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Home   Medway   News   Article

Ex-addict Shaun Collins of Twydall swaps heroin for health - as he prepares for London Marathon

16 March 2014
by Lynn Cox

A recovering drug addict who stole magazines from a charity shop hopes to make amends for his actions by running the London Marathon for another good cause.

Shaun Collins, 34, stole £7 of magazines from the League of Friends store at Medway Maritime Hospital, while he was on heroin.

He had gone to the hospital for an appointment to get treatment for a painful abscess, but because he also took Valium and drank strong lager, he couldn’t recall stealing the magazines.

Shaun Collins is running the marathon after giving up drugs

Shaun Collins is running the marathon after giving up drugs

Mr Collins, of Goudhurst Road, Twydall, was admitted to the hospital and spent four days having treatment for the infection.

He said seeing the open wound in his groin shocked him out of his addiction, along with his 13-year-old son’s pleas to stop taking the drug.

He said: “I had to pack the wound myself after it has been drained. It was horrible, it shocked me and I realised I didn’t want to die.

“I wasn’t on it (heroin) every day, just dabbled once a month, but then it becomes once a week and then more. I’ve learnt now you just can’t do that.

“I’ve been clean since November 1, I’ve got a new flat, it’s given me a real boost and I’ve been sorting out my life.

Shaun is now a picture of health

Shaun is now a picture of health

“I have now promised my son. I’d never done that before and I can’t break that promise.”

Mr Collins, who has been in prison before, added: “I didn’t feel good about stealing the magazines when I saw the CCTV footage of me doing it. I didn’t realise it was actually a charity shop.”

He said he had taken heroin for 19 years on and off but this is the longest time without it.

“I now think more of the consequences of losing everything if I took it again, it’s just not worth the buzz.”

“I now think more of the consequences of losing everything if I took it again, it’s just not worth the buzz” - Shaun Collins

As part of his new lifestyle, he has been training for the London Marathon on April 13 which he will run to raise money for Scope.

He added: “I’ve been training hard and I do the Parkrun at the Great Lines every Saturday and came second a couple of weeks ago.

“I’ve been doing some long runs too, 17 or 18 miles at a time to Maidstone and back, it’s helping me lead a better life too.

“I’ve already raised about £300 through family and friends, but I really would like to raise more as it’s a great cause.”

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