Inset photo is for illustrative purposes only
In an exclusive tell-it-all interview with Genevieve magazine, Adesuwa Monisola Isaac, opens up about her struggles with drug addiction and her life after then.
Below are highlights from the chat;
How it all started:
I was thirteen years old and in JSS3. My parents were separated at the time. My immediate elder brother and I were staying with my dad. My dad would go to work and we’d go to school during the week, and when my brother and I got back from school, he would leave the house to play with his friends, leaving me alone at home. The house was quite big; it was a four bedroom apartment. When I finished my homework, I would have nothing else to do. I would wonder around the whole house alone. I had friends in school, but they were all biys. I didn’t have many female friends, because I felt boys were easier to deal with: no gossip, no drama, no cat-fights. The drama and fights at home were more than enough for me to deal with.
On the day I started, a friend (male) had said to me that smoking a raffia mat gives the same high as smoking a cigarette. So when I got home, and I was alone, I decided to try it out; to see what my friend was talking about/ I did it, and liked how it made me feel. I also got to know about rolling grounded chalk around paper to smoke. I did that too. The next week, out of my lunch allowance, I went to buy a pack of cigarettes, because whenever I smoked, I was worriless; I was not not bothered about anything that was happening around me. I like that feeling, and I wanted to continue feeding it. Later, when I moved in with my mum, and used to help her in her shop after school, I mingled with another crowd that introduced me to drinking and smoking weed.
There was a time I stopped for about three months, because I was staying with one of my sisters. The environment was very strict, so I couldn’t smoke. So one day after my sister beat me, like she was fond of dong, I ran to a certain church. I was there for three days until the pastor took note and called my mother. My mum didn’t know I ran because my sister was ashamed to tell her about the beatings she would give me. When my mum came, she took me to stay with another one of my sisters, who is a lawyer.
While I was there, I chose to pursue a career in entertainment, but my sister was against that. So we had several fights over it. I made another set of friends who would smoke anything smoke-able: weed, crack, shisha, Arizona… I started working, and whenever I collect my salary, I’ll split it in two; spend half on drugs and the other half on whatever else. We’d hang out and smoke. I was so addicted that I would smoke morning, afternoon and night. It got to a point where I could’t eat or think without smoking. I used to do codeine containing cough syrups too. They (drugs) make you slow. Everything around you is in slow motion. To us, then we saw it as fun. There’s one called ‘roochie’, it is is tablet. We would used to place it on our tongue and lick, till our tongue turns blue. There’s tramadol. Its meant to be swallowed with water for some other use. But we used to open in up and lick the contents to get high.
What happened during a high?
I would feel an urge to have sex. I’d get angry at the slightest provocation. If I took it when I was angry, I would get angrier. If I took it when I was happy, I would get happier. It made me eat so much. Nothing in my tummy stayed. You just want to eat and drink a lot of water. And I’d be so disorganized. I used to dance then. I was a video vixen. I would go for video shoots and to clubs to dance. I believed I couldn’t do my job without smoking, because I thought I’d be shy.
Initially her family did not know:
Neither of my parents knew for a long time, until the day i overdosed on Codeine and my sister got to confirm her suspicion. She would find matches and lighters in my bag. She’d ask me, and I’d deny. Someone even saw me and told her. She confronted me about it, and I still denied. The day I overdosed. I was so high that she could tell. She called my mum, but I still denied. My mum would cry, but it didn’t change anything because I had decided not to give up the feeling. It continued like that until my sister could no longer tolerate it. Sometimes, I would be gone for a week, and nobody would aware of my whereabouts. She kicked me out four or five times; people begged for me, but it didn’t change anything.
How did she stop?
My friends and I were at a bar. This young man came in, and greeted everyone. Others didn’t answer him, but I did. We talked casually. He asked for my number. And he would tell me that he wanted to see me because he had a gift for me. I thought he wanted to ask me out. The day I finally met him, I asked him for the gift, and he gave me a copy of Rhapsody of Realities, a daily devotional, authored by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of Christ Embassy. I was like ‘a book? What am I going to do with this?’ He said ‘ i want you to read it, believe it, and it will change your life. I just laughed and left. But I collected the book anyway. I took it home and left it on my table. The next morning, he called to ask if I had read that day’s devotional. I said no. He pleased with me to read it. I don’t remember the topic for that day, bug I remember that there wasa part of it that said “even though your parents do not care about you, believe Jesus Loves you. God loves you. He loves you and does not want you to perish. Those words touched me. I began to cry.
Life after a drug addiction:
I have peace now. I had to let go of my friends, because mingling with them will affect me. I gave myself more to the work of God. It’s been awesome since then. I and my sisters are very close now- we are best of friends. I prayed for love and unity in my family, because we used to fight a lot. God answered my prayer. My mum and dad are now back together. My family is united. Everyone is happy. I have reached out to about 400 young people with my story. I still plan to go into entertainment. It’s still what I want to do. I’m looking at pursuing a career in presenting. I want to study mass communication. I am seeking admission in NOUN this year because I need to work to pay my fees. I know my family’s financial state right now, and I don’t want to add to their burden.