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Coke hell Davy's Toughest Team contestant reveals shocking cocaine battle that almost cost his life

"I did coke the whole way through my Leaving Cert, but it didn't get out of hand until the summer after it. I quickly became addicted"

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Conor has found a new sense of purpose in life.

Conor has found a new sense of purpose in life.

Conor with his friend Cormac

Conor with his friend Cormac

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Conor has found a new sense of purpose in life.

Conor Harris was a promising footballer for Kildare, adored by his mum and four sisters and a popular kid in school.

But in his late teens he started using cocaine and soon it became an addiction that would see him stealing, borrowing, dealing and taking the Class-A drug morning, noon and night seven days a week.

He was admitted to hospital four times in a two-year period and in March 2019 he tried to take his own life, only for a friend to find him and drag him away from the river side.

Nearly two years later he has turned his life around and is one of the stars of RTE One's Davy's Toughest Team.

"I did coke the whole way through my Leaving Cert, but it didn't get out of hand until the summer after it. I quickly became addicted," the 21-year-old exclusively told the Sunday World this week.

"I did it as soon as I woke and some days, I would sit in my room all day with the door shut and the blinds pulled down just snorting line after line; bag after bag.

"It was an expensive addiction, so I had to sell coke to fund my own habit. I robbed a few shops in my time but only little things. Nothing major.

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Conor (second from left) with the team on the show.

Conor (second from left) with the team on the show.

Conor (second from left) with the team on the show.

"I even went to the Credit Union for a loan at one stage. I was in constant debt. The weird thing is, that even the drug dealers that I owed money to were sound about my debts in the end. I got to know them quite well as I was a good customer.

"I woke up in hospital in October 2018 completely sober. The nurses put me on a drip and I woke up sober. The thing is I had a debt of €20k. And that was built up over only two months.

"I couldn't keep borrowing from my mam, so I went to the Credit Union and told them I wanted to buy a car. They gave me €8,000 and it all went on coke," Conor said.

"It ruled my life. At the time people couldn't realise how it ruled me and my friends and family were just telling me to get off it as if I could easily. But I couldn't. I knew I could have been in danger too. I knew if I fell in with the wrong people or owed dealers money for long that I could end up with a bullet in the back of my head. But I didn't care. Even when my family were getting threats at the door. All I needed was coke."

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Conor with his friend Cormac

Conor with his friend Cormac

Conor with his friend Cormac

The young man continued: "I tried kicking it a few times but the longest I ever went off it was 12 days in two-and-a-half years. I was at a rave once and someone died at it. But it didn't faze me at all.

"I knew where I was buying it from, but you still never know for sure what you are snorting. There could be anything in it. And I didn't care.

"I also need you to know that I wasn't doing it for a high. I was doing it to get to a base level. There was no kick off it for me after I got into it properly. I was shy without it. It helped me socialise. So off it I felt lost.

"My lowest point was Mother's Day 2019 and I had just finished a three-day session. I was with a few mates that morning and they all went off to see their mams. I told them I was doing the same; but I was lying. As soon as they left, I broke down in tears and decided to commit suicide.

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Conor with his sisters, who stood by him through his problems

Conor with his sisters, who stood by him through his problems

Conor with his sisters, who stood by him through his problems

"I went to the Liffey beside the gaff in Clane and started stripping down. I was literally sitting there in my boxers about to do it when a mate was heading back to the gaff to give me a bottle of water. He saw me and grabbed me and dragged me away from the river. I broke down again. I wasn't able to think straight.

"In the ambulance I told them I attempted suicide and they took me in. But I was out later that day back on the coke. It had that much of a hold on me."

It took another few months of scares, including his fourth hospital visit in two years, for Conor to realise that something big needed to change.

"My sisters and mam are my life. My youngest sister Caoimhe wrote a letter to me and put it under my bedroom door asking for the old Conor to come back. It broke me.

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Conor with his mam Carmel, sisters Caoimhe and Orlagh

Conor with his mam Carmel, sisters Caoimhe and Orlagh

Conor with his mam Carmel, sisters Caoimhe and Orlagh

"So I went into rehab. It was heavy duty. It was five months' complete detox. I was only allowed four visits and those visits were not like you see in the movies. They were heavy sessions where I had to confess everything to my family and take responsibility. It was hard. But I did it."

Rehab

Conor is now on a programme that focusses his mind on more positive things. He has regular counselling, has got a job near his home and has just bought a car.

He is also madly in love with his girlfriend Vanessa, gushing: "She has seen me at my really low points. She is my everything; an absolute angel."

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Conor Harris and girlfriend Vanessa

Conor Harris and girlfriend Vanessa

Conor Harris and girlfriend Vanessa

Plus he's mended bridges with his mum Carmel and his four sisters Ciara, Aoife, Orlagh and Caoimhe.

"This is my new high," he says talking about his sisters and their support. "I can't undo some things I did and said but I can be better, and I will be better.

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Conor struggled with his addiction for years before getting help.

Conor struggled with his addiction for years before getting help.

Conor struggled with his addiction for years before getting help.

"Being on Davy's Toughest Team is part of that recovery. Helping others actually helps me too. I know I must look after number one first and foremost, but since last Monday's opening episode went out, I have been contacted by a few people and I am here to help.

"Davy is a great character to have for this show. I've no doubt he gets frustrated by us, but he is very encouraging. He has been on to me loads over the last while staying in touch. He genuinely cares about us.

"If one single person can change their life around because of me it will all be worth opening up about everything I did in the past."

  • Davy's Toughest Team is on RTE One tomorrow at 9.35pm.

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