“I spent half my age in and out of prison for drug-related offences. It was after NS that I had my first taste of drugs out of curiosity, but things started to collapse when I got introduced to heroin. I kept thinking to myself: I can quit any time. Little did I know that I would only keep tumbling.
During my incarceration, I constantly gave false hope to my family – each time claiming that it would be “the last”. I even wrote them letters. But despite all of this, I would always fall back down again. It was only after my last release that I made a resolution to myself and my family that this was truly the last time.
Even though I was the black sheep of my family, my mother and brother would always come to visit me. But there was a time when my mum didn’t visit for 3 months. Puzzled, I later found that she was ill and bedridden. This made me very anxious about my release so I could visit her. Thankfully, I managed to see her upon my release and spend the last 3 years of her life by her side.
HCSA Highpoint was a strong pillar of support to me after my release – I learned a lot about independence and how to aim towards to goals in my life. The staff gave me a lot of support in my recovery and even motivated me to get my driver’s license! It was indeed such a happy moment for me to finally got my license, after having stopped the course multiple times due to drug use in the past. I felt accomplished, especially knowing that I use my own savings to pay for the course.
Being a reserved individual, I always kept to myself and didn’t really like to mix around a lot. After coming to Highpoint, I started to open up my mind to what’s good for me – which is socialising with people. Now, I look forward to exposing myself to new people and experiences. I want to see more to my life than just ‘me’ and ‘drugs’. After all, a colourful life doesn’t need to come from drugs. There are so many other ways to feel that ‘high’, you can dance, play soccer, but drugs is not the thing.
I’ve been sober for the past 4 years. Until now, I haven’t had the slightest chance to see what drugs look like – and I don’t intend to either. It is unfortunate that my mum can’t see where I am now, but I am sure she will be proud of me from where she is.”
Testimony by Jamal, Alumni of HCSA Highpoint Halfway House