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Life of an Addict (Pt. 7)

From Nose to Needle

Like I said, my parents knew I was into something. I think my dad was a little wiser to what I was actually doing than my mom was. Or maybe my mom just didn't want to admit that her baby boy was a heroin addict. So, my dad asked me what I wanted to do. I had heard about a methadone clinic that was in another state, about an hour and 10 minutes away from where I lived. I made a few calls and found out you had to pay $200 up front, and $11 per day to receive your daily dose of methadone.

My dad was more than happy to put up the money for me to get in the clinic, and he also said would pay for me to go every day and drive me the hour and 10 minutes, one way, every day. I was so happy to see that he was serious when he told me he would help me anyway he could. I made an appointment for a week later to start the clinic. Dad knew as well as I did that I would have to continue to use until the day of my appointment. Not just to stay well and avoid the withdrawal, but to be accepted into the methadone clinic. I would have to test dirty for heroin with a urine test my first day there. So, that's what I did.

I woke up the morning of my appointment feeling like crap I started making phone calls until I found somewhere to get my fix. We always called that the first shot of the day, our "gate shot." It got you out the gate and made you feel normal so you could do whatever you had to do to hustle up money.

Once you had the money, you would buy enough dope to get you through the day. Without that gate shot, you were surely in for an awful day. The dangerous thing about being sick is that you are willing to do whatever it takes to make enough money to get your first fix of the day, and cure that miserable feeling of withdrawal you wake up to each morning.

Occasionally I was able to save a little from the night before to have for the following morning. It was tough to be disciplined enough to put some back and hold it all night, without using it until you wake up the next morning. But when I was able to do that, it made my mornings so much better.

I also forgot to mention that by that time, I had started to inject the heroin. I didn't like to snort it anymore. The ironic thing was that I had been terrified of needles through my whole childhood. I mean scared to death! I still remember the first time I used a needle to shoot heroin. My family is going to kill me when they read this... but, I was at my parents house in my bedroom one evening.

My best friend at the time, Jay, had stopped by, came in my room and said, "I tried it today."

"Tried what?" I asked him.

Jay told me that he was out with the guy that gave me the Oxy the night of my band practice. That guy had been around the block and was no longer a rookie to the daily routine of hustling, copping, cooking, and shooting heroin. "For real, you shot up?" I asked with surprise. "What was it like?"

He then told me that our other friend helped him do it and he also had given him a whole bag of insulin syringes. I asked how much he had done. He told me that he only had to do half a vial and got the same effect as when you would snort a whole vial or even two whole vials.

"No way," I said. And without a second thought, or any doubt in my mind, said, "I wanna try it!"

Even though Jay tried to act like he was trying to change my mind, he said, "You want me to do it?"

"Hell yeah," I said.

He told me he was only going to let me do a little the first time. I had already plotted to watch him very closely so, I could inject myself once he left—if what he gave me wasn't enough. I had five or six vials in my pocket from taking a trip to the city and copping off the block. When you went to the city to get it, it was around half the price of what you would have to pay in our little town. So instead of three or four vials for a hundred bucks, I could get 10 vials for that same $100. It was like night and day between going to the city and buying it locally. So I gave Jay one of my vials and watched him like a hawk as he went about, what would later become a ritual that I would perform every time I would use.

He told me to get a spoon from my kitchen to use for my shot. He also told me to get a cup of water. So I nonchalantly went to my kitchen, poured a cup of water and grabbed a spoon from the drawer and quietly put it in my pocket. I went back to my room, gave it Jay, and watched him fix up my shot. He pulled the bag of insulin syringes out of his inside coat pocket. There was about eight in the bag. He pulled out two of the needles, handed me one and said, "Put one of them away so you have a new one if you want to do it again."

He took out a cigarette, bit the cotton that's inside the filter, and pulled it out with his teeth. He pulled a small amount of the cotton from the filter and rolled it into a little ball then dropped it into the spoon and told me, "That's to filter it so you don't suck anything solid into the syringe and cause it to clog."

Once it was drawn up into the syringe, he told me to get my belt or something to use to tie my arm off so my veins would pop up more and make it easier to do. Remember. I was terrified of needles. So I was definitely nervous. I tied off my arm, above my elbow, around my bicep, and stuck it out as I told Jay to be gentle. He pressed on my bulging vein with his left fingers and with his right hand slid the ultra sharp needle into the vein, that they use to draw blood, that's right in the bend of your elbow. I honestly didn't feel anything, just a tiny pinch.

He said, "I'm in. Are you ready?"

"Yeah, I'm ready. Push that shit in," I told him.

He slowly pressed the plunger, filling my vein with the water and heroin mixture. It was literally only about 10 seconds when I began to feel it, when I usually don't feel for eight to 10 minutes when I'd sniff it.

"Wow," I said. "That shit hits you like now!"

"I told you," Jay said. Even though I felt it so fast, I had already decided that half of a vial was not enough. And I was counting the minutes until my buddy Jay had to leave.

I knew from what I had just done that Jay wasn't bullshitting about it being about four times stronger when you IV'd it. And it's 100 percent true that you can't get any higher than you do when you inject heroin or anything else for that matter. We would joke that once you start shooting, you wanna shoot everything. One guy said, "I'd shoot my eggs and bacon for breakfast if I could break them down in a spoon." Now, if that's not a crazy thing to say, I don't know what is.

About a half hour went by when Jay told me he was leaving. I was thinking, About time. Roll out so I can do a real shot of this stuff and see what it's really about. He left and took off down the road. As my mom and dad sat right in the living room, I went back to my room and began to fix up the first shot I would give myself. I took out the other half of the vial that Jay had fixed up for me and another full one, and followed the steps that I had watched him do. To say that I wasn't nervous would surely be a lie. I took the belt from around my waist and wrapped it around my right bicep. My veins began to bulge in my arm within a couple seconds. I pumped myself up and found where I was going to poke that syringe into my vein. Once I was sure I had a good spot, I slowly poked it into my arm and to the center of my vein. I knew to pull back on the plunger until I saw blood go into the needle. That's what assured me that I was in a vein and not beside it or in a muscle. Once I had a thin stream of blood squirting into my syringe, I slowly began to push on the plunger.

The heroin mixture rushed into my vein. "Oh hell yes, that's what I was looking for," I said aloud.

I thought snorting  dope was euphoric, but that was a big negative. It was, at that exact moment, that I started to have the best feeling I had ever had. I could feel the heroin actually enter into my bloodstream and cover my body in a nice soft, warm blanket of euphoria. I hate to use this comparison, but I will. Just to help you understand how good it felt as the dope took effect. It was honestly like a hug from Santa Claus to a five-year-old child. Like the feeling you probably have when you win the lottery, but you're not getting paid, you're getting a VIP invite to walk through those pearly gates when the time comes for that. Sorry if I offended anyone with those comparisons. Just wanted to let you know how powerful this stuff is. When you IV inject it straight into your vein, although it felt like a hug from Jesus, that first time, I quickly realized that it was nothing but the devil in disguise. It will act like your best friend. It will use you until there was nothing else that it could get from you. It will tell you that you don't have a problem and that everything is great. In all reality, you are at your lowest point of your life. You have lost everything. Done everyone you know wrong or dirty. Even the ones that have went out of their way to help you, but, like the Devil, it will make you believe that everything is going just fine. So much so that once it does set in and you realize just how bad, out of control, and unmanageable your life has become, it is most likely too late to do much about it. You will probably be on your way to jail or prison, and more than likely, it will be a result of your drug abuse.

I'd like to thank everyone that has read my stories. I have so many things to write about. Check back regularly for the next chapter. If you'd like to help fund future chapters, please feel free to donate with a tip at the end of this page.

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Life of an Addict (Pt. 7)
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