PART ONE – Prior to the addiction To Spice / Legal Highs

Not long after moving out of my care placement in Rochester, I moved to Liberty Group Care Homes. Back in my hometown, of margate. I met some new friends. Glen through my father. As they were currently living together in shared accommodation. Unfortunately, things did not work out and me and my father fell out because of a silly argument that was taken the wrong way. (Maybe one day I will discuss this story more) and we started sofa surfing.

I was consuming a lot of cannabis already and started drinking. I hardly stayed in the placement I had at Liberty Group Care Homes. It was now referred to me as the “Hotel”. Compared to my last placement, I felt I was more restricted. And therefore I rebled. But this led to more issues.

The First time I took Legal Highs

One time when I was with a friend, someone we knew offered us the drug called spice. This was the first time I had heard of this and consumed it. I remember the first time I smoked it, I felt so absorbed. Objects were moving, my mind was at ease, and I didn’t have a worry in my mind. Everything just seemed right. It was like a high from cannabis but 10x amplified. Thankfully at this stage, I was not aware of how easily available it was, and I only got to try it a few times.

But I let my addiction for Spice / Legal Highs grows.

About a year later, I was around my sisters flat and I met her friend at the time. Jason. What we knew about him back then, was not as bad as we know about him now. Jason was hard work and he was addicted to Spice. I had not touched it in six months but being around him, made me jump straight back into it. This is where my addiction really started.

Image of Li Jean-Luc Harris During his 2015 Drug Addiction to Legal Highs / Spice. Featured in the blog Post Spice / Legal High Addiction – The Story (1/2) (liharris.me)

I Loved Legal Highs So Much

But why? Addiction has many factors, and almost everyone has an addiction of some sort. I’ve always asked myself why I allowed myself to become addicted, but the more I dug into it, the more I found out. My own analysis leads to the conclusion that I was running away from my problems. I hated my current placement at Liberty Care Homes. I felt as if my progress had been pushed away and I was starting from scratch. I had unfinished avenues I wanted to explore with my long-running psychiatrist Dr. Bertrand Nairac. I felt like once I got the courage to speak, I was pushed away. And finally like some of us get addicted to sugar or coffee, I really enjoyed the feeling and experience of getting high from Spice.

Sadly after meeting Jason, I now discovered that our local “Bong Shop/ Head Shop”, sold these over the counter. £10/Gram. Which was the same price as I was getting cannabis for but more convenient and at a better high for the same price. I was sucked straight into it.

Image of Li Jean-Luc Harris During his 2015 Drug Addiction to Legal Highs / Spice. Featured in the blog Post Spice / Legal High Addiction – The Story (1/2) (liharris.me)

Spice Addiction is taking over.

Before I knew it, I was smoking a gram a day. I had now created a group of friends who I formed a longterm friendship with. Even though in reality, it started from one common thing…. The need to blank out our pasts.

Before I knew it, I was addicted. In reality, the first time I noticed this, was during my work with OCS. During the long journeys to and from work, I was high. (this was only during the first employment with OCS and not during the second time after being homeless)

Image of Li Jean-Luc Harris During his 2015 Drug Addiction to Legal Highs / Spice. Featured in the blog Post Spice / Legal High Addiction – The Story (1/2) (liharris.me)

It got to a point where the drugs were more important I would kick off on long shifts as I wanted a quick fix. On occasions during breaks, I even would get high and then come back to stock taking.

I’ve Hit Rock Bottom. Legal Highs are taking over my life.

Within 8 months I quit. Only to progress further into my addiction. I was now spending all-day high. I was currently living with my Mum, and she started getting worried. When I was home I was a zombie, I could not hold a conversation and I was always drifting in and out of sleep. She pleaded me to give up on it many times. But I kept trying to hide the addiction by getting high outside the home and smoking when she was asleep. This was not tricking my Mum. She was very aware and patient with me considering the circumstances.

Image of Li Jean-Luc Harris During his 2015 Drug Addiction to Legal Highs / Spice. Featured in the blog Post Spice / Legal High Addiction – The Story (1/2) (liharris.me)

Sadly after, I had an incident with the police where I was stopped in a  no drinking zone intoxicated with 10G of spice and lots of alcohol. read How I Became Homeless Aged 18

Because of this, my Mum made a very brave decision and made me leave home. This was a reality shock. But one I needed at the time. I was a risk to my sisters and family’s wellbeing. And I needed something to realize that the track I was going down, was not one I could continue with.

At this point, I made the promise. Once I became re-housed, I would sort my self out and get clean. But during homelessness, like most, I would be needing the drugs to get through the winter in the woods. (read What I learned From Being Homeless.) .

It was not too bad. I did spend a few nights a week with Jason. Even though we were both addicted. During this short period of homelessness, my drug addiction hit its worst. I now found out, I could buy 100’s of grams for a very cheap price.

Part Two – And Now I Learned about Wholesale Legal Highs

when i found out I could wholesale Legal Highs, i was in for a bad time. at the time i did not realize it, i thought i had already been through the worst when my first order arrived we got through it in a month. over 100g but now it became a constant. i was smoking my life away without even seeing the consequences, i was forgetting stuff and risking my life. i’ve now known of 3 close friends who almost lost there lives from the drug but it never took away my motivation to stop. at some stages, we were putting up to 5G+ in a single joint. we all called it the splifgar  (Spliff Cigar)  and we would just lay there gazing and zoning out. each of us trapped in our minds without the ability to do anything else but wait it out.

a bit later on down the line i managed to finally secure emergency placement in an out of season hotel, who had a contract with the council. It was called The Glenwood Hotel, it was an okay place, my room was small but it was a place for me to stay. and be safe. for the first month, I was still ordering and smoking spice, i broke my promise to myself. but when i came to this realization i knew things had to change.

Its Time To Change – Recovery From Legal High Must be possible.

but how did i plan to change… i had a friend. whome i knew also did the drug. i got the last of my stash and regrettidly gave it away to him. (i  regret it because now i think i should have thrown it away instead of fuling someone elses addiction) but with no spice to hand i spent the next week locked up in my accomidation. not wanitng to leave in fear i would be tempted back. the withdrawals where  bad! headaches, cold and hot. no energy and no motivation. i felt like i was rotting away into unexistance.

1 week later i braved it outside. i was still lost of all my memories those times are very faded. but  im glad.

But  did i ever use again?

The Awnswere is yes. on 26 May 2016. the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016 came into Full enforcement across the United Kingdom; knowing this on the 25th i got my last  fix.. me and my friends brought a couple of grams each. met up in are usual spot on top of an abandant rail track (used to transport coal a long time ago in tiviolie woods, margate) and smoked the night away.

i have been 95% Clean from that day. and i tend never to go back down that route again but lets be honest once an addict always an addict. but i’ve came so far since then! and especially after becoming a homeowner there is so much to lose From Homeless To Homeowner

Latest posts by Li Jean-Luc Harris (see all)