Dale started using cannabis when he was 13. By the time he was 17 his habit was costing him £120 a day.
After being caught for robbing a factory to fund his habit, Dale has turned his life around with the help of RAP (Resettlement and Aftercare Provision) and Leicester's Youth Offending Team.
I started using skunk when I was about 12 or 13. Things weren't so good at home - Mum and Dad did my head in arguing- and school bored me, so I used to hang round with my mates and smoke. It was a laugh and chilled me out.
I don't really remember when a few joints with my mates a couple of times a week turned into my whole life - it just did!
I couldn't see the point in doing anything except smoking.
At first I got money from my family. I have always been good with my hands, so I would do odd jobs for them like decorating my sisters house.
They had no idea what I was using the money for at first. But, the drugs were really messing with my head and I became a complete b*****d to be around.
My dad got really fed up with how I was acting and kicked me out - which meant getting money from my family stopped, so I started stealing.
I never did anything to physically hurt anyone, I never threatened anyone and I didn't pickpocket, I just picked up what people left around or opened up a few sheds to get stuff I could sell.
But, by the time I got arrested last year, the drugs were costing me over £120 a day and I was desperate for money.
That's when me and my mates robbed the factory.
It was getting caught that opened my eyes to what was happening with my life and how I was going to end up. I realised that I didn't want to end up in jail and that I was going to have to sort my drug use out.
The judge realised that I was stealing to fund my habit. He gave me a six-month referral order, which meant I had to see a worker from the Youth Offending Team (YOT) once a week, do community service and attend a victim awareness course.
As I was coming out of the court, I bumped into an old friend of the family, Rajiv, who worked for the Youth Offending Team's RAP programme.
He explained that the programme was designed to help young people like me, young offenders involved with drugs, get their lives back on track. He told me that the programme involved developing my skills through education, leisure activities and training and was voluntary, so it was down to me to go and I wouldn't end up back in court if I didn't.
I thought that it was worth a shot as part of my referral order and a couple of week's later I had Rajiv sorting out all sorts of different things for me, offering me courses and helping me find work experience.
I have been involved with the programme for the past year and have achieved and learnt so much.
I cannot believe how different things are now. I have seriously cut down on the skunk and am really doing things with my life.
Apart from getting involved with a music and art programme organised by Softtouch, doing assault courses at Stretton's and doing child protection and health and safety courses, Rajiv got me enrolled on a FERN training course.
The course was for 22 weeks and taught me all about bricklaying. I really enjoyed it and even slept in a shed one night, as it was so noisy at the hostel I was worried that I wouldn't get enough sleep to get up for the course the next day.
I was the only person to pass the course, which was a major achievement for me as it was the first thing I have ever stuck to in my life.
I am going to college in September to do a foundation course in bricklaying.
It's funny how things turn out. If I hadn't have been arrested I wouldn't have done half the things I have done in the past year. It's great to finally have my life back on track and be in control of my drug use, instead of it controlling me.