I am 62 years old and I live in Dalupotha, Negombo.I started my career as a machine operator at the Department of Irrigation. After that I got a job as a manager in the Cooperative shop in Negombo.I got married in and spent a nice family life. I got to know about heroin from a friend of mine – who was a rich land owner .I used heroin with him every day and I got addicted. Due to this addiction I skipped going to work. I lost my job but I was fine since my wife had a job and I got heroin from my friend for free every day. I didn’t have a big family responsibility as my wife and family members took care of my son. Meanwhile my friend got caught to the police with a big quantity of heroin and was sent to the prison for a long period.Then the problem started.I had no way of finding money to use heroin and so I started to do various kinds of illegal things.I got caught to the police and was sent tp prison several times.Later I was sentenced for nine years of imprisonment. However I was released due to the good behavior shown in prison.Again I began to use heroin and my wife went to Italy for a job.

Luckily I met a field officer from ADIC.That was the turning point of my life.ADIC team used one to one decoctions with me to change the wrong perceptions in my mind on heroin.I participated in a fifteen day treatment camp held in Negombo.I learnt a lot from that camp and I stopped heroin use.I got a job from ADIC as a field officer in Global Fund. The responsibility of my job is to reduce the HIV risk of heroin users in a given area. My wife sends me money and I have already built a new house in Minuwangoda. Now I am a very happy person.

Kirthi Fernando