A voice in the dark on a freezing night rescued Chris Needham, 29, from the brink.
THEY sold the TV and the X-box. Now they had only a Birmingham flat, empty except one bed, and a heroin habit each. Chris and his twin brother James were down on their luck.
"It was the middle of winter with no heating" says Chris. "We could see our breath."
Being penniless was a new experience for them. They'd always had plenty of money from the age of 12 when they first started to deal drugs.
Chris was the youngest of four boys, younger than James "by a whole minute".
"Dad was an alcoholic" says Chris. "He left when we were 11. Mum was mentally ill. When the dog died, her mum died, and Dad left, she lost the plot." For the next seven years, she was in hospital more than she was at home.
The four boys fended for themselves. Mates of Chris and James's older brothers, "looked after them" by supplying drugs for the younger boys to sell.
"We were industrious" says Chris. Profits from the school playground, then Birmingham's nightclub scene at the weekend, made the brothers rich. "We had 'Pringles' tubes stuffed full of cash" recalls Chris.
And both boys had growing drug habits of their own: "E's at the weekend and weed to come down."
There were some heavy episodes: a gun pulled on them in a local park, the time James was beaten up by some bouncers. But they survived: "James was the muscle, I was the mouth" says Chris. "It worked."
They steered clear of heroin because they saw "smack heads" as "dirty". But when they ripped off a local lad and found themselves in possession of 24 grams of heroin, the brothers couldn't resist trying it.
"We smoked an impossible amount of heroin that night" remembers Chris.
As addiction set in, Chris replaced clubbing with "getting caned on crack and smack. I was a heroin addict for 11 years" he says - 11 years that led to a freezing flat in Birmingham.
"The money ran out. We had no food. My body was a mess. I was injecting smack."
"It was the middle of the night" remembers Chris. "James was asleep next to me. Suddenly - ping - the room became warm. I felt someone was there and sensed a voice saying 'Don't give up. You're both special. Something good is coming.'"
Chris wasn't religious, though sometimes he sat in churches, enjoying the peaceful atmosphere. But comfortable Christians turned him off. James thought Chris was "off his head" when he told him about the voice.
But another mate told him about the Jesus Army house where she'd been a few times.
"When I walked in" says Chris "there was same peace I'd felt in the churches - in abundance. But, flippin' heck, the people - they really cared. They weren't in it for themselves."
Chris barely looked back. It took him time to get off drugs, but his new friends were with him through it. Some months later, Chris was baptised as a Christian. Powerful prayer and an experience of God's power at a Jesus Army event was a turning point.
An "unbelievable" and unexpected blessing came three years later. James came to a Jesus Army festival and to Chris's amazement, "stuck his hands in the air in the first song". By the end of the festival, he'd experienced God for himself and wanted to be a Christian.
Chris was blown away. But James had seen the reality of what had happened in Chris's life - and he wanted it, too.
Now they both have a purpose in life. As Chris says "I've realised that Jesus died for me - the weight of that. Also - these beautiful people! I owe it not only to God, but also to them, to live a new life."