Meet Marie

Using drugs from a young age, Marie was in the care system by the time she was thirteen


My drug use started when I was 12 years old. I went into care at the age of 13 which is when things spiralled out of control. I started smoking cannabis almost every day. I experimented with other drugs such as ecstasy, amphetamine, cocaine and drinking alcohol all the time.

Between the ages of 17 and 20, my life was pretty chaotic. I moved out of town, lost a flat, became homeless then moved back into town. In this time, I stopped taking drugs apart from cannabis.  I just couldn’t let it go.

I began to suffer badly with depression. I was smoking cannabis day in and day out. I met someone who sold cannabis which would fund my habit. I fell pregnant but continued to smoke and take Valium. My life spiralled, I would get someone to look after my child so I could go out and smoke weed. I would get in trouble with the police, spending weekends in the cells.

Due to my behaviour and inability to parent my child, social services got involved and placed my child into foster care. I then fell pregnant again. I continued to smoke weed with my boyfriend but our relationship started to deteriorate. This is when I thought, I need to tell the truth, I can’t go through this again. I knew I needed to address my addiction. I decided to move into women’s aid.

she explains

I took myself to ADS and stopped smoking cannabis. I would attend monthly one to ones and weekly groups. I needed to do this because I couldn’t understand what my body and mind was going through. I had smoked that much cannabis to mask my emotions I had to re-learn to cope again. I started giving negative urine tests and feeling much better. I attended numerous meetings with social services and attended court which was all very stressful.

I finally regained custody of my daughter. I found employment and things were on the up. I started a new relationship which was a healthy one. I passed my driving test and bought a car. I was then approached by ADS to become a peer mentor. I saw this as a great learning opportunity and a great way to work towards my goal of becoming a support worker and helping others who have shared similar experiences.