Journalism graduate Anne Buckley on her addiction to heroin‘Please don’t use that word around me, Ray’

As heard on The Ray D'Arcy Show

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Anne Buckley is a journalism graduate and is featured in the upcoming TV3 documentary, My War on Drugs: True LivesIt’s a topic Anne is all too familiar with. Now 41, she spent 17 years addicted to heroin and methadone. She joined Ray D’Arcy in studio on Thursday afternoon to talk about the documentary and her experiences.

Anne grew up in Dublin’s Fatima Mansions (“everybody really looked after each other”) and didn’t have an easy childhood, losing her younger brother in an accident when she was 10 years old.

It was so painful that you didn’t talk about it. The pain was too much. It was just so horrendous.”

She told Ray that, growing up and coming of age, it didn’t feel like she had the same options as other people her age.

My self-esteem wasn’t in a good place…I think it’s because when you grow up in a flat complex it just becomes where you look around and you just feel less than everyone else… You’d go in the city centre and you’d see Trinity College and you’d see all these different kinds of kids going to those colleges and they don’t talk like you…they just seem so confident. You just feel less than…Those opportunities for those openings weren’t there.”

Anne described the first time she took heroin.

“I just felt at ease and I felt peaceful. And I felt calm. And it didn’t matter, I didn’t have to think of what was around me or where I was going to go.

In the lead-up to a question about how she felt she was perceived by others, Ray used the word “junkie”, which Anne dislikes.

“Please don’t use that word around me, Ray because it’s really dehumanising.”

Anne feels there can be a lack of understanding and empathy for addicts. She responded to one texter who said “life is living with the consequences of your choices” with a rebuttal.

That kind of thinking is the problem…Maybe that person hasn’t went through trauma, that says that, you know, ‘you have to take responsibility’. You couldn’t have asked a kid to take any more responsibility. I helped my mother day in and day out. I was the one that helped her rear my brothers and sisters. I had too much responsibility on me.”

Listen back to the whole interview with Anne Buckley on The Ray D’Arcy Show here.

My War on Drugs: True Lives will be broadcast on TV3 on January 31st at 9pm.

© The Listener 2018

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