AN UNDERCOVER policeman who risked his life for over a decade battling drug crime has described his struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Neil Woods, from Hereford, led the secret fight against drug gangs for 13 of his 23 years in the police force.

He started his career as a 'naive' 19-year-old before beginning his undercover work four years into service.

"It was exciting to start with and wasn't too difficult for the first couple of attachments as the drug dealers didn't know what was coming," said Mr Woods.

"In the early days I loved it, I enjoyed the risk and I enjoyed manipulating people, as dark as that sounds.

"However, over time it became more difficult and became more dangerous.

"Once we were investigating a heroin dealer and I had a samurai sword held to my throat.

"Another time a criminal found the secret camera on my clothing, but I managed to get away.

"The trouble is I had no idea of the harm it was causing me while I was feeling so alive and had the shock of almost getting killed.

"The problem is the danger started having an accumulative impact on my mental health."

Mr Woods published a book about his experiences called 'Good Cop Bad War' where he talks about his experiences infiltrating drug gangs while befriending and gaining the trust of some of the most violent criminals in Britain.

After 13 years he had to leave the force after being diagnosed with chronic post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of the dangerous work he did.

A report to Parliament this week is asking MP’s to support a change in the scheduling for psilocybin, the active drug in magic mushrooms.

At the moment it is 'schedule one' making it hard to study further.

Campaigners want this lowered to the same schedule as heroin and cocaine 'schedule two', so psychiatrists can do more studies.

Mr Woods is urging Herefordshire MPs Bill Wiggin and Jesse Norman to support the change.

He says this would be showing their support for the former army servicemen and others who suffer from PTSD.

"This could save lives and needs enough MPs to support it to change the schedule," added Mr Woods.

"I challenge our MPs to publicly support this. It should be easy for them to do so or explain why they don't support mental health of veterans, police or those suffering with PTSD."

Mr Woods says that despite having counselling his condition is chronic and he can feel hyper-vigilant and has flashes of a collection of events.