I didn’t grow up wanting to become a heroin addict. In fact, I was always so against drugs and alcohol. Frankly, they scared me. I still recall and remember the videos from my years in elementary school quite vividly. Screeching tires, horrible car accidents, suspenseful music as scary looking individuals put needles in their arm until their eyes rolled back into their skulls. I remember vowing never to drink or engage in using any drug, let alone heroin.
So why, 30 years later, did I decide to put the dollar bill in my nose and sniff tiny white grains of poison into my bloodstream and brain? Why after decades of standing steadfast against drugs and alcohol did I make a decision that led to the devastating and deadly disease of heroin addiction?
This blog is my personal testimony and story of how I went from an all-star athlete to a heroin user and then from a heroin addict to a recovery advocate. I’m living proof that there is life after opioid and heroin addiction and that those feeling enslaved to their disease don’t have to be eternally bound.
Why I Started Using Heroin
It started with Oxycodone (the active ingredient in narcotic painkillers like Percocet, OxyContin, etc.) and then slowly but eventually graduated to full-blown daily heroin use. But unlike others who were prescribed opioid painkillers for legitimate medical reasons, I used oxycodone as an escape from reality. I was going through a very rough time and having a hard time making a personal, relationship decision. Not knowing what to do killed me on the inside almost every single minute of every single day. I didn’t want to hurt anyone but instead, I was destroying everyone – including me. So when I had a chance to escape from the mess that I inadvertently made, I took it. I started with a single 20 milligram of oxycodone, which put me into a state of euphoria like I’ve never experienced before. While I was high, I didn’t feel the emotional pain. Sure I knew it would return, but for that 30 minutes to an hour, I was in a state of bliss.
Always High But Never Satisfied
But this feeling of euphoria didn’t last long. Soon after I started, I realized that 20 mg was no longer enough. I needed 40, then 60, then 80, then 100. Eventually, oxycodone simply became too expensive to afford, even when I bought at a discount in bulk. So I moved onto heroin. Using heroin for the first time was amazing – it was even more powerful than oxycodone. And instead of 5 pills, I only needed a bag or two. But just like oxycodone, a single bag or two couldn’t cut it. I started getting sick on the days I didn’t have or buy heroin so I started using it every day. Before I knew it, I was up to using over a bundle a day. I would buy 4 or 5 bundles at a time just to keep my habit going, which is equivalent to between $500 and $600. Sometimes I had gotten discounts, but often I needed twice the heroin to acquire the same feeling. I was always high, but never satisfied. I wouldn’t let a couple hours go buy without using at least a few bags. I barely felt it, but at least I wasn’t sick.
But I was sick. I was sick in active addiction spending all my hard earned cash, up to $5000 a month on heroin. That’s almost $60,000 a year. Was I insane? Well, the brain does chemically and structurally change when you’re an addict. So some may answer “yes” to that question.
Addiction Treatment and My Recovery
I finally got to a point where I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. However, despite 3 distinct attempts to beat my heroin addiction and dependence on my own, I soon learned that I needed help. While traditional options like a top notch addiction treatment center / drug rehab facility would’ve been ideal, I was still working and couldn’t afford to take leave for 30 to 90 days. So I chose to go to a methadone clinic.
Despite stigma associated with methadone as a medicine assisted treatment (MAT) option, I am a true believer, that when done right, methadone can be a valuable tool in someone’s recovery. However, I believe that it should be coupled with counseling and group therapy as methadone in itself does nothing to develop new coping mechanisms and teach someone how to live substance-free.
The Birth of Kill The Heroin Epidemic Nationwide
In the midst of my treatment and long-term recovery, I decided I wanted to give back and use my gifts, abilities and experiences to give back, help others find the best treatment and encourage/support others in treatment and recovery like me. Thus, Kill The Heroin Epidemic Nationwide was born. I knew right away that I wanted to create a website but while I was working on it, I started a Facebook page with the same name that exploded upwards in popularity quite quickly. Thanks to support and encouragement from our followers, readers, subscribers and sponsors, we’ve grown rapidly fast and have established an excellent reputation for helping men and women suffering from addiction get the best treatment, encouraging recovering addicts, providing family support and recommending the best addiction treatment centers.
While methadone was the path I chose, we recognize and support multiple roads to recovery. We are proponents of the disease model of addiction, we support all evidence-based methods of treatment and recovery and we help anyone with a genuine desire to get clean, regardless of their financial circumstances. Anyone suffering from addiction who is like I was – sick and tired of being sick and tired – you are encouraged to contact us.
Need addiction Help?
Our online community helps men and women suffering from drug and heroin addiction who are sick and tired of being slaves to addiction get the help and treatment they want, need and deserve. For those ready for a chance, fill out our brief treatment contact form.
Written by William Charles, Owner / Publisher of Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide™, Heroin News and the National Alliance of Addiction Treatment Centers (NAATC)
We are a community for recovering heroin addicts providing support and recommending the best treatments and clinics to people interested in conquering their addiction.
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