Comment: ‘I have a hole in my retina from smoking too much crack’

Dominic Ruffy, resilience programmes manager, Amy Winehouse Foundation

Dominic Ruffy, resilience programmes manager, Amy Winehouse Foundation - Credit: Archant

Dominic Ruffy, resilience programmes manager at the Amy Winehouse Foundation, talks about his own experience of the hidden health risks of recreational drug taking.

‘Recreational drug use’ – an interesting term.

Recreational suggests taking something because one chooses to, not because one has to. I would have loved a choice about my drug use, I would have chosen not to take them because of everything I have learned about drugs and their inherent risks during my 22-year long using career.

Let us start with cannabis. Your reactions are seven times slower after one single joint. I crashed several cars on cannabis, on one occasion putting my friend through the windscreen.

What about club drugs? Well now, having my stomach pumped after taking four ecstasy tablets was not exactly fun, I thought I was going to die. I didn’t think there were any risks, I’d taken literally thousands of them before. Truth is, you never know.

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Ketamine, GBL, LSD and all things hallucinogenic – a whole new ball game of life-threatening situations.

As for my health? My bowel permanently bleeds from all the cocaine I took for 15 years. I have a hole in my retina from smoking too much crack and holding a flame close to my face. Any more for any more? Really, if you have a choice, the choice has to be to not take drugs at all.

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* For friendly confidential drugs advice, contact TALK TO FRANK free of charge, 24 hours a day, on 0800 77 66 00, or email, or visit

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