Ottawa·Recap

Teen who's overdosed 5 times answered your questions

An Ottawa teen who has overdosed five times, and is now working to prevent other kids from getting addicted to drugs, took part in a CBC Ottawa web chat Thursday night.

Josh Clatney, 19, wants to prevent kids from getting into drugs

Josh Clatney became addicted to opioids in his early teens. Now, he's trying to stay clean and help prevent other kids from getting into drugs. (Julie Ireton/CBC)

An Ottawa teen who has overdosed five times, and is now working to prevent other kids from getting addicted to drugs, took part in a CBC Ottawa web chat Thursday night.

You can read the web chat below.

Josh Clatney, now 19 years old, started using drugs in 2008 after his father was in a serious car accident. Clatney said his relationship with his parents changed after that, and he started to act out.

It began with marijuana, and as he entered his teens he continued to experiment with different drugs.

"Opioids, cocaine, crack cocaine, benzodiazepines, basically anything that could make me feel normal," he said. "I would identify as a drug addict, for sure. I've been physically dependent and psychologically dependent on them. I'm clean now, but basically the last six years has been total addiction."

He's been resuscitated five times with the aid of naloxone, the medication used to reverse opioid overdose.

The drugs he has ingested have been tough on his body. He has suffered multiple organ failures, endocarditis, staph infections and surgery on his leg for an abscess.

Clatney isn't proud of what he's done or what he's become, but he's not embarrassed to tell his story — warts and all.

He wants people to know these dangerous drugs aren't just consumed in dark alleys, but inside homes in the sleepy suburbs — like where he grew up.