A 38-year-old Yokohama native said his life entered a downward spiral when he used illicit drugs for the first time around the age of 15 at a friend's house.

The encounter led to a methamphetamine habit he only managed to free himself from after 10 years of dependency.

"I thought I could quit anytime, and decided to quit countless times, but just five minutes later, I would find myself sticking the needle into my vein again," the man, who wished to only identify himself by his last name Takahashi, recalled at an office of recovery support institute Nihon DARC (Drug Addiction Rehabilitation Center) in Tokyo.