Former Scots guard guarding Queen turns his life after heroin addict

A former Scots guard guarding the Queen at Buckingham Palace has told how his life changed after becoming addicted to heroin in ‘Trainspotting’ era Edinburgh.

Paul Bogey, 42, was 18 when he tried to ‘chase the dragon’ behind a car in an infamous part of Edinburgh in the late ’90s, and remembers watching the world go by on the Portobello promenade.

When cult flick Trainspotting came out in 1996, he and his friends were buzzing as it depicted their lives to a T—including the characters’ obsession with Hibbs.

But it turned into a seven-year nightmare and he still lives in fear of opium addiction, having been prescribed tramadol for an injury he suffered in the military in Afghanistan.

Paul was 18 years old in 1997 during his drug years.

Paul was raised in a loving family with strict moral guidelines and knew people who died of heroin in his area, Cregantini.

But mistakenly he believed he couldn’t join until he was still shooting and managed to get a job in a mailroom and smoke heroin in the toilet.

But his drug abuse affected his performance and he was eventually fired.

For the next seven years, he tried to go cold turkey 13 times while battling addiction – but realized that if he stopped using it, he suffered severe anxiety, and described how heroin was his ‘ Became best friend.

He also struggled with malnutrition as his diet consisted of a heavy buttered roll, a pack of fiery hot Monster Munch Crisps and 40 cups of tea with four sugars.

After committing suicide and enrolling in a course run by the homeless charity Sirenians, he finally decided to leave for good, and after looking at himself in the mirror, he tried fitness as a regime to distance himself from it. Decided to use

At the age of 30 he joined the army and became one of the fittest soldiers in his battalion – before defending large London landmarks including Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London.

He was discharged from the military in 2015 after a car accident that broke his spine – and left him with an addiction to painkillers like opioids, which he has now kicked for good.

Paul said: “When Trainspotting came out it featured us Edinburgh boys and they were talking about Hibs – I’m a Hibs fan.

“We found it funny and they were filming in Edinburgh so there was that kind of charm.

“Me and my friends all had respectful parents, we knew the difference between right and wrong and we knew drugs were bad.

“We knew heroin was bad and we knew people who died in Cregantini in the early 90s.

“But we were chasing pythons—so there were no needles, spoons or belts, just tinfoil.

“Quite naively, my friends and I assumed that because we were only smoking we couldn’t be addicted and wouldn’t be in any danger.

“The first time I did it, I remember getting out of the car, lying on the walk and looking up at the sky and the world turning.

“I was feeling sick and to this day, I will never know what caused me to get up, get back in the car and continue to take it every day.

“Mentally, things were starting to settle down and I was getting very depressed.

“When I wasn’t on heroin, I was thinking, ‘What have I done, I’ve ended my life, this is terrible.'”

“Heroin took away that anxiety and became my best friend.”

He decided to turn his life around after years of beating Hash to pay for heroin—which he would replace with tramadol, an opiate-like painkiller, which he later battled with addiction .

Paul, who now lives in Ballingry, Fife, said: “I woke up one morning and was feeling something different.

“I put my nose to the mirror and looked straight into my eyes and got quite aggressive with myself.

“I started saying ‘Never ask for heroin again, because you can’t get it’.

“I realized it was my choice.

“From that moment on, I knew I was never going to touch heroin again in my life.”

When he joined the army he found the transition to protect the queen from the wrong side of the law.

Paul at Windsor Castle in 2010
Paul at Windsor Castle in 2010

Paul said: “When I joined I was one of the fittest in the battalion because I was boxing and running and doing weights every day.

“I was in London for nine months – I did Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, St James’s Palace and the Tower of London.

“I would have stood there and thought, the police would have removed me from the iron gates five years ago.”

But a car accident put him intoxicated again as he used codeine and tramadol to ‘get wasted’ – until he vowed to take painkillers forever in lockdown.

He wrote his memoir Heroin to Hero at the same time.

Paul with his memoir Heroin to Hero
Paul with his memoir Heroin to Hero

Paul said: “The army doctor gave me a prescription for Tramadol.

“I took tramadol when I was on heroin.

“I started abusing them because I knew from experience, if I had taken enough tramadol, I would feel like heroin.”

He hid his dependence from wife Stephanie of 38 years and stepdaughter Cherise of 18 years.

Paul continued: “I was taking pain relievers like codeine, and I was taking them to waste.

“So I decided to reduce gradually.

“I never told anyone, not even my wife.

“I have a backache and it’s going to hurt for the rest of my life, but I need to deal with it — I don’t want to be an addict.”