When I was 22 or 23 (those years are kinda foggy for me) I had a problem with cocaine. At the time I would have called it and addiction, but that was before I had experienced meth or heroin. I knew I needed to quit. One night, I had a really bad experience and I OD. I didn’t OD in the sense where I died, or had a seizure. But I definitely over-dosed. I knew that if I closed my eyes and tried to sleep that I would die. At the time, it was not uncommon for me to go through and eight-ball a night, on my own and I was regularly smoking crack. I was with my boyfriend that night, and needless to say, it freaked him the fuck out. He had first blown coke when I brought it over to his place about eight or nine months earlier. He didn’t tell me it was his first time, and I got really pissed when he nearly blew it all off the table. (We all know how that goes!) But since then he had been partaking with me on almost a daily basis. From that moment forward, he quit. I told him I quit, but of course I didn’t. I knew my dealer sold meth, but I had never tried it. I decided that I would see if I could wean myself off of coke with meth. Now keep in mind this was probably 2001 or 2002, so although it was definitely well known, it didn’t have the same reputation that it does now. I was completely naive to the dangers.
I don’t think I really even need to tell you what happened next. I was almost immediately addicted, since I was already addicted to uppers. And within 3 years, my life was a total shambles. I was too skinny, I was flaky with all my responsibilities, I never slept. I’d go 4 days regularly without sleep, which I contributed to my schedule working as a chef. But all I would do is go to work or school and smoke meth out back behind the dumpsters (and a fair amount of crack too, depending on who I was with).
I was only able to quit after re-introducing heroin to my life, which I was fine with because I didn’t even think about addressing that problem for many years. But yes, I know now that’s not the way to quit any drug.
Flash-forward seven years later. I’m hopelessly addicted to heroin still, but my life is still 180 degrees better than it was when I was on meth. This time, when the opportunity presents itself, I think… “Why not just a little? I know what I’m getting myself into this time and I can control it. Anyway, quitting meth is nowhere near as bad as quitting heroin.” I was forgetting what a painful experience it was. I dabbled with it for a little bit, taking it orally, so the bioavailability was lower. And pretty soon I was taking homemade speed pills every morning before work. My productivity is already starting to falter, but I don’t care because I feel great.
Then, I find out you can shoot it. “You can slam this stuff! Holy-Moly! Let me try!” And on my birthday, as a present to myself, I choose to IV meth. It was everything I thought it would be a more. And I still had some vague notion that I would be able to control it.
Flash-forward again. Almost exactly one year later. I’m 88 pounds, I’ve lost two jobs where I was making about $100k at each. My family now knows because I nodded off on the subway and my phone was stolen and some asshole decides to post all my pictures online and send them to my parents (nudes, syringes, blood, drugs, everything). My friends don’t speak anymore. And my face looks so bad, people at my last job thought I had shingles. Yet I think my life it completely fine. “Everyone is just hung up on the IV stigma!” I said to myself. My boyfriend is the only person in my life, probably because he was a user too. And both of us just go on telling ourselves that everything is normal. We don’t know what all the fuss is about.
We decide to go to NYC to see Phish for New Years. As he was going to the bank to pick up money for 3 ounces of heroin for our trip, he gets pulled over after a hit-and-run, while smoking a pookie, with 13 ounces of meth in the car. Now I’m not saying any of this to incriminate him. It was only circumstantial that it happened to him and not me. It could have been either of us.
Luckily, as far as legal ramifications go, he made out pretty well. Actually, the event probably saved both of our lives. He was required to go to mandatory rehab, and on January 17th of last year, we quit meth.
The difference it has made in our lives can’t even be accurately described. An average day would consist of alternating meth/heroin shots from sun-up to sun-down. Family visits turned into nightmares, as we ineffectively tried to hide our out of control addiction. Not even deny the addiction, but deny the use entirely. If you’ve ever met a meth addict, it’s beyond obvious. Yet we had been content with the way things were in the fucked up, bizarro-world universe, that we thought was “normal”.
Now, I’m not perfect. I’m still a junky. But cutting out meth literally made the difference between life and death for me. It was very hard to quit, even with heroin. Sure, the physical withdraws aren’t the same. But emotionally it ruins you.
I recently saw a post on bluelight that read something like “Try meth just once? Or maybe I can do it a few times, but I won’t let myself get addicted.” I just can’t believe with all the hype that it has received over the last decade that anyone will still think that. The whole time I was quitting again, I kept thinking “how could I let this happen? How could I believe that I was different and that “this time” I would be able to handle it and not get addicted?” But people have this faith in themselves that is not justified. Sure, there are lots of people who try it once and don’t use again. But if you are going to try to make it a “recreational” part of your life, be prepared. Nobody thinks they will be the ones to turn into a meth addict. We all see the pictures and think “That can’t happen to me!” But trust me. It can and will if you take it lightly. This article does a good job of outline the dangers associated with meth, with the scare tactics that some politicians try to use. It’s good reading for anyone who’s thinking about trying it for the first time.
I don’t want to be too preachy, and I would certainly never tell anyone not to touch drugs. That would be totally hypocritical. But I’ve been around the block a few times. If you are thinking about trying it. Just know what you’re getting yourself into. I’m not different. You’re not different. And it can happen to anyone!
Peace, Love and Rock ‘n Roll!!