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Josh Lock was, as he puts it, 'just plodding through life with no direction, merely existing - and barely at that'.
Back when he was 16, Josh was a keen boxer, but he soon started to think he was missing out on the party lifestyle. Before he knew it, he was out drinking and gambling regularly, with cocaine quickly taking a grip of him.
A winning streak when he was 21 saw Josh, from Oxford, UK, earn £60,000 ($76,116) through gambling; though this turned out not to be as fortuitous as it seemed at the time, as the money only fuelled his dangerous addictions.
Speaking to LADbible, Josh said: "The one that took hold of me was cocaine. It was a laugh at first and I enjoyed many nights out, but before I knew what had hit me I was stuck in a vicious cycle. Almost depending on it to have a good time.
"All the while I was gambling more and more excessively. The two went hand in hand. A bad week financially would be masked with a few sessions at the weekend and then in order to pay my debts I'd place bets that would in turn get me out of short term trouble.
"I was lucky to some extent because I went on a big winning streak and when I was 21 and accumulated £60,000. I felt untouchable. Everything I was backing was winning. As the winnings got bigger so did the amounts of the drug I was getting through."
But within just a few months, JCB driver Josh had blown all of his winnings - and he even had to take a loan out from the bank to cover his debts.
Unsurprisingly, this hedonistic lifestyle had also taken a toll on his health.
Josh said: "I'd ballooned in weight. My last fight was at 60kg (9 stone, 6lbs) at 16-years-old, but I'd rocketed to more than double that in just eight years. The heaviest I stood on the scales was 122kg (19 stone, 3lbs).
"I know I was more than that but I just refused to admit it."
On 3 June last year, Josh took the first step along a path to total transformation, fed up of talking about how he was going to sort himself out every time he was drunk.
Fast-forward to the present day, and Josh - now 25 - has gone a year without drink or drugs. He's also got back in the ring and has been training others three times a week, losing an astounding 8 stone, 7lbs (54kg) in the process.
Josh shared his story in a tweet which was liked almost 50,000 times and he has since been inundated with messages from people asking for advice.
So, what's his top tip?
"Put your excuses to one side, grit your teeth and fight your demons head on," he said.
"I've gone over a year sober, and had by far the best year of my life. I don't miss it at all. Of course there's days where the urges will come back but I'm so equipped to deal with them now I feel comfortable in any environment.
"I've been to Cheltenham races three times since going sober, I've been to the Ally Pally at the darts and nothing has phased me. I have a better time and don't feel as if I'm missing out at all.
"I never thought my journey would touch or impact this many people but I'm so grateful for the opportunity to tell people that it's never too late to change."
You can find local drug treatment services here or call the Frank drugs helpline on 0300 123 6600.
You can find help for problem gambling here or call the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133.
You can find local alcohol support services here or call Drinkline helpline on 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am to 8pm, weekends 11am to 4pm).
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