In the eight years leading up to 2014 I sold all my possessions, was in prison four times, lived on the streets for up to one year at a time, was involved in house-breakings, was beaten by the community forum and had to eat from dust bins. I lived worse than an animal!
I started drinking alcohol from as early as ten years old. It all started on the so-called “Big Days” over the festive season but soon included even the ‘small days’.
I started to steal to support my growing addiction to Tik (Crystal Meth) and Mandrax (Buttons). I ran away for home for good and was being used by gangsters to sell drugs. I started to turn more and more to criminal activity. It came to a point where the police were out looking for me and I realized I needed to escape this life.
I was raised by a single parent. Fathers are very strict, but I didn’t have a father and took advantage of this fact. I allowed the devil to deceive me, to take control of my life and to use me in a way that would suit him and fulfil his plans. His influence in my life lead me to make many wrong decisions.
At the age of 13 I smoked my first cigarette and got drunk. I was 14 years old when I first smoked dagga. In my second year of high school I started going to nightclubs. I attended nightclubs regularly and when my friend began to deal drugs I assisted him; I was 15 at the time.
When I arrived at the University of Johannesburg things went quite well at first, but made a turn for the worse. I started drinking alcohol excessively, I began smoking dagga and soon I progressed to using other drugs as well.
?My name is Tom* and I first smoked dagga when I was 13 years old. By the time I reached matric, at the age of 17, I was fully addicted to dagga and I continued to smoke until the age of 31.