A Story From Addiction

A silent killer sweeping our nation. A silent thing we never talk about. If we discuss it, everyone is screaming back and forth because “It’s a choice! Not a disease!” or “If we didn’t give our drugs we wouldn’t have a problem! It is a disease!” Well, it’s time we really look at addiction, because to be honest with everyone I have seen the face of addiction and it most definitely is a disease. It started when I was young, when we were young before we truly knew what it was.

Pot, marijuana, the devils lettuce, whatever you want to call it is how I saw addiction start. My best friend smoked, big deal, whatever, who cares? I didn’t and she did. She was sick, constantly sick, always vomiting she needed to smoke it kept her healthy. We knew it was illegal, but she was feeling better. Three surgeries later and so many prescription drugs she liked feeling high a little more. She didn’t need it though, at all. She needed none of it. We got to see a new devil soon, we got to see prescription opiates…

Her boyfriend started losing weight, our best friend started looking awful, all of our friends looked worse and worse. He, her boyfriend, was using heroin. She, our joint best friend, was using heroin. A few other friends, using heroin. She got in this new relationship because her boyfriend “was lying about using heroin”. He was, he kept denying it when we all knew he was. Our best friends were out looking for hits when we were cheering. Friends kept losing weight everywhere we looked. We both vowed we would never touch it, we couldn’t, we had to be strong and clean for everyone else.

Her new relationship started well, but he was shooting up too. Everyone around us was. In my bathroom a best friend was “smoking the dragon”. We knew it was getting bad, friends were going into detox centers once one of the dealers was arrested. Suddenly something changed, she told me a secret, she had used heroin, only once. I got her committed to a mental ward to get her cleaned out because I needed her clean. She said it was a onetime thing, but I was not taking a chance at all.

Not two months later, after her wisdom teeth were out, she called me high off her wisdom teeth meds, to tell me the news. Our best friend was arrested the night before for possession of heroin. Our friend who had just been to rehab, who promised me ten times over she would stop touching that shit, was in prison for having a brick of heroin. I sat there and cried in the forest where I was standing with my boyfriend. It still wasn’t my best friend though.

I knew something was different once I went to college though, something wasn’t right. She started locking me out of the bathroom, she started losing more weight than before, and she started to give me excuses. I knew something wasn’t right, but unlucky for her I got sick and wasn’t able to pay just as much attention to her as I did before. Then I started chemo therapy.

“I’m coming to see you before you get too sick.” “I’m coming because I love you.” “Trust me, it’ll be okay for me to come. I’m clean.” I heard it over and over until she was here with me. She instantly locked me out of my bathroom, they spoke shushed. My boyfriend and I sat there as I cried, something was wrong. “I have to pee!” I screamed to her, hoping she would let me in the bathroom, just to ease my suspicions. That exact moment made them all come true though, she was using drugs in my bathroom. Later in the night, we laid together, cuddling like we used to. “I’m pissing dirty. Like it’s bad. I think I should go to rehab.” She whispered, us nose to nose. Turns out it was more than heroin, it was everything from pot to hard drugs like morphine (what they cut heroin with) to opiates like the ones I take every day.

I threw up when she told me. I won’t lie. I had drugs all over my room, I’m on a lot with my illness and I hid them all instantly. Then I realized just the other day, as she had to go to rehab because she had been arrested, as we cried, and as we promised we loved each other; I can end up just like her. I need drugs, prescribed by my doctor, every day to just function due to my chemo therapy and diseases that have taken over my life. She’s in rehab, but she told me something I will never forget: “don’t be like me, don’t get addicted.” What if I do? That could happen.

We live in a society where I could light up a joint or eat it and I could be pain free for up to a week; there are studies in the UK about cannabis with the disease I have, but instead I’m taking more narcotic medication than I can understand. I’m taking 5mg of Percocet every four to six hours, plus I am on a constant narcotic release patch on top of it. I could be like her, I could be in her shoes before I know it. Maybe it’s time we look at our countries health system. We are prescribing these dangerous drugs to people who don’t know exactly what they are. She never knew she would want to be high after surgeries, but what if I feel the same way?

Next time you see a post about heroin, don’t assume it’s their fault. It may have been her choice to use, but she never thought she’d be addicted. She thought she was stronger, she thought that addiction didn’t happen to anyone, she assumed she would be fine. That could be your best friend, your sister, your brother, or your girlfriend so stop judging them. Stop judging the government when they put money into rehabs or detox centers because no one wants to be addicted to heroin, it just happens. Sometimes it just happens right under our noses as the doctor and pharmaceutical industries keep prescribing more and more addictive drugs.

I love her. I will love her through the drugs because the reality is real. I could lose my best friend. I could lose my best friend to drugs. She smiles and laughs at me, telling me not to worry because I am sick. The thought of her dying from drugs is always on my mind, when I'm begging my doctor to fix me because I want to be off for her, for myself because I am scared of the possiblility. The chance of addiction is there, so I keep begging for pain relief without the use of narcotic drugs because I want to be with her. I don't want to tempt her.