A former heroin addict has opened up about his struggles with addiction and how he got his life back on track.
“What people don’t understand about the physical nature of a drug addiction is you have to have it. It’s not a mental thing that you want it, you have to have it or you’re sick as a dog,” David said.
In a recent episode of LADbible Australia’s MY SIDE series, David opened up about how being sexually abused as a child led him to his addiction.
“Because I was young and sort of couldn’t put language to what was going on and didn’t understand it, it just sort of spiralled," he said.
“Which is what sort of spiralled the drug use which ended up pretty much out of control for 10 years.”
By the time he was 18, David says he was a full-blown heroin addict.
“You’re just constantly on the lookout to buy money for drugs, that’s your whole life," he said. “It’s a miserable life. There’s nothing good about it.”
His addiction lasted until he was around 24.
“I just got so sick of being a slave to a clinic and a slave to this and a slave to that, I just wanted my life back," he said.
David remembers sitting on the couch telling his friend that he was determined to break his addiction and move on with his life.
“I said ‘You know what I’m going to do, I'm going to train until I’m the strongest bloke on earth," he recalled.
“To turn the addiction around I knew that you can’t just stop doing something, you have to replace it with something that takes an equal amount of time.
“So I swapped one addiction for another and became obsessed with the gym.”
Taking up exercise became a real turning point for David as it allowed him to finally live the life he had always wanted and replace his heroin addiction.
Recently, David bumped into that same friend who he had talked to on the couch about getting over his problem.
“He hadn’t seen me in years and I saw him in Woolies a couple of years ago and he came past and said you weren't kidding were you," he said.
“I actually started playing football again to the point where I went and coached for five years.”
In his years as coach, David won four grand finals, including one year where his team went undefeated.
While David has been able to overcome his heroin addiction, he is still faced with many struggles.
“I’m not going to say it was easy," he said.
He revealed that he still finds it hard to fall asleep at night and that 'there’s just that constant thing of anxiety always hanging over me'.
But one piece of advice which has helped David is treating himself the way a mate would.
“I’m not trying to bag myself or put myself down, I’m trying to come up with positive ways to work through certain things," he explained.
“Life does get better, you just gotta hang in there.”
If you or someone you know is affected by drug addiction you can call the National Alcohol And Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015.Featured Image Credit: YouTube/LADbible Australia