Former addicts on a mission

2017-02-28 11:58
Former drug addicts Jonathan Connor and Kent le Roux have beaten their addictions and hope to stay clean and use their time to inspire local youngsters with their stories.

Former drug addicts Jonathan Connor and Kent le Roux have beaten their addictions and hope to stay clean and use their time to inspire local youngsters with their stories. (Nompilo Kunene)

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Having someone supporting you can make all the difference in fighting drug addiction and claiming back your life.

This is what two local former drug addicts, Jonathan Connor and Kent le Roux, said when they were sharing their tale of how drugs had ruined their lives with The Witness.

Connor (33) said he had never intended to take drugs, but temptation resulted in him becoming addicted and stuck in a continuous cycle of stealing to sustain his addiction.

It was a year ago on New Year’s eve that Connor decided to experiment with crystal meth.

“I will regret that day forever. I had always bought drugs for other people but had never thought I’d be using to a point of addiction,” he said.

“When I started using drugs the feeling was fresh and lovely, I felt like I was the man.

“Crystal meth can take you from feeling low and make you float up so high, it gives you the energy of lifting up a car.

“It can keep you awake for four days straight. You put your head down but 10 minutes later you’re up because the high is just too much and you can’t sleep.

“I was up so much that I started hallucinating. I saw people walking through walls, I started talking to my dog and when my son asked why I was talking to the dog I told him because the dog was telling me that he was hungry and wanted some water.

“At some point my dog told me to take him for a walk so I could buy some more drugs because I needed my next fix.

“I spent most of my time with friends and not family. Last year my wife planned my birthday party and I only came home after two days. My wife told me that ‘the drugs got you finished’ and she left me.

“That was when I decided to seek help because the addiction was destroying my life. I came back home and my mom and family accepted me with open arms,” said Connor.

He said it was hard committing to rehab, but he did it because he wanted to be a better father to his two sons and a good husband to his wife.

“I have been clean for three months and the feeling is great. I have more energy and my brain is relaxed and I sleep like a baby.

“Drugs are emotionally and mentally draining. I blame myself for everything. I advice youngsters to clear their choices and social life. If you’re an addict and want out, seek help and seek it fast, it might be a small step but it’s a huge start.”

The 23-year-old Kent le Roux from Napierville said he was only 21 when he became addicted to heroin.

“My friend and I used to smoke weed all the time. The weed we smoked was infused with heroin and we used to smoke it without knowing, but when we did find out we continued because the high was that good. It got so addictive I started smoking it from the foil,” said Le Roux.

He said he ended up selling his clothes and items from home, and stealing and selling his mother’s clothes and jewellery to buy the drugs.

“I isolated myself from my family. I looked terrible, I was self-centred and didn’t care about anything.”

Le Roux said his drug addiction affected his performance at work.

“I would be out of it and my colleagues would tell me I looked horrible but when I bought drugs from the dealer outside my workplace I would come back all jittery and happy.

“My whole psychological world collapsed. My mom kicked me out, but my cousins decided to help me and took me to rehab,” he said.

Le Roux has now been clean for just over three weeks and has plans to study drama and join the church choir to keep himself occupied.

“It is definitely not the same. In all honesty, there is no feeling that life could give that can overshadow the feeling drugs give you.

“I currently have a lot of time on my hands and I am really keen to do anything constructive to keep myself occupied and dedicate myself to better things,” said the young man.

He advised local youth to choose their friends wisely.

“People might think they are in love with their friends, but in reality they are in love with the idea of real friendship. Friends need to give you tough love and build each other up. As much as friends can bring you up, they can destroy you,” warned Le Roux.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  drug addiction

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