Joshua Mead

Rehab / t-minus 13 days

I cannot fathom that for the past 2-3 years I’ve been an addict, something I look back on and I never ever thought I would experience in my life. But, drug addiction is a powerful disease, it is a disease that will grab hold and control of your life, until ultimately, sends everyone who is suffering to the same places – depression, prison, institutions, the streets, or worse, death. Drug addiction does not discriminate, you can be at the lowest point of life living on the streets, had the worst upbringing imaginable or you can be in a high-powered career and own everything you could ever want in life, the drug doesn’t care. The drug will always get you in the end.

Over a year ago now I wrote my candid story of suffering from an addiction to Zopiclone (benzodiazepine) addiction. You can read more from that post here.

I got clean near the end of 2022 from Zopiclone – it took a long time, a huge amount of willpower and it did not come easy.

In the months following that I felt like something was missing, I spent my few ‘clean’ months feeling like my best friend was gone. Slowly, I began to drink more alcohol (a very common trait for someone with an addiction problem, and usually the substance that leads to a relapse back onto their drug of choice). And I did, I relapsed, even knowing the harm I had caused myself in the past. I relapsed onto Diazepam, otherwise known as Vallium, a similar drug to Zopiclone but less ‘potent’ – no less addictive though! Once I had relapsed I stupidly felt like I had my life back, the drug had convinced me of that. It had also convinced me, “Josh, Diazepam is not as ‘bad’ as Zopiclone and there is no need to tell anyone”. Addiction is a lonely place, you lie, hide, cheat, you will do anything to ensure anyone around you does not know you are addicted or taking illicit substances. Particularly those closest to you or the one’s you love.

You can’t hide it forever though – eventually my family and friends discovered my behaviour changes, they and I realised I have a real problem. I won’t go into the details but I truly believe that the NHS, our health system in the UK does not provide enough support for people suffering from any dependance or addiction to drugs, particularly to those drugs they themselves prescribe. The NHS, I feel has let me down, so I’ve taken the action to admit myself into a private rehabilitation clinic. I enter rehab on 22nd December 2023 for 28-days. My good friend Keith suggested keeping a journal, writing down my thoughts and experiences throughout this journey. So this is what I’m going to do, completely public for anyone to read.

To be continued…

"one is too many and 1000 is never enough"

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