Rahim, Male, 30Written by Viknesan
I was an adult polytechnic student then. All my family members never made it past the GCE ‘O’ or ‘N’ levels, but after National Service (NS) I decided to pursue a diploma so that I could secure a better job and future. I took my studies seriously and burned the midnight oil to do well in my assignments. However, I struggled during my first year of study and felt depressed. My family and fiancée, who was pregnant at that time, put pressure on me to work. I took on a night job as a technician
in a multinational company, and struggled to balance my studies and work. I had to work to save enough money for our house, my unborn child and family.
One day, one of my classmates introduced me to some pills called K2. He told me it would keep me alert and help me achieve many things, like study, work and stay awake for longer hours. I certainly knew it was a bad idea, but to keep up with my classmates academically, I went against my values and principles. I needed to balance my work and studies so desperately, and I didn’t want to drop out of school. As the classmate selling me the drugs also did well in his studies, I felt there was no harm trying. I experimented with one, then two, and just kept going.
At first I was doing well in both my studies and work, but eventually I needed a higher dosage, which my classmate was unable to supply. I got agitated with him, my fiancée and family. I could not focus or sit still and eventually dropped out of school. I left my job soon after. I was no longer the person I used to be. Once, I even hit and pushed my fiancée to the ground, blaming her for my problems. I froze in an out-of-body moment and asked myself, “What the hell am I doing?” This was not me. Whoever I had become, I could not recognise him anymore. Gripped with shock, my body and hands trembled uncontrollably.
After that incident, I sought help. I would not be able to live with myself if I had harmed my wife or my unborn child. I had to take responsibility for my actions and dialled the addictions helpline.
After seeking help, I realised that I was not the only one struggling with this problem, and that my withdrawals were more psychological than physical. I also decided to attend a support group called Narcotics Anonymous, where members shared about their struggles with drugs and alcohol. There were so many times throughout the treatment when I wanted to drop out but the encouragement from the treatment team and support group members kept me going.
I have remained abstinent from drugs for two years now and gone back to polytechnic. I am almost finishing my studies and working part-time as well. A Family Service Centre is helping me, my wife and my son with partial financial assistance. Once I graduate from school, I believe I will not need the assistance anymore. My life is far from perfect, but at least it is stable. I have not bumped into the ex-classmate who sold me the drugs and for this, I am thankful.
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