‘The worst mistake I ever made’: a 12-year-old’s life on mephedrone

Now 14, this girl from Maidenhead began using mephedrone at the age of 12. She is currently getting help at Turning Point

I was the “it” girl at school and had a lot of friends. I have an older sister who is two years older than me and was also known as the “it” girl. She went to parties with her friends and I knew that she got drunk and used drugs like weed. Her use of drugs scared me a bit because I knew so little about drugs and alcohol, but I just got with it hiding it from my mum because I didn’t want her to get into trouble.

I remember one day in particular when my sister came home and told me that she had been to a party and tried this thing called “mephedrone”. She told me she snorted it and that really scared me. Being so young I thought she was going to die, but time went on and she kept doing it and I got used to her doing it and it started not to bother me that much. In my world everything was still fine.

I remember that day. It was boiling hot and I was on my way to the river to meet my friends when I got a phone call from my sister. I answered it and I could tell she was high; she invited me to go to her friend’s house. As I got there I could see that they were all on something, but it didn’t bother me, I was used to seeing it and they all seemed so happy. I got to known to everyone that day as “the little one” by all of my sister’s friends. They had set tents up in the back garden and listening to music and dancing. I remember one of my sisters friends called me over to the tent; I remember so clearly the words she used: “Hey lil sis, wanna try a bit?” I had never done drugs before and I remember the adrenalin running through my body. My heart started racing with excitement and nerves, and I remember looking over to my sis to make sure she was OK with it. Because she was high she didn’t mind and gave me a wink. I took the tooter to my nose and sniffed hard. That was possibly the worst mistake I ever made. I fainted and remember my sister holding me up with the sun blasting on my face. A few seconds later I got up and felt amazing. Because I was gymnastic I started doing flips everywhere and was having the time of my life. The day went on and I done more and more, so I can’t remember the rest until I got home and felt like death had just stabbed me in the back. My sister and her friends hadn’t warned me about the comedown and I was crying my eyes out feeling like I wanted to die. It was so horrible and because I didn’t even smoke weed or cigarettes I couldn’t do anything to calm me down. I was young and panicking. I was 12. For about a month afterwards I remember that every time I heard a particular song that we had listened to that day I started feeling down.

On another day it was snowing, my friends and I decided to go to a local venue in town where we met another girl I suggested we should try mephedrone. She had never sniffed anything before. We loved it so much we done it the week after, and the week after and the week after that. For about four or five months we were on it every weekend and became very close with this boy who was 18 at the time and he done it with us. Every weekend I would buy at least 3-4 grams (£20 a gram). It got so bad we started stealing money from our parents and one time my friend even stole £100 from her dad’s bank account. We were hurting everyone around us, but we couldn’t care less as long as we were having a good time. I was so unhealthy; being awake from Friday morning till Sunday night was not good for a small 13-year-old girl’s body. My face was grey and I had constant bags under my eyes. I would chew my lips so much from gurning it would bleed.

Over these few months I lost most of my friends and I became known as one of the druggies which didn’t bother me so much. I found hanging out with my old friends was boring, I mean, why would you want to hang out with a bunch of 13-year-olds when you could be hanging our with 16-to-20-year-olds? In between doing all this drone, I had tried coke, speed, MDMA, mushrooms, ketamine and some prescription drugs. By this time I had travelled down a long dark road, always isolated or excluded from smoking, swearing, arguing, fighting etc. I was the definition of a rebel, and it made me stand out in school. I was the class clown and all my classmates used to tell me how funny and brave I was to get into massive arguments with teachers. I blamed it on partly entertaining myself and partly on the drugs always making me hot headed. I wasn’t just getting into trouble in school, I was arguing at home too. I didn’t care what anyone thought, and I didn’t listen to anyone. We bunked a lot, and walked out almost every day. I remember on my 14th birthday we walked out of school and went and bought a gram of drone and did a half-gram line. We did the same the week after because it was my friend’s birthday.

I looked back at the last year and half of my life, most of it I couldn’t remember but the bits I could, I had nothing to show for it. I started becoming depressed and was like this for a few months. I didn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. A big argument with my best friend gave me some space away from each other which is what I really needed. I met up with the few friends that had stuck by me even though I totally ditched them for a few months. When I caught up with them I found out how much they had all changed. Even though I had seen them for the little time I was actually in school, when I went out with them I could see how much they had grown up. Months passed and life was getting easier, but I remember when I saw someone sniffing drone I would still get butterflies and think of a way I could have a sneaky line. Sometimes I gave in, other times I didn’t but as time went on it was getting harder to say no.

I started year 10 and wanted it to become a clean slate. I stopped smoking weed before school so I could concentrate and I slowly decreased the number of days I went out in the week. I met with “T2”; a local charity which works with young people who have substance misuse problems through my school. My key worker helped me clear things in my head. I started to finally see what was good for me, what was right and wrong, because up to now all the drugs had mushed my brains and changed my perceptions of life. T2 got me back on track, heading up the right path. This had felt like I had broken through my first barrier. I was starting to become a normal teen again and I loved it.

I have reached a crossroads in my life. I could carry on the way I was and achieve nothing in my life or I could stop all of it and be somebody. Obviously I don’t want to waste my life away and I wanted to stop and become someone. I find it hard for a 14-year-old girl to choose between partying, having fun and staying in revising to become successful. I know what I want in life and I am not going to let alcohol, drugs or wrong crowds stop me. I’m not “innocent yet” so to speak but I ‘m a lot further along this road than I was a year ago. Whoever is reading this, and might be in a situation like I was/am, it so hard to snap yourself out of that lifestyle – believe me, I’m two years down the line and still travelling but it gets easier and you HAVE to keep going if you want to make something of yourself in life.

Source: The Guardian 16th September 2012

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