“At the age of sixteen I was introduced to a drug that I abused for over three years—LSD. What I was unaware of was the fact that LSD is the most potent hallucinogen known to man.
“The drug came on a small piece of paper no bigger than my index finger, called a blotter. Fifteen minutes after putting the paper on my tongue my entire body got hot and I began to sweat.
“Some other reactions that I experienced while on the drug included dilated pupils, nausea and goose bumps. While high on LSD I felt like there was a huge distortion both in my mind and body. The visual changes as well as the extreme changes in mood were like some strange scary trip—one in which I felt like I had no control over my mind and body.” —Edith
“I would stay up for days at a time bingeing. Eventually I had lost a lot of weight; I looked like walking death and was a disgrace to everyone who loved me.”—Tom
“At thirteen years of age I took my first drink and soon after was introduced to marijuana. Then LSD quickly fell into my hands and I became addicted, eating it like candy.
“One night during one of my binges I blacked out and awoke with blood all over my face and vomit coming out of my mouth. By some miracle I pulled myself awake and cleaned myself up. I got into the car, shaking, drove to my parent’s house. I climbed into bed with my mom and cried.
“By the age of twenty-one, I checked into my first rehab.” —Donna
“I started drinking at the age of fifteen. Then I progressed to taking Ecstasy, speed, cocaine and LSD.
“I found it difficult to hold down a job and became depressed and thought I would never overcome my obsession with drugs. I attempted suicide twice by overdosing on pills. I was put under psychiatrists who gave me even more drugs, antidepressants and tranquillisers, which just made matters worse.
“As an outlet for my feelings, I turned to ‘self-harm’—I started cutting and burning myself.” —Justin
“I started hanging out at strip clubs, casinos and became very promiscuous, visiting brothel after brothel and was soon to be introduced to other drugs. I had now lost all my inheritance and had to move into a crack-house where I stayed for a year watching people die, losing my business and becoming a thief.
“I was arrested in November 2003 for attempted hijacking and went to prison. I had hurt and lost everyone that loved me and I was disowned. I ended up homeless and on the streets living and sleeping in a cardboard box by the [train] station, begging and struggling to find ways to get my next meal.” —Frederick
“The days following my LSD use, I was filled with anxiety and extreme depression. Following my first trip on LSD, I would eat it frequently, sometimes up to four or five times per week for an extended period. Each time I would take the drug, mentally, I was drifting more and more out of reality. The eventual effect was the inability to feel normal in my own skin.” —Andrea