1. Wake up dopesick at about 8-9 am. Shoot up heroin in the bathroom with the shower running so room mates didn’t know what I was up to. Often mixed in meth/coke for the energy boost.
I would then get ready and drive to work as a salesman for a major cell phone retailer. Shoot up again in the car before I walked in the door. Many days I would steal iPhones or galaxy s3 phones and pawn them to stay high. It’s a miracle they can’t prove it and just withheld my last paycheck, or I would be in prison today for theft over $20k.
I would also call my parents and make up reasons I needed money, and sometimes just steal shit from people’s garages. I sold everything I owned, including my own phone and computer.
I had to, if I did less than a gram of heroin a day I got sick. To actually get high I had to mix in Xanax or alcohol or meth or coke. Another party of my routine was contemplating suicide. Usually thinking about driving off a bridge on the highway.
I shot up everything except alcohol and Xanax, cause there’s no reason to do so for those. I shot up about 7-9 times a day.
2. I would usually wake up around 6 am to the sound of my dad getting ready for work, and I’d go throw up in my bathroom. If I threw up or pissed the bed I would usually have a garbage bag in the room to throw my sheet in so I could take care of it later. This only happened a few times but it got more and more frequent. Usually the vomit was dark black, goopy, and extremely acidic. I found out later it was blood.
I had a constant supply of tums that I would eat from. I would then drink a bottle of water, a hit from the bong to reduce nausea, and some valium to stop myself from shaking. I would then wake up at around noon and take more valium to stop shaking. I would usually sleep until about 2 or 3pm, sometimes up until 6pm. Once I woke I would take a few shots of captain morgan to keep the constant body high going, and depending on how much weed or valium I had I would try and make some calls to get some more. Around 7pm before my mother left for work I would go through her meds to find Klonopin and Ambien that I could take later in the evening. I was ALWAYS thinking ahead – because I liked to be completely fucked up by around 11pm. She took a quarter of a 10mg of ambien to sleep, and I would usually take about half of her bottle over the month (Between 20 to 60 depending on the script). Denial.
If I wasn’t hanging out with friends that night I would be on the computer all night or with my girlfriend getting wasted and popping valium. Each valium was 10mg and I’d usually take around 20 per day. Eventually I would get really nauseous because I forget to eat, or just took too much, and I’d have to smoke weed and eat more tums. If I didn’t want to stop drinking at this point I would purposefully push the contents of my stomach up and I would vomit violently, and then continue drinking. By the time it was all winding down I would take up to 40mg of ambien. At the time I liked to tell myself this was to sleep, but I always stayed up and drank with it in order to gain more of a body high/psychedelic experience. Usually by this point my girlfriend would be passed out, and I would just be on the computer. Many of these nights I spent crying from 2 am to 5am, either when my dad would wake up and he could console me, or my girlfriend woke up. Needless to say those two and my substances were my only coping mechanisms. Many times my father would come check on me to make sure I was okay every morning.
This was my routine for 3 years until right around age 22. The only thing I have left that reminds me of it is a bald spot of cement on my floor where my black vomit destroyed the carpet, so we had to cut it out. When we got new carpet (they did this when I was in rehab) they left that cut out. Every morning my feet touch the cold reality of the world, and I am ever so grateful that I am alive. Sorry this was long winded. I had a hiccup last night after two years of sobriety and this was really perfect timing for me to write.
3. Wake up. Hit snooze. Hit snooze at least 3 more times. Brush teeth, outside for a smoke, and hit the shower. Groan under the hot water for at least 15 minutes, trying to burn some of the hangover away.
Drive to work, right in between half-pissed and hung-over, praying I don’t get pulled over. Grab a takeout coffee so big I can swim laps in it. Stumble into work and hope nobody notices.
Somehow make it through the day, and since I didn’t bring lunch, grab a slice or a sub for lunch. Now the work day is done, and it’s time to head home.
Inventory the smokes. Are there enough for the night? Try to remember if there’s enough ice and mix. Maybe pick up a bag of chips or something when I get more smokes. Stop at the liquor store and pick up a 375ml bottle of whatever, and 3 or 4 500ml beers.
Ah, now I’m home. Crack the first beer, and use it to chase a solid shot of the booze. There’s a nice glow, good. Wait 10 or 15 minutes until for the warmth to spread before the first bowl of the night. Fire up the computer.
Take off my clothes, and throw them on the pile on the floor. Put on my tattered robe from better days, and then grab the least dirty glass from the massive pile in the sink. Sit in front of the comp, in my underwear, bathrobe and socks, drinking, and smoking the night away. Maybe make a phone call. Maybe have a wank. Once in a while, score some lines, or an Oxy, just to mix things up.
Toss the empty beer cans in the general direction of a trash can. Maybe empty the overflowing ashtray, but only if a lit butt put another burn mark in the table. Try not to miss the toilet when I piss. In fact, try to piss a little harder to scrub the freckles off the bowl.
Down that last shot, then stagger into the bedroom and flop down on sheets that haven’t been laundered in a month. Bam! Coma sleep.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat….for 30 years.
Picked up my 6-month chip last week. In those 6 months I have lost 40lbs, got a promotion, new clothes, new furniture, and this week I get a new car. I ended a toxic relationship, and have a great social life through the people I have met in AA. I’m not healed, but I’m healing, and I have a sense of optimism for the future that I haven’t felt in decades.
Relying on a molecule for your happiness is a lot like repeatedly hitting yourself in the forehead with a hammer. It feels really good when you stop.
4. My thing was speed. Seeing as my particular drug of choice takes three normal days and makes them one hellish one, I’ll go over my routine during the course of a several-day-long span.
I’d wake up extremely groggily and slowly, feeling like I was walking through molasses trying to go anywhere. So I’d stay in bed until the time I needed to get up, then take ~60-90mg Adderall along with a cup or two of coffee. I’m a physics major, so I’d usually have a problem set or two to do; once the Adderall kicked in I’d sit in the science center and WORK. For hours – up to 12 straight, in the same position without moving (except for the frequent bathroom breaks, after which I’d sit back down and resume my proofs etc.). If I had to go to class or work or something, I’d go, but would keep consuming a steady supply of coffee, Red Bull, and TONS of water throughout the duration of whatever I was doing. Every 4 hours or so I’d do another 30-60mg of Adderall (depending on how much I had allotted for that particular binge marathon). I wouldn’t eat the entire time, and my skin would constantly feel hot to the touch. My heart would race (palpitations were frequent), my hands would shake, and I would be extremely jittery. I would just be your typical idea of a speeded-up person. And I loved it.
Towards the end of the second day I’d simultaneously be fully awake and very fatigued, which is a singularly miserable state in which to find oneself. My body and mind would work slower and slower but wouldn’t ever be able to stop for rest, because the Addy, like a slave driver, would make them power through. At this point it was no longer enjoyable because no matter how much I took, the kind of euphoria I loved from the beginning would refuse to make an appearance now.
So then I’d wait: wait for my body to get this devil-drug out of my system, for my running mind to slow down, for my heart to stop racing, albeit all just enough for the diphenhydramine to overtake it all and let me rest. If I happened to fall asleep with still some amphetamine in my system it would, needless to say, be a very unrestful sleep. I’d wake up every few hours to drink more water. But once the long sleep came, it’d last a good 24 hours. This meant that I’d miss everything that happened: all classes, social events, meetings that I’d scheduled. If I was particularly on top of my schedule that week, I’d have made sure to cancel/flake on everything during the “big sleep” before it actually came. Then, after my hibernation, the whole process would begin again.
While I was using, I was extremely unreliable, my behavior was erratic, and I was generally an unpredictably volatile being. Adderall was my best friend in the world and I often call my separation from it the emotionally worst break-up of my life. It sounds crazy, but I loved everything I thought it gave me because it allowed me to shed all the human trappings of existence: hunger, tiredness, and everything mundane. But eventually I crashed and burned, landing myself in a psychiatric hospital being held against my will. Now I’m 71 days clean and absolutely loving it; the chaos is gone, and everything has been normalized once more.
5. I’m having a difficult time right now with alcohol. I’d estimate I’ve had a problem for five, maybe seven years or so, maybe more. I’ve managed to get two undergraduate degrees and a law degree despite this.
Anyway, after a failed business, I’m now living at home with my parents. Planning ahead, like others have said, is crucial.
I wake up anywhere between 11:00AM and 2:00PM and hope there’s something left over from last night because I usually don’t remember how much I drank before I passed out. If not, I go downstairs to see if my mom is around. If she left me a note saying when she’ll be back and I have time, I’ll immediately run out and get a “big” bottle of vodka (750 mL) because I can get that in without her there and it’s cheaper.
If she’s home or I don’t have time, I’ll go get two smaller bottles (375 mL) and tuck them into my knee-high dress socks under my jeans that I wear with my boots solely for that purpose. Literally bootlegging. Since I wear boot cut jeans, they’re not visible, so I can sneak them in. I’ll even sit on the sofa for a few minutes or so with her to “prove” I didn’t get anything while I was out.
Then comes the planning. If I have a small bottle and 1/3 of another, I know I’ll “make it through the night.” Sometimes I only buy one small bottle to try to cut down and end up in that horrible place between being properly drunk and sober and annoyed by that fact.
I did that today and I don’t know what’s going to happen later. I only have half of it left and I don’t feel fucked up enough. So what do I do? Do I go out for more? (I’m sure I can drive, but tomorrow is going to suck.) Do I chug it now and hope it works? (Risking a DUI later in the evening if it doesn’t.)
I’m trying to break the chain, but it’s become such a habit that I don’t know how I can. I goddamn promised myself today was the last day before I try to get my shit together tomorrow.
For me, it’s entirely reactionary. If I’m with friends having a good time, I drink like a normal person. If I’m depressed and in my own head, all bets are off.
6. I wake up, and the first thing I do is prep a shot. Like before I even think, I prep a shot. I take a deep breath. I tie off, just about an inch above where I’m planning to enter the vein. I release my breath and push the needle in, waiting to see that bright red sign that I’ve hit my mark. As soon as I get it, I remove the tie and push my liquid version of heaven into my arm…and blast off. That’s the best I’m going to feel all day, and I know it, so I savor it for a second. Then I go outside and smoke, and proceed to start my day.
I went to work. I got home, I went to meet my drug dealer, bought some more, and repeat.
It was a truly miserable existence. Working for money, to run out and spend every dime of it, for not enough junk.
7. When I was badly strung out (Opiate addict, polydrug abuser), it was wake up early because I was sick, either get high or scheme to get money. If I got high, I would flop back down and waste away time. If I needed to get high, I would frantically call my girl or my mother to get money. At best, someone had money for me (or someone needed drugs and I’d middleman), at worst I suffered for a bit until I pulled myself up and went to kick in some poor family’s door and take their jewelery, change jar, photo/video shit, laptops and assorted small things that rinsed well. Lots of time was spent driving a 100 mile round trip to an open air drug market. The rest was spent getting high or selling the drugs at huge profit so I could get the next batch (which was always smaller, since the money never got made back entirely). Occasionally an arrest, OD, or change of supplier would shift things a bit. Eventually prison.
Nowadays I’m going to the suboxone clinic 40 miles away once a week. Unfortunately, it’s in the closest open air drug zone. So I take someone’s clean urine, pass my screen and get my script. Then I go and spend every cent a few blocks away, drive home and furiously stick a needle in my arm until the typical $100-150 purchase is gone. Then I wait for the next appointment. I have no motivation to do much of anything. I have virtually no job experience at 25 years old, and a felony record. I live in isolation, having alienated 98% of the people I know. I constantly dream of getting high, and only go through the motions of living. I am a dead man at 25. This course of action will eventually kill me literally, but unless my heart pops from a fat blast of coke, it’ll likely be a long and slow fade away while juggling opiates.
8. I have been sober for a little over a year but will attempt to give an accurate story of my different stages if addiction.
It all started when they took OC (OxyContin) off the market. A few days before it happened my friend got his hands on about 500, 20 mg pills.
I sold about 150-200 of them I took my profit and went up to Portland Oregon to buy some heroin to start selling. I started selling points for $15 which was cheaper than anyone else. So I started making some decent money. I would smoke and sell all day and go to bed around 5-6 am and wake up around noon. Depended on when i started getting calls or if I needed to head to Portland that day. I wasn’t selling huge amounts so I would pick up a quarter to half ounce each time I went up and I would make 2-3 trips a week.
I had to supply heroin for me and my girlfriends addiction so I never moved past about a half ounce. Well this lasted about a year until I got pushed out of business. Someone paid the guy who was hooking me up to start cutting my shit and I didn’t know who else to go through. I also let people get in debt to me which was a bad idea. One kid owed me $2000 which was a ton of money to me. Times got tough after I stopped selling. Each day I would wake up around 10-12. If I had money then I would go and get some heroin since I would already be sick upon waking up. If I didn’t have them money then I would have to go sell some clothes or my electronics. I went through 2 TVs, 4 ps3s, a surround sound system, 4 iPods, 3 iPhones and a bunch of movies doing this.
When I was selling I could only go 12 hours without using until I got sick but at this point it was 24 hours. I was not shooting up at this time. So this went on for about a year. It was fucking miserable!! I couldn’t enjoy my high anymore because I would constantly be thinking of how I could get more. It wasn’t about getting high anymore. It was about not being sick.
So after about a year I was tired of this routine. I decided to get sober. I quit cold turkey and was able to stay away for 6-7 months. Then one day I got a call from my friend who was selling. He needed a ride to go pick up his stuff. I agreed and that’s what started me being his driver for about a year. He was shooting up so I decided to start. He would pick up about 6-10 ounces a week and a couple ounces of cocaine. I pretty much lived at his house going on huge binges. If I wasn’t at his place then I was at mine, sitting and waiting for him to call me so I could drive him and get some free dope.
At the end of one binge I noticed my ankle starting to get sore. Within 2 days it has swelled to twice its normal size. I decided to go to the emergency room. When I got there I had a 103 degree fever along with my swollen ankle. I ended up having a nasty blood infection and had to be on I.V antibiotics for 3 days. One of the scariest times of my life but I was back to shooting up while the I.V was still in my arm.
I remember doing shots of coke while driving on I-5 on the way to Portland. Shit got pretty bad. I got to the point of doing 4 point shots. To me that was a lot but to my friend it was nothing. He would do 1 gram shots like it was nothing. His arms were covered in black holes where he had missed shots of coke and heroin. So I drove him for about a year until I just couldn’t take it anymore. I asked my parents for help and was on a plane to Sierra Tucson treatment center the next day. I have now been sober for about 15 months. I hope this granted you a little insight in to the day of a drug addict.