Meth addict turns his life around
William Swift was on a very different path a year-and-a-half ago.
The Aucklander was addicted to methamphetamine, alcohol and had wanted to end his own life.
‘‘It all started when my dad went to prison, I guess it was a sense of that feeling of not having a father figure,’’ the 25-year-old says.
‘‘As I got a bit older I started hanging out with the wrong crowd and I was introduced to alcohol at a younger age but I wouldn’t have called myself an alcoholic.’’
Swift started drinking alcohol when he was around 14 years old and not long after he was introduced to drugs.
‘‘After a while I started using it for an escape and I started looking for harder things.
‘‘I was drinking excessively and then I found a drug called meth and that’s when I got into crime and robbery.’’
Swift was addicted after three or four times of using methamphetamine and was hooked for five years.
During that time he suffered anxiety, depression and tried committing suicide multiple times.
‘‘One of the biggest things was realising that I hadn’t spoken to my daughter for three to four months...because I was more worried about where I was going to get my next fix from.’’
It was at that point Swift rang his mum and decided he needed to change his life.
He was admitted to hospital for three-and-a-half weeks followed by rehab. He has been clean ever since.
‘‘The biggest thing for me was family and friends. Even though they were about to give up on me quite a few times, they were my biggest supporters throughout.’’
Swift now has his life back on track, holding down a permanent job and has a proper relationship with his daughter.
ADHB, in partnership with mental health, addiction and wellbeing organisations hosted their second LookUp event.
The event was to highlight to young people the importance of speaking out if they or someone they know has a problem with drugs and alcohol.
Swift was there to speak about his experiences as part of the Buzzed team from Auckland Council and its Community Action Youth and Drugs.
Swift encourages young people to speak out if they have a problem.
William Swift from Massey has turned his life around after being addicted to methamphetamine and alcohol.