MARIA is 30 years old, an habitual user of heroin and cocaine, and has been in the therapy sessions in Projecte Home for two months.
This is the second time that she has started the therapy programme, although her drug history started at 13 or 14 smoking joints, and I slowly became hooked and wanted to try harder drugs, she explains.
At 21 she went to live in Castellon adding, I was there for some five years without taking any drugs and had a daughter, but after the birth I had health problems, became depressed and because of this I started taking drugs again.
After years and years of drug consumption, about a year ago Maria decided to start treatment in Projecte Home. I was in treatment for two and a half months, and spent two more months in the centre, and came out confident that I could live without drugs, but I soon realised that I couldn't, she added. Seven months ago I went to my parents and told them that I needed help again. It was very, very difficult for me, but I knew that it was the only way to get off drugs for good, she explained.
Jesus, who is 34 years old, started to take drugs at 14. He added that a lot of my friends started slowly, with small quantities, but I tried a large amount all at once. In my case I think it was an explosion of wanting to try everything, I wanted to be grown up, and so it continued for 20 years, with periods of abstention.
Coincidentally, Projecte Home on the Balearics is 20 years old this year.
Twenty years in which the profile of the users of the organisation has completely changed, as their President, Bartomeu Catala, and the head of communications, Lino Salas, recognise.
At the start of their work, the majority of the people who came to Projecte Home were heroin addicts.
However, by 2006 this had changed and some 41.6 percent of the people who came to the organisation in that year were cocaine addicts, a drug whose consumption has increased considerably during the last few years and which affects all levels of society.
However, many of the people who come to Projecte Home are multi-users, that is to say they combine the consumption of heroin and cocaine with alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. I have tried many things to anaesthetise myself and feel nothing, explained Jesus, adding that there is always something which pulls me back to taking drugs. I think that the problem is not so much the drugs as me, it is my fears and insecurities which have led me to take drugs.
Every story is unique and private, and in Projecte Home during the last 20 years there have been thousands of stories, but the important thing is that we have managed to give some hope to those who have come to us, said Catala.
Soprano Montserrat Caballe and her daughter Montserrat Marti will give a fund-raising concert for Projecte Home in the Cathedral at 8.30pm tomorrow. Tickets 50 euros. Reservations 902 332 211.