DIP a Godsend for David

photo of david

One person who can vouch for the vital role the DIP programme plays is 52 year old David Griffiths from Blackwood. David started misusing heroin when he was 38 years old and has been battling with his addiction ever since. What initially started off as a recreational activity with friends every few weeks or so soon spiralled out of control. David then started turning to crime to feed his addiction. After being arrested for shoplifting, he came into contact with Gwent DIP and was introduced to the support he needed. Still in treatment, he hopes his story will detract other people from following the same path.

“Taking heroin is the daftest thing I’ve ever done in my life and it’s had a devastating effect,” he says.

“I didn’t know what I was taking when I first had it. It started off as occasional use but then I started to wake up in the mornings feeling ill. It was only by taking more that I would feel better and that’s when I noticed my habit had got out of control.

“I would then beg, borrow or steal to get my hands on heroin and I’ve been sent to prison numerous times for shoplifting to fund my habit.  Years ago it was very hard to get drugs around here but you can go anywhere now and get heroin and you don’t have to go far from your doorstep. At your lowest on heroin you feel like you want to end it all and you can’t go any lower really.”

According to David, DIP plays a vital role where offering essential advice and support to offenders who leave prison or come into contact with the criminal justice system is concerned.

“The more people know about the help on offer the better,” he says.

“This programme has helped me a great deal and I’ve had lots of support. If you want somebody to talk to, you can just come here and there’s always someone to talk to you. You can get a prescription from the Doctor here and it’s the end of your worries. You don’t have to go shoplifting then or borrow money to buy drugs. They take your prescription dose down gradually to try and wean you off the heroin.  It’s a Godsend really and they’ll help you in any way they can and get you into treatment as quickly as possible. You can also get referred here as an alternative to a custodial sentence which is much better than going to prison and going through the same cycle again. I’d probably be leading a life of crime to fund my habit or stuck in prison if I didn’t get support.”

He added: “I just want my normal life back now from when I never used to take drugs. I just want to get a job and get my driving license back. I’ll hopefully get there now thanks to the support from DIP and Kaleidoscope. Eventually I would like to offer my support for people who are going through the same as what I’ve been through.”