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I’ll never forget the first time I snorted cocaine.

My cripplingly low self-esteem, which I’d suffered with for years, was replaced with a feeling of overwhelming euphoria.

It was how I’d always wanted to be, as if I’d transformed from a dishevelled, 80-year-old man to a model on the cover of Men’s Health magazine.

From that moment, I knew I’d do anything to feel like that again.

The ironic thing was, I was 19 years old and in the middle of my police training.

I took my first line on a night out to celebrate passing my medical, and within weeks I’d found my own dealer and was racking up tabs of up to £1,000 a time.

I even got my dealer to meet me outside the police training grounds to deliver the goods

I’m not what you imagine an addict to be – I didn’t have a traumatic childhood, or a troubled past.

I come from a loving home, with parents who have always supported me.

In fact, when I wasn’t staying at the police training academy, I was living with them, which meant my new £26,000 salary was free to spend on what I pleased.

And that was coke.

I have ADHD, so studying for exams has always been a nightmare, because I just can’t concentrate for long periods of time.

But with cocaine I was suddenly flying through them.

However, it’s hard to sleep after using, so I began self-medicating with alcohol and massive spliffs to stop myself staring at the ceiling for hours.

Although I was using all the time, I wasn’t a corrupt copper – I never used the drugs I confiscated.

But I was in total denial.

I’d be nicking all these druggies and thinking ‘You’re scum’, and completely not associating them with what I was doing myself.

I thought of cocaine as medicinal, and I certainly didn’t think of myself as a criminal

One day, I was doing a line of cocaine in the toilets at work when a call came in that a colleague had been attacked and I had to drop everything.

I was in the car with the flashing lights on before I realised I’d left my credit card, rolled-up bank note and line of coke on the toilet.

So I had to turn round. I got back and grabbed all my stuff just as my sergeant was about to go into that cubicle.

I lost a huge amount of weight and my nose was constantly streaming, so of course my parents realised something was wrong.

I admitted to them that I had a problem multiple times, but whenever they helped me get clean, I’d relapse again.

Cocaine addiction comes with overwhelming anxiety and paranoia, so being in a police station, in uniform, surrounded by other officers, was a living hell.

Then when I was using at home, I’d imagine armed police closing in on me, crawling over my neighbours’ rooftops.

I’d book myself into nice hotels, only to spend hours sweating and staring through the keyhole because I’d convinced myself someone was coming for me.

The most ridiculous part?

I was still telling myself how much fun I was having.

I didn’t really have a love life. Relationships didn’t last longer than an evening, because I was so insecure I’d just talk bullsh*t and say I was a wealthy music executive.

So I began using prostitutes – I could pretend to be whoever I wanted around them.

After four years in the force, I resigned after I was accused of attacking a paedophile.

I got a job as an estate agent and did things I’m not proud of, like stealing from houses.

I got into heavy debt, so I thought if I went somewhere else, the problem would go away.

I ended up living in Berlin…Continue Reading

By Ian Dei

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