On Air Now
In Conversation With Steve Allen 9pm - 10pm
13 February 2018, 16:01
This is the remarkable story of a woman who was addicted to heroin for 35 years - and no one knew.
Shelagh Fogarty was discussing the West Midlands Police plan to give addicts heroin in a safe environment to take drugs - so-called "shooting galleries".
Donna in Edmonton called to reveal that she has been on drugs for 35 of her 60 years. This is her remarkable story.
"I've been on drugs for 35 years. I'm 60 years old now.
"Nobody knew that I was on drugs. I had a perfectly good job. I had my own house. I've got two children. I've got my own car. Nobody knew that I was on drugs.
"I've been off it now for six years. I wanted to get off it.
"I was being pulled into the criminal aspect of it. I lost my job, I lost it all. I was so fixated with where my next fix was going to come from.
"It is a physical dependency. You can't wake up in the morning without knowing where your next fix is coming from.
"Because of that dependency, you will do anything to get the money to pay the dealer.
"I was getting lower and lower and lower. I started losing weight. I started mixing my feeds. It was the criminal element that I couldn't handle any more.
"If they could legalise diamorphine and get it to people who need it, that would make a big difference.
"I wouldn't go [to a shooting gallery]. I wouldn't be able to hold down a job and go to one of these drug rooms to fix up my drugs. I'd be stigmatised by it. People would recognise me. Then I'd get to know other drug users or dealers."