Drug courier’s addiction spirals out of control

Allow me to introduce myself. I was arrested on October 25, 2022, and have been in custody for 17 months. I face two charges of trafficking dangerous drugs on two separate occasions. I pleaded guilty in November and will be sentenced on June 27, 2024.

To be candid, my history with drug abuse only began around 2020. Compared to others who have been using drugs for 10 years or more, I’m relatively new to this. Regrettably, during the most difficult period of my life, my consumption may have been higher than others because I had easy access to large quantities of drugs as a wholesaler in the drug supply chain. There was a time when I consumed over 30g of cocaine in a single day, and periods when I didn’t return home, leaving behind my wife and our three-year-old daughter.

Looking back, I deeply regret my actions.

Prior to my involvement with drugs, I had an honest job. I used to be a salesman at a renowned jewelry store, and I later became a regional deputy manager at a large children’s products chain store.

During the 2019 social unrest and protests in Hong Kong, my company’s business took a hit, and I lost my job. This was particularly challenging as my wife and I had just welcomed our daughter. Despite these circumstances, I initially found work in construction and cargo handling. However, the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019 halted these industries.

A co-worker from the construction site introduced me to a job as a delivery driver. I initially believed it to be a legitimate job, but on my first day, I realized I would be delivering drugs. They offered me a daily wage of HKD2,000, a tempting offer during such a desperate time. I was told my role was limited to driving, so I accepted this so-called ‘delivery driver’ position in the drug trade.

One of my co-workers on the other shift was arrested. That was when I finally realized that as a delivery driver, I could also be arrested and face criminal charges.

In my role as a delivery driver, I transported and delivered substances for my colleagues, meeting a wide range of clients in the process. The desperation of some clients was shocking, with some even offering sexual favours in exchange for cocaine.

This underworld is brutal. I even witnessed a co-worker being severely beaten by our boss for stealing company goods, and he was forced to work to pay off his debt. I constantly reminded myself to avoid getting involved in drug use, for the sake of my young daughter.

In late 2020, after a year of working, another driver working a different shift was arrested. This served as a stark reminder that, in my role as a delivery driver, I could also face arrest and criminal charges.

I contemplated resigning, but my boss saw me as a valuable driver who played a key role in fostering client relationships. He suggested moving me to a lower-risk, back-office role where I would be responsible for handling calls, managing orders, and supervising the warehouse. Despite my lack of experience in warehouse management, he assured me of comprehensive training and placed his trust in me due to my commitment to remaining drug-free. Without much consideration, I agreed to the role change.

I naively believed that I could try a bit myself without getting addicted, that I had the self-control to stop. But I was wrong.

Working in the drug warehouse involved handling large quantities of drugs and repackaging them into smaller amounts for street-level distribution. The most critical task was testing the quality of incoming shipments. I naively thought I could sample a bit myself without becoming addicted, believing I had enough self-control to stop. But, I was mistaken.

The influx of substantial drug shipments was incessant, with at least three major consignments arriving daily. Even if I only sampled three hits from each shipment, it still amounted to nine hits per day, all within a brief timeframe and without any breaks. Before I realised it, I was addicted.

Realizing my drug addiction was a terrifying moment, particularly with the constant presence of drugs. I lost control, continually using them for fleeting relief, trapped in a destructive cycle.

Fear kept me from going home to face my family, particularly my young daughter. At my lowest point, I would stay awake for 24 hours, consuming about 30 grams of cocaine. I yearned to escape from everything, avoiding any social interactions. I started living at the warehouse, falsely telling my wife I had overnight shifts. Self-care became an afterthought; I scarcely went home to shower and change clothes. My savings dwindled quickly due to my addiction.

I recall a significant shipment we referred to as an “orange” – 24 grams that cost approximately HKD18,000. My daily wage was merely around HKD5,000, making the drugs I was dealing with unaffordable for me. The operation fell entirely under my control when my boss was incarcerated for unrelated crimes, causing my drug usage to spiral even further out of control.

It wasn’t until September 2022, when I was caught with drugs while going to use with a friend, that I finally realised I had to change. I got lucky that time and was only released on bail due to the relatively small amount I had on me.

Even until now, I can still recall that night when I cried for a long time, and from that moment on, I decided to quit drugs.

Suddenly aware of my fear, I reached out to a former drug addict whom I knew had successfully gotten clean. I sought his advice, and he presented me with a stark choice. In his left hand, he held a few bags of drugs, offering, “If you want to use, I can share with you!” At the same time, he raised his right hand and reminded me, “But over here is your mother, your sister, the wife who trusts you, your beloved daughter, and your supportive brothers. Choose your side wisely.”

To this day, I remember that night I wept for hours. From that moment, I made the decision to quit drugs. I even planned that after Halloween, October 31st, I would completely cut ties with drugs.

The amount involved in the September incident wasn’t significant, so even if I had to serve a sentence, it would likely be around a year. After that, I could start anew. Unfortunately, on the morning of October 25th, one of my partners informed me that his son had contracted COVID-19. As a fellow father, I allowed him to take leave to care for his son and personally handled the deliveries. However, it seemed as if fate intervened that day. A usually trouble-free morning customer coincidentally encountered a police ID check. Upon spotting the officers, I immediately turned to flee, but they caught up and arrested me. That’s how I came to be arrested the second time.

After receiving drug rehabilitation books, I’ve distanced myself from drugs, understanding the need for perseverance. I’m now implementing the methods outlined in the books to seek personal happiness. Starting today, I’ll focus on exercise and fitness. I will also build my spiritual life, by constant studying the Bible, one which I have borrowed from a mate.

I aim to use my experiences to caution young people and current drug users. I hope my story inspires those attempting to quit drugs, providing them the encouragement, determination, and belief to persist. With my small efforts, I aspire to atone for past mistakes and transgressions.

Note: This story was originally written in Chinese. It has been translated and edited to improve legibility. Switch language to read the original.