A father has spoken out to highlight the dangers of skunk – a potent form of cannabis – after his son was hospitalised following a psychotic episode.
In an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live, the unnamed father described how his son became “completely addicted” to the illegal drug and his life quickly spiralled out of control.
He described his son as a “very bright bubbly lad”, and said his son’s drug-induced transformation was “a whole tragic trip down a hill”.
The youngster first tried taking skunk ‘out of boredom’ aged just 16. He and his friends tried it and he soon found himself addicted and experiencing powerful psychosis.
“He became delusional. He used to sleep with a tennis racquet in his bed because he thought people were living in the walls”, his father said.
Explaining the worst moment, the father said: “He basically had a psychotic episode and did huge amounts of harm to both himself and his mother.
“And as a result of that he was put into a mental institute for assessment for a five, six month period.”
The man’s son, in his drug-induced state, stabbed his mother multiple times and seriously mutilated his own body.
Interviewer Emma Barnett said after hearing the details, “you cannot imagine the state of mind that somebody is in to do that”.
Having stopped using drugs, his son is on the road to recovery. He still has several operations ahead of him to repair the physical damage he did to himself, but his mental state is much improved.
Contribution to society
“He’s got his wit back. He’s always been very quick at winding me up, and he’s certainly got that back.”
“I feel like I’ve got my son back”, the father added.
“I think, moving on, he’ll make a decent contribution to society and to the family”.
Last week, NHS psychiatrist and columnist Dr Max Pemberton warned against the legalisation of cannabis.
He said that it “wrecks lives” and that he was seeing an increasing number of people becoming psychotic as a result of using the drug.
He added: “People aren’t making informed decisions about the risks because few ever witness the true horrors.”