A BRAVE young man hopes this photo of him – hooked up to drips in hospital after an overdose – will warn others of the dangers of drugs.
The 21-year-old, who does not want to be named, became addicted to drugs which he says are increasingly popular in Calderdale – Mcat and Geebee, also known as GHB or GBL.
Now he is on the road to recovery after coming close to death from his overdose and wants to alert others to how dangerous the drugs are.
He took them for a year after moving out of his family home at 19 and living on his own in Halifax.
He said: “I had never touched drugs before I moved. Then I was surrounded by them.
“Geebee and Mcat are getting out of control. So many people are taking it.
“Two of my mates overdosed on GHB. I was just naive. I thought it wouldn’t happen to me.”
GHB was banned in 2003 but GBL – found in industrial cleaning products and converts to GHB in the body - was legal until 2009.
MCAT, or mephedrone, was sold online as a legal high until the government banned it in 2010.
He said: “I started on Mcat. That’s why I thought it wasn’t bad, because it was legal.
“Sometimes I’d take Geebee to come down off Mcat. Sometimes I’d do it for the fun of it.
“It was just what everyone was doing.
“I took drugs every day. Once you get into it, it’s so hard to get out of it.”
He lost his job, dropped out of college, sold all his belongings, was kicked him out of numerous flats, fell out with friends and went days without sleep - once 11 days in row.
He said: “I was horrible. There was no helping me at all.
“Before all this I was really pleasant guy. I got along with everyone. But just think you’re better than everyone else but you’re worse. You’re scum.
“I was wondering when it was going to stop but didn’t know how.”
It all came to a head the night he overdosed on Geebee and MCAT.
“I wanted to go to sleep and couldn’t. I’d had so much I was jolting and kept waking myself up.
“I took more Geebee, had an argument with a mate and went for a walk around the block to cool down a bit. That was the last thing I remember.”
He was found collapsed in the street by police who took him to Calderdale Royal Infirmary’s intensive care unit.
He had dangerously low blood pressure, very little water in his body and his weight had plummeted to eight stone, on his 5ft 9ins frame.
He said: “It was scary. I woke up and didn’t know where I was. I panicked. I didn’t know what had happened and my family was looking over me. I just felt ashamed.
“It frightened me. I could have died.”
He has not touched drugs since and is trying get his life back on track - hoping to enrol on a college course - and has moved out of the area to avoid drugs.
He said: “It could be really easy to get back into it. But I don’t want to.
“The overdose stops me as next time I might not be as lucky. And I don’t like the person they made me.
“I just want to make my family proud of me again.
“I feel positive now. It’s the beginning of a new chapter. I’m trying to push myself to do well in life.”
He added: “To all the people doing it, I would tell them to read this and stop taking drugs.
“It’s not worth it. You lose family, you lose close mates, you lose money, you end up homeless. You end up in debt with nasty people coming after you. You’re just scared every day - looking around, paranoid thoughts in your head. It’s not worth it. It ruins you.
“I wasted a year of my life.”