putting together a jigsaw puzzle.
“I ended up going to stay with family in France. The change of environment and routine really helped me to finally break my habits. When I met Young Gloucestershire I could barely get a bus into town. Without them I never would have been able to take up this opportunity. Over a year later and 16 months sober I have come back to the UK. I am living with and working for my dad, in Architectural Stonemasonry and back at college studying computing. When I think back I don’t even recognise the person that I was. Without YG I would have been dead or in prison by now. I proper rate them.”