Last year I was a mess. Every day I went swimming through a cesspool of muck and filth so I could fill my nostrils, mind and body with poison. Snorting heroin wasn’t the fastest way to get high, but for some reason, I wasn’t willing to shoot it. “But it feels so much better and it hits you so much faster”, fellow tempters and heroin user “friends” would lecture. So many other heroin users would try real hard to get me to cross that line. But even as a heroin addict, I was stubborn and unwilling to budge. One of my heroin using “friends”, who I referred to as “Sub Guy” tried convincing me that the only reason he’d ask me about shooting heroin was to “test” me and if I failed, he wouldn’t hang out with me. What a lie. He just wanted to feel comfortable “shooting up” around me. So needless to say, I never thought I’d make one year clean and sober.
My Life as a Heroin Addict
My day was a competition and a repetition. I would get up “early”, which for me, was around 9am to try to beat traffic and time in order to get my morning heroin fix ASAP. It usually took 3 to 4 hours out of my day just “copping” my daily fix of drugs. After awhile, I wasn’t really getting “high” anymore, at least not in a way that felt good. And I needed at least 5 bags of heroin for the morning, so I could prevent myself from becoming a sweaty ball of shivering sickness. So I’d never go to bed empty handed.
Despite all denial and resistance to the term, I had become a heroin addict. I just couldn’t stop myself. At least, that’s how I felt. Heroin consumed my thoughts, my emotions and my body. Only after I had several bundles (packs of 12 to 15 bags of heroin) on me and snorted several bags could I even begin to think about other things I might want to do that day. But despite a couple good intentions I had left in me, I usually spent my day nodding off, skipping work and getting as high as I could with the $480 of heroin I just purchased. This usually lasted me 2 or maybe 3 days if I was lucky.
Failed Attempts at Going Cold Turkey and Self Medicating with Subutex (Buprenorphine)
I tried to quit cold turkey twice and once by using Subutex (similar to Suboxone but without the ingredient Naloxone). I made it to day 6 the first two times. I had gotten through the majority of the heroin withdrawal from my dependence on it but the compulsion to use again thanks to addiction was too strong to beat. So I went back to using. The third time, I had taken Subutex too early and was sent into premature withdrawal. My stomach lurched as I tried to “become well” by snorting as much heroin as I could find to counteract the medicine. My body was icy hot as shivers met with fire at various points down my spine. I could feel the heroin trying to replace the Subutex in the opiate receptors but largely failing to do so. I wrote this off as another failed attempt to recover.
The Beginning of My Addiction Treatment and Recovery
In early November of 2015, I enrolled in a methadone clinic called “The Healing Way”. I wanted help and believed this was what would really work. I considered residential treatment but I was still employed and I wanted to do everything I could to keep that job. It took 2 weeks to get the dose right and after cheating one time and trying to “get high” with heroin while on Methadone, I finally stopped. November 20th, 2015 was the last day I used, making November 21st, 2015 my first day free from heroin.
I know all too well how many people, including a large number in the recovery community feels about methadone, Suboxone and medicine assisted treatment (MAT) as a whole. There is no “perfect” treatment and each one comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. However, I believe that methadone became a valuable tool that helped to jump-start my addiction treatment and recovery and helped get me to where I am today.
This Thanksgiving, I am Thankful For My Recovery and More
This Thanksgiving, I am truly thankful for my recovery. I am thankful for God’s blessing in my life, for Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide and the National Alliance of Addiction Treatment Centers (which started as a single idea in my mind – I believe God planted it there), for my incredible staff who work hard every day using their experience, talents and passion to reach and touch other’s lives through the organization and community.
I truly consider the Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide team, members of my extended family. Each one of them have unique personalities, lives and struggles but are so very passionate and caring. They care about our organization and they care about people suffering and recovering from addiction. To learn more about our magnificent staff, visit “Our Team” on our website. Be sure to click on the links to each one’s individual addiction and recovery story.
I am also thankful for our recommended sponsors (listed below) who I genuinely believe works in the best interest of suffering and recovering addicts. I am thankful to be alive. I’m thankful for my wife and my dog, neither of which I can live without. Knowing I have them makes life worth living.
A Special Thanks to Our Recommended Sponsors
I wanted to offer a special thanks to our recommended sponsors who financially support us. Each addiction treatment center has been prescreened and has proven to meet our high standards. Much like an Ivy League University who accepts only the brightest students with a high GPA, excellent SAT scores, etc., Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide and the National Alliance of Addiction Treatment Centers (NAATC) recommends only top treatment centers that meet our standards. Just as students who enroll in an Ivy League University pay tuition that helps to keep the University running, those recommended on our community pay a flat, monthly sponsorship fee to support our organization and help us reach and save more men and women suffering from addiction. Our recommended sponsors include:
A special thanks for all the hard work that each and every one of the staff members do at each of the above top notch drug rehab facilities.
Happy Thanksgiving to All!
Written and Published By,
William – Publisher and Founder of Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide™
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