Linked—My Path to Rehabilitation

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“I started feeling dizzy, the earth underneath my legs was shaking. At the same time, I was
feeling enthusiastic about myself. It was as if my hands were wings and I could fly with them high above the sky.”

Nguro laughed. “It happens all the time.”

“I tasted it once, just once and my life changed for the worse. I only wanted to join the team, to be carried along. How I wish I never give in to the idea of tasting the toxic, the toxic in the name of cocaine.”

“And what happened after your first experience?” Kazeem asked, desperate to hear the rest of the story.

“Everything, everything that I never wanted to happen happened. Things that I never could think of doing, I did them all and more. I joined the gang and they accepted me like a brother, they protected me from everyone that has ever bullied me. I was known all over campus but not because of my academics, but as a back pain to every student.”

“Then how did you end up here? Since you only joined a gang I suppose,” Nguro uttered.

“How I wish I only joined the cult group, but no, I did more. I took too much drugs and I became addicted to it, cocaine most especially. Growing up, I was a cool kid, so I couldn’t muster the courage to do all the despicable things I did without being under the influence of drugs. Things started getting out of hand and out of my control, I was just an undergraduate from a low class
family that barely provided three meals a day. I convinced my gang that we could start robbery in order to raise money, the fact that needed more drugs propelled them to accepting my suggestion.”

Whaat! You robbed?” Kazeem asked with shock evident in his voice.

I know you must be wondering how we got to this situation in the first place.

My name is Chinedu Stephen, a.k.a Stone Cold. I was a student of Biochemistry from the University of Port Harcourt. When I was in school, I joined a gang called the Peace Clan. Don’t let the name deceive you because the word ‘Peace’ had no value in the clan, what we practiced was the complete opposite of peace. I joined the group in order to seek reprieve from those that ever bullied me, I also wanted to be feared and respected everywhere I go within and outside the university premises. I was introduced to drug abuse at an early stage in my university life. I was just in second year, at a point I became addicted to it. I and my Friends needed money to buy more drugs to abuse, so we started something that was never part of our league and it was all my criminal idea.

We started armed robbery, we carried out our plans and successfully implemented them until nemesis caught up with us. We were arrested and sentenced by the court of law. I was expelled from the university alongside my friends, and when I became uncontrollable because I was from the prevented from taking cocaine, I was relocated to the rehabilitation branch. I met Nguro and Kazeem who were also receiving rehab and luckily enough we become friends.

I was having a conversation with Kazeem when Nguro joined us, so we decided to share our sad stories with each other.

“Yes I robbed, until luck ran out on me and I was arrested. That was how I got here in the first place anyway,” I replied Kazeem.

“So who is next?” I asked.

“I entered Europe with my friend illegally, we got a job at a bar very close to where we lived down the street. But our source of wealth was unsatisfactory, we wanted to come back home as millionaires or
better still, as billionaires.” Nguro smiled and continued, “We started selling hard drugs and consuming them as well, from marijuana, to Indian hemp, to weed , including cocaine. All thanks to Mr. Franklin who provided us with the drugs. We got caught, charged and deported back to Nigeria. When we arrived Nigeria, the medical team on seeing our condition, transferred us here to help us, also to
save us from ourselves.”

“And where is that your friend?” Kazeem inquired.

“He died the day I was brought here, from high blood pressure” Nguro replied Kazeem.

“That’s sad,” Kazeem added.

“It’s your turn now Kazeem, guide us through the turmoil,” Nguro requested.

“Well, where should I start from? Let me just summarize the story for you guys. My parents had an arranged marriage, they never really loved each other that much. I grew up seeing them fight all the time, I was worried sick and ashamed of their behaviors. Whenever I tried to intervene, they just pushed me aside like I meant nothing to them. So I avoided them instead and married my emotions. I was busy surfing the web as it became my only companion, my sight was caught by an article titled: ‘Things that takes away your sadness’. Sadly marijuana was among the options, I guess maybe I visited the wrong website that misguided me.

“My parents never noticed my change of behavior and how sick I was looking, they never cared anyway. Every time they fought, I just locked myself in my room and smoked the pain away.

“When my dad noticed my misery, I had gone far into addiction. He informed the police and I was forcefully arraigned and brought here for help—the only solution he could think of.”

“Sorry about your parents Kazeem,” I consoled him.

“I pray they find a way to resolve their issues,” Nguro added.

“They have already settled their differences. I became a problem bigger than what they had, so they didn’t have an option,” Kazeem uttered.

We all burst into with laughter.

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