Some of us that have became heroin addicts can look back on our childhood and remember great times, being raised by a loving family, in a happy household. We may have experienced a “normal” childhood, going on family vacations, celebrating holidays together, participating in bonding activities with our parents/siblings, living in a stable environment, etc. On the other hand, some drug addicts have experienced some awful, traumatic events in their childhood.
I have talked to addicts who have been physically and/or sexually abused as children, neglected, raised by parents who are addicts and want to use heroin or drugs to mask the pain they suffered as a child. Some of these individuals have experienced so much pain and suffering that it just seemed easier for them to use drugs as an escape so that they didn’t have to confront the horrors they experienced earlier in life.
While evidence and research suggests that childhood experiences can contribute and play a role in the onset of drug and heroin addiction, addiction is not discriminatory. Thus, it does not matter if you had a wonderful childhood, or a horrible childhood, addiction can occur as a result of drug use either way. People use drugs for different reasons and no matter what someone has gone through, people who use drugs always have an underlying reason as to why they start. As for me, I am going to give an overview of my early childhood and how it contributed to the onset of heroin addiction, despite a relatively “normal” childhood.
Megan’s Early Childhood and How it Played a Role in Her Addiction
My early childhood was pretty amazing. My dad owned a drywall business, and my mom was a stay at home mom. I was extremely close with my mom, and she did everything in her power to make my younger brother and I happy. My dad put in a lot of hours at work to make sure that we had everything we needed. I was extremely spoiled growing up, if I wanted something, I got it. We would rent a beach house every summer in Stone Harbor, New Jersey or Outer Banks, North Carolina, my brother and I always had a blast. My pop has a cabin and we would also take trips there, I loved being outside in the woods. I guess you could say I had it made.
My parents were what I call “night time” partiers. They would never drink or use drugs during the day, but once the evening hit they were on. They did not use heroin, they enjoyed alcohol, cocaine and marijuana.
When I was very young (under the age of 6) I remember them throwing some pretty wild parties at the house, and I also attended parties at their friends houses. At the time I didn’t comprehend that they were drinking and using drugs, I just thought they were friends having a good time together. Their friends were always really nice to me and I was never a victim of any type of abuse.
I can remember once incident that did scare the life out of me. A friend of my parents was installing new carpet in our house (yep at one of their parties, while intoxicated.) He ended up hammering a nail into his hand and there was blood everywhere!
Once I entered Elementary school, the parties seemed to stop. Instead my dad would go to the bar after work and my mom would stay home with us and drink wine.
How Megan Discovered Drugs and Alcohol
I was for the most part a well behaved child, I loved school and always excelled at it. I was a perfectionist, I wanted my school work to be perfect, my looks to be perfect (self-absorbed, self-centeredness-addict behavior). As I got to the age of around 10, I became curious about my parents and their behaviors. I knew what alcohol was but didn’t know all the effects of it. I finally figured out why my moms personality at night was different than during the day. I thought it was cool how by using a substance it could dramatically change your personality (warning sign!!)
As I mentioned before, I was always spoiled, so I had that attitude of “I want it and I want it now” (self centeredness). When I was 12 my best friend and I became addicted to shoplifting (addict behavior.) Even though my mom got me pretty much whatever I wanted, I still wanted more. I became addicted to material possessions. We stole clothing, shoes and make-up. We wanted brand name everything. We even found a way to sneak into Hershey Park (an amusement park in Hershey, Pennsylvania) without paying. It was such a rush to be able to get away with these things (addicted to the thrill-living in the fast lane.)
In conclusion, I wouldn’t say my early childhood was horrible at all. I was never beaten, molested, neglected or depressed etc. Although nothing traumatic happened to me, I believe some of the things I experienced did play a role in my drug addiction. I think that seeing my parents in an altered state of mind had an effect on my brain, I saw how it changed them and I thought it looked like fun. Being spoiled, getting what I wanted it, when I wanted it and getting a thrill out of and being addicted to shoplifting all are traits a lot of addicts have.
So do our childhood experiences play a role in addiction? I think almost everyone cant point out something in their childhood that can be linked to their addiction. Thanks for reading.
Photos of Megan Sarah
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Written by Megan Sarah – Guest Blogger and Forum Member for Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide™
Edited by William Seemiller (William Charles on Facebook)
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