Jason Evans, 27, spent six months living on the streets of Swindon as a heroin addict.

Now, partly thanks to the charity Druglink, he is beating the habit and has a home, although he declined to say where.

He is in the process of completing a course with Druglink that he hopes will lead to full employment.

"I weighed seven stone and felt sick," said Jason.

"I needed gear heroin all the time from the moment I woke up and when I didn't have it I felt terrible.

"I wasn't eating and I was shoplifting to feed the habit. I was getting myself into trouble and I knew it.

"That's why I got myself clean, because I knew I had to do something and couldn't continue living the way I was."

Jason is originally from South Wales and lived a settled life after getting married at 20. Although he left school at 15 he had a stable job.

But he says his relationship started to fall apart after three years and his marriage ended when he was 23.

He said: "I was cut up by my marriage ending and I fell in with the wrong crowd. I started taking heroin because I thought it would help me cope.

"I moved back in with my parents but because I was on drugs it went pear-shaped and I had to move out.

"So I hopped on a train and got off in Swindon. I needed to get out of Wales and didn't care where I went. This is just where the train stopped."

That was five years ago, and Jason has not worked since. He is shortly to start Druglink's Project X, a programme designed at easing reformed drug addicts back into employment.

He is in contact with his parents again, after a gap of three years.

He said: "I stole off my parents. They didn't know what I was doing at first, but now they understand.

"They told me to forget about the past because this is another day.

"Things are now looking good for me. Because I have not worked for five years I need to get used to it again but at least I've got a chance.

"I'm proud of myself, but I still come and visit the people I was with on the streets. You don't forget about your mates.

"But I'm staying away from the smackheads (heroin addicts) though, because it's tempting."