A man has revealed his incredible transformation after overcoming his ten year heroin addiction which saw him sent to prison 11 times.
Cullan Mais, 32, of Cardiff, first tried cannabis aged 16 to suppress negative thoughts caused by his OCD disorder – before moving on 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 moving onto shoplifting alcohol to sell.
Cullan explained: ‘My whole life revolved around getting that hit which would disguise my issues and feelings. I couldn’t live without it – it was my purpose for being on earth.’
Cullan Mais, 32, of Cardiff, has revealed his incredible transformation after overcoming his 10 year heroin addiction which saw him sent to prison 11 times (left, while addicted to drugs, and right, with his girlfriend Clara now)
Cullan said he grew up with a loving family, and was anti-drugs throughout school.
However three years after first trying cannabis, he moved on to cocaine before trying a heroin-laced spliff at a party – and he was hooked.
He tried heroin aged 19 at the flat of his uncle who had just been released from prison.
Cullan said: ‘Being addicted to anything is not nice.’
‘I first tried crack, but I still felt anxious like after I used cannabis,’ he said.
‘Then someone offered me a cannabis laced with heroin and said it would take my anxiety away.
‘After one puff, everything disappeared – all my thoughts feelings were answered.
‘The feeling of being high on heroin was what I wanted to feel like for the rest of my life.
‘I knew I was addicted from that moment – I wanted to try it again.
‘I then went from using it once a month, every fortnight, weekly, to then daily.’
While addicted, Cullan became a shell of his former confident self suffering with ‘extreme paranoia’.
He then started stealing phones and cash from friends to fund his habit.
Cullan (pictured as a boy) said he grew up with a loving family, and was anti-drugs throughout school
Cullan, pictured aged 29, recovering in bed from sepsis and pneumonia following a bad relapse
Shoplifting saw him sentenced to prison 11 times in his 20s.
His physical transformation was staggering – as he lost seven stone looking fragile and weak.
In August 2020, aged 28, after being caught shoplifting for the 12th time he was rushed to hospital with pneumonia and sepsis caused by his constant drug abuse.
He made a bargain with himself that if he survived he would never take drugs again.
‘In hospital I promised myself I would never do these drugs again – I would get clean,’ he said.
‘I didn’t want to die a junkie.
‘I was offered to be put on methadone script or be given a new drug Buvidal used to stop addiction to drugs.
‘I’ve been on Methadone before which I abused, it was just another excuse to get high or use on top of another drug, I wouldn’t use it to help get myself clean.
Cullan, pictured as a small child, grew up in a loving family and said he was always anti-drugs as a young boy
Cullan, aged 26, when he was still addicted to heroin. He has blamed trying drugs on having OCD
‘I knew if I had chosen methadone script, I wouldn’t be making a change, so I took a chance with Buvidal.’
The drug prevents opioid withdrawal but also block takers from feeling the impact of heroin or other opioids in case of lapse 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.
Some 36 months on he’s clean, he now has a girlfriend, and works as a mentor supporting addicts and runs a weekly podcast tackling issues such as mental health and personal growth.
Cullan speaking at a recent event to raise awareness of drug abuse and mental health problems
He works as a peer mentor at Kaleidoscope, a charity addiction clinic, helping those who are addicted break free from their negative cycle
He often also does public speaking raising awareness of drug abuse and mental health.
He has started his own podcast, The Central Club, inviting guests to tackle pressing issues like mental health and personal growth.
Cullan said: ‘The podcast is also a stigma campaign for those who have been judged in the public eye, giving them a second chance.’
‘There is never a better time than now to come out of addiction,’ he said.
‘We need to stop giving into excuses that keep us on this path. Quit this life of drugs, there is an amazing one waiting for you.’