As an opioid user, there is a distinct competitive advantage over the other drugs. Why? Opioids tell you the truth, if you chose to listen. Opioids let you know- hey bitch- you got issues- every single morning. Cocaine is a subtle drug in that you truly believe you have no issues. "hey, I didn't pick any up all week. I don't have a problem." Hmm, let me see. You were asleep for 2-3 of those and broke for the other two. And it isn't a week honey. You mean you didn't pick up coke from your last line late Monday morning to the first moment that direct deposit hit on Friday. It would have been sooner but the dealer doesn't want to give you a front. And no, they don't want to hold your laptop. They already have three. So- maybe you aren't "hooked" but clearly, there is some kind of issue?! Maybe? It is hard to penetrate that ego.
Opioids, those are whole other animals. Their dependence comes with the gift of desperation. Before I even knew I could could become physically dependent on them, I already was! Yay!. I remember an extended binge that ended in four days of being cramped up on the couch with a trash can next to me. I was hot and cold. My muscled cramped like I had run to the moon and back with no water. PLEASE SUFFOCATE ME, I told my friend. There is nothing wrong with me, he told me. You are just "kicking" BBBBut, I had thought withdrawal was some kind of psychological bullshit for week willed people. GOD, I was wrong.
You know what else is bullshit? The myth that only 1% of heroin users get clean. COMPLETE bullshit. There are 3-4x times the amount of people who have used heroin verses currently use it. People stop. They stop every day. When it is time to stop, don't let all that negativity and self stigma waste space in your head. As hopeless as I was, I can point at at least 50 people that were just as bad as me. Last night, I was at a friend's party. He was celebrating 20 years off drugs. How did we meet? He had come up to me to ask if he could use some water and shoot up behind my shopping cart. I had insisted that he pay me- 50 cents and a rinse of his left overs on his cooker. As we chit chatted over lobster pasta in the house that he owns, the irony was not loss on us. Like I said- anyone can quit.
The thing that makes me sad for this generation of users is the fatality rate. In the 90s, we had our AIDS, our abcesses, and our other diseases. Certainly, people overdosed but there were communities of users that tried to look out for each other to a certain extent. Today's users have to worry about fentanyl spiked in dope, blues, in any pressed pill . Many use alone where there is no one to save them even if they have naloxone. There heroin EVERYWHERE, cheaper than a mixed drink. There are pharmacists that won't sell syringes, rehabs that are full to capacity, and Governors like the one in Maine, the number one enemy to harm reduction. We know the issues and are scrambling to find solutions.
I hope whatever you do today, you realize you have the gift of desperation. You can change. You are changing. In fact, change is the only constant in life. I hope today, you will be a litter safer, love yourself a little more, and find one reason to smile.