44-year-old Ian Higginson is now 14 months clean after he managed to turn his life around.
For years, he had washed down grams and grams of cocaine with vodka. He crashed lows and soared highs that those strong sensations pushed him to take his own life, especially when his nose collapsed because of his £400-a-week coke habit.
But Ian worked hard to pull himself out of the dark situation and he now offers counseling to people in a similar situation. He even started his very own business!
The business owner from Manchester recently shared the grueling effects of 25 years of cocaine abuse had on his nose.
“The first time I’d been out on a binge, had loads of coke and drink. I’d just bought a new house, things were going well. I was at my mum’s and found a load of tablets and took them,” he explained.
“She found me on the bed foaming at the mouth. I was taken to hospital and the staff said they didn’t know how I’d survived. The other time I was going through some s*** and was hitting the coke hard. It was Christmas and the only person I saw over it was my dealer.
“I felt that s*** about myself I bought a load of tablets and washed them down with half a litre of vodka and a load of cocaine. I wanted to die, but I was in so much pain, so I ended up calling an ex-girlfriend who called an ambulance. I just felt so down and lonely, and I’d been mixing the two on a bender for two days.”
According to research by American Addiction Centres, people who struggle with cocaine abuse usually mix it with alcohol to decrease its negative effects.
“I’d be taking a gram of coke and half a litre of spirits alongside it. You see a lot of people take cocaine to sober them up while out drinking. When you do both together, you become more wired,” Ian added.
“It wakes them up, and because it heightens your senses they feel more on it. They also feel able to drink more and stay up longer.”
He spent $520 a week on cocaine when he worked as an air steward. “Whenever I landed, I would pick up a bottle of vodka from duty free and the first thing I’d do when I got home was a line of cocaine then pour myself a vodka and coke. But it wasn’t a case of having a drink and one or two lines.
“I used to go out on binges that would last days. But the comedown is horrible. You feel alone, depressed, weak and disappointed with yourself, like there’s nothing to look forward to. I remember when I was in my heyday, living it up – I had everything going for me.
“I was flying around the world, I had a beautiful girlfriend, and after a binging session I lay there in bed thinking I had nothing and questioning what I had to look forward to. I used to get really low.
“All of your feelings and emotions would be heightened, but whatever goes up has to come down. It’s like a vicious cycle. You feel like s*** so what do you do, take some more.”
But now, Ian is 14 months clean and he has started counseling people in similar situations. He also started ‘Bee Prepared Ltd’ in Wilmslow Cheshire, offering services such as wills and funeral plans.
“I’ve got my focus back, the lead in my pencil again.”
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