Meth ad­dict turns his life around

Central Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - CA­TRIN OWEN

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.

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