What is it like to be a drug dealer?

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Being a former drug dealer, it’s a world filled with stress and paranoia. As a drug dealer, I was always paranoid about getting caught, I was always on high alert and ready to fight if someone would try to rob me. I was spending hours a day being ready to sell to anyone who messaged or called me. I was always paranoid when seeing police officers or police cars. At the same time, I made more money than most people who worked at normal jobs, despite them having a degree. I lived a somewhat luxurious lifestyle with expensive restaurants, drugs, parties, and expensive clothing. I have a normal job today, and even though I could make 3-4x times what I make today, by selling drugs, I would never go back.

Here is my story.

Growing up in an urban city in Sweden, I grew up with both good and bad people. I started selling drugs at the age of 17 after getting kicked out of school for having low attendance. My attendance rate was low because my friend circle never cared about school. All we cared about was smoking weed and getting high. In our neighborhood, we were known as the bad guys, not because we were hardcore gangsters, but because we loved getting in trouble in one way or another. Whether it was by stealing snacks from the grocery store or just being loud.

Some older guys/gang members in our neighborhood, whom most were between 23-30, only taught us to do bad things. We spent most of our time outside our homes, so our parents had a hard time teaching us what was right and what was wrong. One day, my friend start selling cocaine, which he bought from one of the older gang members. He quickly made money that we had never seen before, with him being just 18. To start getting customers, he bought a drug phone, a phone with a bunch of contacts of people who have previously bought cocaine. One of the older gang members in the neighborhood gave it to him, but since he had no money, he was $2,500 in debt and had to repay them with his newly earned drug money. Word of mouth made his drug business grow even bigger. With the money he had earned, he paid the gang members back.

Me being 17 and just kicked out of school, I was with my drug dealing friend a lot and got involved as well. Being with a guy who sells drugs is stressful. We had to go to different places and meet people behind bushes, in order for my friend to sell his drugs. My friend was paranoid all the time, because we knew that he could get caught any time. We could never stay at one place for a long time, since we had to move around, so he could sell.

As my friend, I bought a drug phone from one of the gang members in the neighborhood and went into debt, which I quickly paid off with the money I made from selling the drugs. I start selling to the kids at my previous school, and soon all sorts of people messaged me and became customers. I bought the drugs from the gang members, the more I bought, the cheaper I’d get it. I bought a new prepaid sim card every month to prevent getting caught. I was quickly making a living and used most of my money to buy expensive clothes, jewelry and to go to expensive restaurants.

After having done this for a while, both my friend and I were caught in an operation led by the police. They had investigated us. They wiretapped our calls and followed on every time we changed numbers, as we always messaged the new numbers to our customers. They had sent undercover police officers to buy from the both of us, and even put a tracking device on my friend’s car.

By the time I was caught, I had just turned 19. Luckily, I was let off with only one year of prison time. The world I live in now is much different. I work as a garbage man, and my pay is more than acceptable, especially when considering that I had no degree and no prior job experience. It can be hard to get a job since it’s on your record for a couple of years. Even though the place I work at now clearly stated that they didn’t want to hire anyone with prison sentences from the near past, I gave it a go and asked them for a chance to change my life. I was determined to turn my life around. They believed in me, and now I’m a normal Swedish guy with a normal job. After I was caught and stopped selling drugs, I lost pretty much all of my friends, which made me quite lonely. It took years for me to get friends who weren't criminals.


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