An Inside Look At Malaysian Women And Recreational Drugs (Part 2)

A recovering drug dealer and addict, who once had a corporate job and seemed no different from any other urban professional, shares how she got into the lifestyle -- and why drug addiction can happen to anyone.
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Read: Part 1 of this Special Report

Editor’s Note: Before continuing with Part 2, I just want to share my intention in embarking on this Special Report. It’s to shed light on those who have fallen into a cycle of abusing drugs, whether they realise it or not. By highlighting the story of a former addict and dealer who’s now in rehabilitation, I wish to give the hope that recovery is possible and life can go on. But, I also know that it is hard for many to ask for help, and that not many will reach out and give help to drug users. And, as much as we may try to help, stepping away from drugs and moving forward with self-love is an individual choice.

Part 2 of the interview with Liya Nashita, a drug rehabilitation advocate who was once an addict and dealer…

Eena: It must have been heart-breaking for you to watch that couple and their kids?

Liya: “Yeah, because I felt like, why am I enabling this. I was contributing to the destruction of this child’s future, which felt really sh*tty. And then after that visit, it was Raya and people were buying their ‘supplies’ before balik kampung. That Raya I was not home, because it was right after the divorce, so I stayed in KL alone.  I think it was the 3rd or 4th day of Raya, I decided not to reload my ‘supply’. Whatever that was there before (during puasa), I just tried to finish them off. So, when my friends came back, they asked ‘Yo, barang ambik kan’, I would be like ‘tak da, tak da’.  Suddenly, I had no friends. Those who always hung out with me, suddenly none of them had time to entertain me at all, because I didn’t have ‘stuff’ with me anymore and was no longer their supplier. It was heartbreaking.”

“I never actually took the time to deal with the divorce, and then there was this whole realisation that they were never my friends. They were just there for their convenience. I felt lonely, really lonely… I started having suicidal thoughts. I felt like my life had no meaning at all. That was when it kind of clicked, like, Oh wait, this is too much. Something is definitely not right with you anymore.  So, I texted my mum and told her I needed help. At first, she thought I needed money, which makes sense because I hadn’t contacted them for so long. But I said, ‘No, I think I need counseling, or therapy, or something.” Then, she was like, “Are you sure? Just come home, I can talk to you about it’.”

Eena: How old were you?

Liya: “This was in 2017, I was 28. It was two years back. So, I told her, ‘No, you can’t help me. Because you love me, you can’t be that hard on me to help me. I need professional help.'”

Eena: The people that were around you, were they mainly from wealthy families?

Liya: “It was a good mix, but I do make it a point to hang out with people who are of higher income. I constantly try to find ways to upgrade myself, but at that particular period, most of the people in my circle were people from the entertainment industry. Some celebrities, and also corporate people, all from middle to higher income backgrounds. You know, kids with a trust fund who don’t know what to do for work, but have a lot of money. I remember sharing with a friend, ‘Dude, I think I’m going nuts. I need to talk to a counselor or something’– and they just laughed it off. It kind of broke my heart, because opening up and being vulnerable is not something I’m good at.”

Eena: How do these people feel about you now? Are they still your friends or  do you not consider them friends anymore?

Liya: “Once I entered rehab, I completely fell off the face of the planet; I disappeared (off the radar). So, now after rehab, I’m only in touch with a very selected few.”

Eena: Because you’re open to telling your story, do they feel uncomfortable with your decision?

Liya: “I really don’t care. The few who were supportive of my decision to go to rehab, they are still there now. For those who don’t support me in trying to make good changes, I don’t need them in my life.”

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