For years, parents and schools and community groups have been trying to scare kids away from drugs by throwing all of these hypotheticals at them and telling what could happen. I personally think they should rig a camera in the detox ward to let them what DOES happen every day to people struggling to get off heroin. Of course I’m half-joking because I know the safety and confidentiality issues involved with treatment, but I really do think that if the nation’s future drug users can see what life in heroin detox is like, they will think twice before going anywhere near the stuff.
I’ve experienced a great deal of pain over the course of my life, but nothing ever compared to the horror of heroin withdrawal. I don’t know how demonic possession feels, but from the looks of things, the two were very similar. My joints were on fire, I was hallucinating, sweating and shivering and there was almost no relief from the dull pain that permeated my body. After a while, it seemed that the only thing that could provide even temporary solace was admitting I had lost and once again shooting up. A few more months of this and I would have been dead.
When I decided to enter detox for heroin, I didn’t think there was anything that a treatment facility could do for me that I hadn’t already tried doing for myself. I heard all the time how people tried recovery and went right back on the needle. What were they going to do for me? As I moved through the process, I realized that they were simply trying to keep me alive and healthy during withdrawal, which as exactly what I needed. I had wanted to quit for a long time, but every time I tried, I just got smacked around by withdrawal and relapsed.
Heroin detox made it possible for me to launch a fair fight against my addiction. It was the point at which I said enough was enough and took control of my own life. Looking back, I’m amazed that I was able to crawl back from this and once again becoming a functioning human being. I owe a large portion of my success to the doctors and specialists that never let me quit and helped me realize that life was still worth fighting for. For a long time, it was very much a matter of life and death, and thankfully, I chose life.
I’ve heard people express all kinds of emotions when I tell them that I’m in recovery for heroin addiction, from sympathy to skepticism to fear to everything in between. What matters in the end is what you do with the second chance that you’re given. I’ve chosen to make it work for me and continue to draw strength and energy from the notion that I’m alive today. It’s also nice to be an example of the seemingly impossible and to remind people that no matter how big of a hold heroin has on you, there is a way out if you want it.