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Defining & Explaining Addiction
What is addiction or dependence?
Identifying or being diagnosed
Everyday Life with an Addiction, Dependence or Drug Habit
Consumption in everyday life
Relationships, confidentiality & telling others
Work, study & making ends meet
Dealing with stigma & discrimination
General Health & Accessing Healthcare
Looking after health & well-being
Living with illness or a health condition
Living with a mental health condition
Contact with the criminal justice system
Creating Change: Treatment, Self-help & Other Responses
Changing patterns of consumption
Formal & informal detox
What is recovery & how important is it?
Advice & Messages to Others
Consumers, family & friends
Health professionals & policymakers
Experiences By Drug Type
Ecstasy & Other Party Drugs
Prescription & Over-the-Counter Drugs
Speed, Ice & Other Stimulants
Experiences By Age and Gender
Women Aged 18-29
Women Aged 30-39
Women Aged 40-49
Women Aged 50+
Men Aged 18-29
Men Aged 30-39
Men Aged 40-49
Men Aged 50+
Resources & Information
Team & Thanks
Further perspectives on alcohol
Experiences with Heroin
As a teenager growing up in the suburbs, Amy felt like she didn’t fit in with the young people in her neighbourhood.
Barry started drinking regularly and smoking cannabis in his early teens after a close family member died. In his early twenties, he began taking heroin and has continued to take it on and off since then, which he now describes as ‘an addiction’.
In his mid- to late teens Bobby began smoking cannabis and taking speed regularly with friends.
When David was in his mid-teens he first tried heroin with a cousin and then started taking it on his own.
Grace began taking heroin in her twenties and has taken it fairly regularly since then.
Harry has taken heroin fairly regularly for the past thirty years, organising his consumption around his work commitments.
When Helen was in her twenties, she ‘drifted into’ a ‘population of people’ who took heroin and began taking it herself.
Jack began taking heroin occasionally in his twenties and stopped in his early thirties after his doctor prescribed him morphine and Xanax® (alprazolam).
Josie first tried heroin in her early teens and has taken it fairly regularly since then, with long periods when she stopped taking it while pregnant.
Kate first tried drugs in her mid-teens, occasionally smoking cannabis, and taking LSD and speed with friends.
Misja found himself homeless in his pre-teenage years. He says he began taking ‘anything’ he could to ‘get high’ and in his early teens he started taking heroin regularly.
Ned began taking heroin in his late twenties, stopping after a few months when he felt he had developed a ‘habit’.
Nick first started taking heroin regularly after he was involved in a car accident.
When Peter was in his early twenties he tried a variety of drugs but avoided heroin. Then in his late twenties, he decided to try heroin and since then has taken it intermittently.
Rachel began taking heroin, cannabis and cocaine in her late teens, and says her consumption ‘escalated’ in her early twenties.
Sophie first tried cannabis as a pre-teen and after some time, she started smoking heroin through a bong. When she found she ‘wasn’t getting a kick anymore’ she started to inject it.
During periods of more frequent heroin use, Zadie says she developed ‘small dependencies’, feeling she needed it ‘to function’.