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I think i was sixteen when i smoked my first spliff. It barely touched me, to be honest. Then again, i had only a couple of tokes and was frantically worried about the possible harmful effects, would i be hooked, did this me make one of those junkies you see in the newspapers and on television?

Naturally, i was fine afterwards. A sore throat the next morning but no other ill effects. A couple of days later i did the same again, this time at a friend's house. And in a much bigger way. This time i learned how to skin up, how to crumble and burn, how to do a hotknife and what pipes and bongs were all about.

And i got thoroughly stoned. And still no ill effects. I began to do drugs regularly, becoming a bit of an expert in grades and types of hashish and marijuana, both resin and green. I knew where to get it, I could get the best prices and the highest quality.

I was curious, i was young and foolhardy but i also still had a scientific mind. I wanted to experiment but i wanted data and to control the experimental environment.

I read copious amounts of pharmacological literature, i read study papers, i read government crime statistics and i asked my friends who had already tried the other available drugs for information about their experiences with them.

And finally, when i felt prepared, i made the jump and i took the drugs. I tried Amphetamine, i tried LSD, i tried Amyl Nitrate, i tried magic mushroomsand ecstacy, eventually i even tried cocaine and once, i tried smoking heroin.

Some if them i liked, and some i disliked. I once got a bad trip from mushrooms. I was alone, in Amsterdam and the loneliness and the mushrooms took me to a kind of deep inner place where every bad deed i'd ever done, every lie i'd ever told, every time i'd ever misused anyone were all with me, unbearable and somehow now. I was suicidal, convinced that i was worthless, the scum of the earth and it was only intervention from my friends via IRC that got me through the night.

I took amphetamine regularly and got used to that feeling that you're made of very thin glass for hours on a comedown. I took ecstacy and afterwards i slept the sleep of the just. I used cocaine and felt that familiar foul taste trickle down the back of my throat. And i smoked so much dope that i couldn't even begin to guess how much i've got through over the years.

And i'd still smoke dope, even now. I do, whenever the opportunity presents itself. I'd still take ecstacy, i'd still do speed. But rarely, for the last two. I've been there and bought the tshirt. Now i'd use them the same way i might dress up for an evening out.

But, by and large, i live a clean life. I was never a junkie, never hooked, never committed a crime to get money for drugs.

I'd say i have a history of drug abuse but i don't have a future of it. "Use" versus "Abuse" is the key and i can now use drugs without being used by them.

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