top of page

Substance Abuse

Relationships and Family


Life after heroin- My thoughts 2 years down the road I last used heroin, fentanyl, and meth January 18, 2020. That makes it 939 days, or 2 years, and 7 months. What do I remember? For years I had no “real” friends, the only social interactions I really had were with dealers or people I used with (aside from the handful of people who I actually developed close friendships with).

My family distanced themselves from me and I missed out on holidays, weddings, births, and deaths. I lost my kids, lost my apartment, car, job, and spent hundreds of thousands on drugs (any savings I had, credit cards, loans, etc.), and all of that just to make surviving each day slightly bearable.

I damaged my arms, legs, and face, causing nasty scars from poor injections and having MRSA twice. I overdosed many times, three of those times on purpose, and if Narcan didn’t exist I would not be alive today. I got arrested several times, which was always a horrible experience. Basically, my perception on the addict life is that you gradually succumb to losing sight of everything that makes life good just for the sake of getting the next hit and avoiding withdrawals. I gave up on friends, family, ambitions, and enjoying my hobbies because I spent all of my time on dope and it really wasn't fun. I did horrible, awful things that I look back on now and still can’t believe that was me. I went through a lot of traumatic things that I am now having to deal with and unpack and learn how to cope with.

So, what now? 2 years later: I am learning to love myself again. I am learning new ways to cope with life rather than getting high to numb my feelings. I moved away to a new state and that helped me a lot, I think. I got involved in the NA program, and even though I do not agree with everything in it, I take what I need and leave the rest. Gradually I developed a sense of enjoyment in my hobbies. Not to sound discouraging but this took me literally months after getting off dope to really start to enjoy things again. I was numb for a long time. But it did happen. I am living life rather than just existing and wishing I would die. It really messed me up when I realized how much time I wasted on drugs instead of doing actual fun enjoyable stuff. I have been struggling pretty badly with depression for several months, but instead of relapsing I asked for help. I admitted to people around me that I was having a hard time and have received nothing but love and support. I was just put on medication the other day to hopefully tackle my depression and also got a referral for therapy. But even with the depression, my life is unfathomably better than it was when I was on drugs. I can't claim that I will never use again, because I don't know what the future holds. But I can claim that I will not use today, and I’ll make that choice every day. I have everything that I missed when I was strung out- family who cares about me and are proud of me, healthy friendships, and personal fulfillment through hobbies. Getting off heroin won't immediately make your life better in every way - the change is gradual. A few days ago, I realized that I hadn't thought about heroin in weeks. That made me feel really good. I looked down at my arms and legs and saw the scars were slowly but surely fading away. In a few years you probably won't be able to see them at all. I am finally becoming the best version of myself. I wrote all of this simply because the amount of people that I know who have died from heroin/fentanyl overdoses recently is insane. And that’s just the people I know. I’m tired of seeing people die from that. It truly breaks my heart. Please get help. People love you, even if it doesn’t feel like it. And I can promise you, recovery is so much better than any high.

bottom of page