JUST over five years ago Thomas Delaney was a struggling addict who weighed six stone and thought his life was over.
Today, the former ketamine addict is attending a prestigious university and developing new ways to tackle addiction by sharing his experience.
In the years since those dark days, Thomas, 37, from Thurnscoe, has recovered by becoming sober and building a new life for himself in Glasgow, where he has had a son, 11-month-old Sebastian, and is in his third year studying community development and engagement at the University of Glasgow.
“One thing I always regretted was not going to uni,” he said. “I’ve always had good jobs, even when I was an addict, but it was something I felt I’d missed. Community development is one of the most important tools to help people avoid addiction.
“Studying it has allowed me to understand my own place in the world and what more can be done to help.”
For the past few years he has been giving talks to help raise awareness of addiction.
Since the birth of his son though, Thomas’ passion to fight the issue has grown, as he now understands that Sebastian will at some point have to face ‘the big bad world’.
“It’s made me think more about what he can learn and what helps.
“I want to carry on in academia and do my masters and everything, but ultimately I think I want to start a social enterprise tackling education.
“We need more than just police officers coming into school and telling kids ‘drugs are bad’ – young people need more information so they don’t make the same mistakes.”