Drug addiction turned one 13-year-old in Malta into a criminal who would steal close to €1,000 per day only to blow it all by the evening. Now, he’s sharing his transformative story from lost soul to reformed former prisoner.
Chris sat down with members from St George’s Basilica in Gozo to share his very personal experience with drug addiction and how his drug use quickly spiralled out of control.
It began at 13. Chris would hang out with people much older than him. Eventually, he would start running errands for them, like dropping off certain items, including drugs.
Chris quickly started using cocaine before turning to smoking the illicit substance. Between the ages of 14 and 18, Chris would steal in the morning and still spend it by the end of the evening.
“You lose interest in everything. Wherever you look all you can think about is coke and money,” Chris Said.
Eventually, a life of theft caught up with Chris, who ended up locked behind bars by 17. However, he explained that he initially blamed anyone but himself, acting out against authority figures in the prison. He would fight and sometimes even self-harm.
“You are treated like an animal. I think an animal has more dignity that a prisoner in Malta, at least when I was there,” he said.
By the end of his second year, his sentence had already been extended to seven years. Thankfully, it helped turned Chris’ life around, who quickly enrolled in a program to deal with his addiction.
Chris would later meet many people he stole from. He said confronting his past still remains painful and feels awful over what he did in his younger days. He has found some forgiveness but concedes that some people simply refuse to even acknowledge him, something he says is somewhat justified.
“They lost sentimental things that they cannot replace, some are the only things they had of family members,” he said.
Chris has now reformed and prison gave him some of the tools to succeed outside of the correctional facility. He first picked up cooking while in prison and would enrol in ITS once he left the facility.
He’s been working as a chef for the past five years and now all his attention is on his 5-month old daughter.
With the issue still plaguing many people and families around Malta, Chris’ very personal battle with drug addiction and life of crime is the perfect example of how changing your life is never too late.
Share with someone who needs to hear this story