'I wish I had never, ever touched nasty chemical'
TERRY, not his real name, is a 42-year-old father-of-one, with a steady job. He has experimented with many drugs over the past 20 years, but it was not until his 40th birthday that he first tried Meow Meow. This is his story:
"It was my birthday, and I was looking forward to celebrating it.
"I was out with a younger friend, who told me he had some meow meow.
"I took a few lines, and it felt quite chemically, and like I was sniffing cut glass, but it was quite strong, and I got a good buzz out of it. But the problem started some time later when I smoked a joint. I've smoked a fair bit of cannabis in my time, but suddenly, I started to feel really bad.
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"My heart was thumping, and waves of really unpleasant intoxication started coming over me.
"When I got home I told my wife I didn't feel very well, and eventually told her she would have to call an ambulance.
"They took me to hospital, but because the drug was new and not well known, the doctors told me they could not do anything for me. I told them I had the reaction after I'd smoked the joint, and they said they could not give me any other drugs in case there was another, adverse reaction.
"They let me go the following morning, and basically told me to act my age, and not be so stupid. I have maximum respect for them and what they did for me. I couldn't get out of bed for a week, and couldn't go into work.
"I have taken a lot of drugs over 20 years, and have never had problems. I would argue that if many illegal drugs were decriminalised, people would not be considering taken this man-made rubbish.
"I still felt bad for three to four months afterwards. It affected me in a way I never anticipated. I felt anxious, and I suffered a loss of confidence.
"Even cups of coffee or smoking a cigarette would make me feel ill again, in a way they never, ever did before.
"If there's one good thing that came from the experience, it is that I don't touch anything any more. I've only just started to have the odd beer.
"But it is a horrible drug, and it was probably the worst experience of my life. I feel an idiot I could have left my child without a father.
"There is a debate to be had over the legalisation of drugs. Maybe meow meow would not be as popular as it is if other recreational drugs were legally available, drugs which are far, far less dangerous, and meow meow would not be causing the damage it does.
"It is nasty, scary, man-made chemical and I wish I had never, ever touched it."