As Khalil Rafati overdosed on heroin for the ninth time the paramedics frantically tried to save his life.
A drug addict who slept rough on the streets of Los Angeles, he eventually regained consciousness after the medical team used a defibrillator to give him an electric shock.
This was back in 2003, when Khalil was 33 years old. Also addicted to crack cocaine, he weighed just 109lb (49kg), and his skin was covered in ulcers.
“I was arrested more times than I can remember [for drug offences],” says Khalil. “I was completely messed up… I was always in so much pain that I couldn’t sleep.”
While Khalil had tried and failed to get clean before, he says that after his ninth overdose he finally realised that he had to change his life in order to save it. So he spent four months in a rehab centre – and has been drug-free ever since.
Throwing himself …