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‘Lean on me, I’m your friend’

Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Rescued from the grip of drugs
Best Friends— Jeremiah Carimbocas, left, just chilling with his long-lost friend Joseph Nipper in Santa Cruz. PHOTO: MICHEAL RAMSINGH

A few months ago, a video surfaced on social media showing a man walking naked along Tumpuna Road, Arima, and then stealing a bicycle. The video went viral and there were many comments about what may have caused the action.

It’s only last week the man now identified as Joseph Nipper, 18, resurfaced again on social media and this time fully dressed and in the company of a friend.

The latest video was recorded just days after Joseph was discharged from the St Ann’s Psychiatric Hospital and GML Enterprise Desk got the opportunity to meet Joseph and his friend Jerimiah Carimbocas.

The two have been childhood friends and even attended the same pre-school and primary school in the village of Santa Cruz.

Joseph was willing to tell his story about what led him to strip naked and run through the streets.

He seemed a bit nervous but he wanted to go even further back as to what led him to that point.

“I started using drugs from 15 years old; this led me to start to experiment,” Joseph said.

“My dependency on drugs started when I was enrolled in the Military-Led Academic Training programme (MILAT). When I look back at my life now I regret not being able to complete the programme.”

Joseph attended the San Juan South Secondary School, but owing to behavioural issues he was taken out and placed in the MILAT programme.

He said the day he ran naked through the streets he was given a bag of marijuana and a joint. 

Joseph believes the marijuana was laced with other drugs.

“After I smoked it, I could not remember what happen, even when I saw the video I was still shocked,” he said.

It was only when he was being admitted to the St Ann’s Hospital that Joseph started to come to terms with what was really happening with him.

“I started to cry, I asked my father not to leave me there, I was placed in a seclusion cell,” he said. “In there was scary, it was there I realised I made a grave mistake in my life using drugs.”

Joseph was admitted for three months and two weeks at the institution and was prescribed medication and enrolled in the outpatients’ clinic.

“I know I am not 100 per cent as yet since I know the drugs had an adverse reaction to my body,” he acknowledged.

It’s not clear what exactly caused Joseph to react in such a manner.

But the recent video posted on social media, with Joseph and his friend Carimbocas, has also gone viral, showing the brotherly love between the two.

“I knew Joseph since we were in pre-school. We grew up together, we shared everything,” Carimbocas said.

“When I saw the video with him I was not sure (it was him). I called a few of our friends and then it was confirmed.”

Carimbocas said he took Joseph to his church.

“All the youths in church, the Monday after the video was released, held a pray and fast for Joseph’s recovery,” Carimbocas said. 

“We were unaware as to what was happening in his life since he moved with relatives in Arima.”

He said Joseph is a good person and he believes it was following the wrong company that led to his downfall.

Carimbocas said one day while on his way home he saw Joseph in San Juan. 

He had just been discharged from the hospital and during their meeting the two best friends rebonded and Joseph related what prompted him to strip in public.

“I wanted the whole of T&T to know since there were too many negative comments about Joseph,” he said.

“So I recorded a video with Joseph sharing his story and letting the whole country and the world know what really happen and the dangers of drugs.”

Since the ordeal, Joseph has vowed to stay away from drugs and wants to get his life back on track.

“I want to do something more meaningful and this was a true eye opener and I hope youths out there understand that drugs can ruin you,” Joseph said.

Joseph is attempting now to get qualified in a trade and wants to create real change in his life.


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