The storyteller talks about his experience of 'party drugs' and discusses how addiction support services aren't really designed to deal with addiction to these substance. He also talks about the direct links between drug use and his mental health.

Hi. Good morning, Matt. My name is Benjamin Mordecai. We're doing a quick video of various different people from the Cardiff and Vale area

And we've been asked to ask you a question, wondering if you could answer it to best your abilities or just answer it with as much information as you wish to give. Uh, the the question we got is what has been your experience of seeking support as someone with a co occurring mental health and substance issues. OK, just to let you know, this was a long time ago, actually, So this was around, say, 2007

I was using alcohol, right? Quite dependent at one point. Dependent, um, got to the stage where I got that help that I needed to address my alcohol issues through counselling and counselling. Only the doctor referred me to back in that day

It doesn't exist in its current. What I experienced was counselling for my alcohol, and it was like 16 weeks of counselling, really good. The real deal counselling

It wasn't just trained high expertise, so I did the counselling and really managed to get on top of my issues. But then along comes the party drugs, methadone and MCAT and all that stuff was legal at the time. And because I wasn't doing alcohol, I thought, Oh, well, I'm missing on a bus

Let's try this stuff. And as soon as they made it illegal in 2010, I was I had to buy it off street dealers and was being basically was no longer methadone. It was any old rubbish that you get off the street and I ended up taking stuff

I didn't know what it was. Clearly wasn't the right thing. I could have had anything in it

Yes, clearly was not. It wasn't safe to take, really wasn't what I was expecting. And it reminded me somewhat of a ketamine bus instead of a party EBU

They actually sent me into, like, a whole like a vortex. And from that day onwards, I had a a drug induced site that was the catalyst for my psychosis, drug induced psychosis. So now we're talking about some serious mental health issues that I need, and I wouldn't have known where to turn

Obviously the doctors, my only thing I didn't know about drug services could In fact, I was in such a bad place. So I went to the doctor. The doctor referred me to the community mental health team, but they really only wanted to give me antipsychotics and no counselling

So say there was no doctor. How would you have got the information as to where to get this counselling or any other support You would have been stuck. So the first point of call, you would say from anybody's experience would be doctor

And if that service wasn't provided by a doctor, you could can probably continue doing what you were doing using substances and could still be on it in 2023 which we are now. And you said 2007 that you managed to give up the alcohol drugs, got party drugs. Yeah, and then caused psychosis, which, well, in recovery from now, I don't In fact, I was discharged from the community years and years ago

They never really saw me as a high priority, and I was trying to express to them how messed up my head was. I really needed help. And they seem to want to do is just dish out the antics and send me away

Can I ask, why did they change the methadone? Or Or is it just the way the NHS bought it? Because you said there was a difference and you had to buy it from somebody on the street that as a as a heroin replacement what I was taking me with. Oh, right. I see A party drone was a time when it was perfectly legal to buy, was labelled as I see and that stopped

And then, of course, you had to go down the the black market. As you say, I buy online as it goes. But still, it's an illegal thing

So the dealers don't need to be 100 per cent honest. How did you get off drugs altogether? Well, that psychosis was the end of it for me. I really could not

There was a time after when I was trying to deal with my mental health with cannabis. There was a time when I was able to reflect and have insight and I was able to work out different things in my head with cannabis that didn't last long. It gave me all the insights I needed, and I moved on from that

A lot of people say cannabis is a psychosis inducing drug in itself. But I suppose if you got the psychosis and you're helping, it helps you deal with those issues. You're replacing one thing with another, but they've all got side effects

All drugs were for a certain reason. I was. I was depressed and anxiety in 2006, well, arguably for most of my life

And this is why alcohol is such a big thing feature feature of my life. But then, when you're addicted dependent, you got no choice. Then every day you have to keep on

Would you classify yourself that you'd have an addictive personality? No. Never took the smoking. I usually find that certain drugs don't feel like I've never got into

So do you think that having a bit of a party type life, if that's what you classify yourself as you know, it's sort of the the general thing to have a bit of drugs or a bit of drink and did in that case, did it just spiral out of control with you? It did spiral out of control. What was I addressing? Was I addressing my anxiety was addressing my depression because you're depressed. You want to pick me up, pick me up like drugs? Did I want a social life? Did I want to come out of myself and find a social network to get out there and be involved in making new friends and dancing, which is therapeutic in itself? You know, you said you saw a consultant

Was it psychiatrist or Counsellor? How did that work for you? The psychiatrist of community Mental Health Team just seemed interested in dishing out the antipsychotics. And I told them I don't work in the right way for me. They knocked me out completely

In fact, it's something I don't want to continue. So really, and truly sorry to interrupt you there. The missing link was that they didn't have any life support to go with dishing you out with psychotic tablets

Yeah, I'm sure it's all different now because you've got caf which is supposed to be all under one roof with all different partners and stakeholders, and I don't think it's still properly. No, I agree. Especially with the part of it

Cafs a few weeks ago had an open day in Barry and they were testing people off the street for hepatitis um, fatty liver disease. Uh, obviously, with, uh, conjunction with people who use drugs or alcohol or substances of any other sort. And I happened to attend

Now, if you had attended, you'd have done all the same tests as me, blah, blah, blah, blah. Waited two weeks for your results and so on. They had a full team there

The trouble is, that was all done via the NHS. And when I rang up for my results to as you would and this could happen probably to anybody, of course, they said, Oh, you have to contact this number for the NHS. So they're not linked at the moment

But they need to be. And I mean sounding from what you've said, Matt, if that had been in place 2007, it would be not easier for you, wouldn't it? I think cau have got a few things in place. If you meet a certain criteria, maybe potentially on the opiate replacement therapy or you could be you could have a detox

There's ways in to get your appropriate counselling. It's not really made available. I want to see a number rolled out on Twitter and Social Media Bus Office Just to say if you want to counselling drug problems, this is where you go

You got drug problems and then assessments. And so, like these code words that you can use in boots and Morrisons, for instance, at the restaurant you can ask for, Henry can get a free meal, go to boots and what's the one that you are? You mention somebody and you can get some free, uh, ladies products or something. So it's something like that for many HS

So you could have the number 15, for instance. As you said a number, Um, and it'd all be linked around that word and everybody we'd know. It's be like 118

Everybody knew where they could find out whose telephone number they needed. Um, so I appreciate everything you said today. Matt

Um, is there anything else you think we've missed? I'll just repeat the first question because it's going on to nearly nine minutes of recording. The question was, what has been your experience of seeking support as someone with co occurring sorry, mental health and substance issues? Do you think you've covered everything that you wish to say just the support you have for things like psychosis, as I'm sure people appreciate it is struggling. You have to meet a certain threshold

You have to be potentially deemed a danger to yourself or others to even get into the CMT. And that was all a nightmare of hoops to jump through to even get antipsychotics. I didn't even want the drugs I was messing around with at the time to cause that psychosis were party drugs

Now I wasn't doing cocaine. I was doing things like Mephedrone, metello and Cathinone NCA different class of drugs like ecstasy. But I don't feel drug services set up for these types of drugs

They're more like for the hard end start to Coke. The heroin and alcohol addiction, the detox. Maybe maybe there needs to be more awareness at festivals and make more interlinks at intersections of society students and all the rest of to introduce a more recreational experimental

Because this can all go very wrong, as it did with me. And so there needs to be some way of looking after people navigate their journeys to thank you, Matt, That was brilliant. Thank you very much


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