I was addicted to heroin for 10 years and my life revolved around getting a hit – now I’m sober and my life has been transformed
A man has revealed his incredible transformation after overcoming a decade-long heroin addiction that landed him in prison 11 times.
Cullan Mais, 32, from Cardiff, first tried cannabis at the age of 16 to suppress negative thoughts caused by his OCD disorder – before turning to cocaine and heroin.
He spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on his habit: posing as a lost university student who needed taxi money before turning to shoplifting to sell alcohol.
He finally kicked the habit when he was hospitalized with sepsis and pneumonia — and has now been sober for 36 months.
Cullan explained, “My whole life revolved around getting that punch that would cover my problems and my feelings. I couldn’t live without it; it was my purpose to be on earth.’
Cullan Mais, 32, from Cardiff, has revealed his incredible transformation after overcoming a 10-year heroin addiction that saw him sent to prison 11 times (left, while addicted to drugs, and right, now with girlfriend Clara )
Cullan said he grew up in a loving family and was anti-drug throughout school.
But three years after he first tried cannabis, he switched to cocaine before trying a joint of heroin at a party – and he was hooked.
He tried heroin at the age of 19 in his uncle’s flat, who had just been released from prison.
Cullan said, “Being addicted to anything is no fun.”
“I tried crack first, but I still felt anxious, just like after using cannabis,” he said.
“Then someone offered me a cannabis with heroin in it and said it would take away my fear.
“After one puff, everything disappeared – all my thoughts, feelings were answered.
“The feeling of being high on the heroin was what I wanted to feel for the rest of my life.
“From that moment on I knew I was hooked, I wanted to try it again.
“Then I went from once a month, biweekly, weekly, to daily.”
While addicted, Cullan became a shell of his former confident self who suffered from “extreme paranoia.”
He then started stealing phones and cash from friends to fund his habit.
Cullan (pictured as a boy) said he grew up in a loving family and was anti-drugs throughout school
Cullan, pictured, aged 29, recovering in bed from sepsis and pneumonia after a major relapse
He was sentenced to prison eleven times for shoplifting in his twenties.
His physical transformation was staggering; he lost seven stones and looked vulnerable and weak.
In August 2020, at the age of 28, after being caught shoplifting for the twelfth time, he was rushed to hospital with pneumonia and septicemia, brought on by his continued drug abuse.
He promised himself that if he survived, he would never use drugs again.
“At the hospital I promised myself I would never take these drugs again – I would get clean,” he said.
“I didn’t want to die a junkie.
“I was offered to get a methadone script or to get a new drug that Buvidal was taking to stop the addiction to drugs.
“I’ve used methadone before, which I abused, it was just an excuse to get high or use it alongside another drug, I wouldn’t use it to clean myself up.”
Cullan, pictured as a small child, grew up in a loving home and said he was always anti-drug as a young boy
Cullan, age 26, when he was still addicted to heroin. He blames trying drugs for having OCD
“I knew that if I chose the methadone script I wouldn’t make any change, so I took a chance with Buvidal.”
The drug prevents opioid withdrawal symptoms, but also prevents users from feeling the impact of heroin or other opioids in the event of a relapse or relapse.
Cullan turned 29 in hospital and was discharged, where he spent a month in bed before making a full recovery.
Since then, Cullan has changed his life for the better.
Now, some 36 months later, he’s clean, now has a girlfriend, works as a mentor supporting addicts, and leads a weekly podcast that addresses issues like mental health and personal growth.
Cullan spoke at a recent event to raise awareness about substance abuse and mental health issues
He works as a peer mentor at Kaleidoscope, a charity addiction clinic, where he helps addicts break out of their negative cycle.
He also frequently speaks in public to raise awareness about substance abuse and mental health.
He has started his own podcast, The Central Club, in which he invites guests to address pressing issues such as mental health and personal growth.
Cullan said, “The podcast is also a stigma campaign for those judged in the public eye, giving them a second chance.”
“There’s never been a better time than now to get out of addiction,” he said.
“We need to stop giving excuses that keep us going down this road. Quit this drug-filled life, you have a great life waiting for you.”