Joe’s Story of Heroin Addiction
Joe’s first exposure to heroin occurred when he was just twelve years old. The older boys he was hanging out with gave him some heroin to snort. While he was still in middle school, he added marijuana, Ecstasy and LSD to his mix of drugs.
When he was in his 20s, he started making methamphetamine with a friend who just got out of prison and he quickly became severely addicted to this drug. When he later found OxyContin, he stopped using methamphetamine and returned to his opiate habit. This habit would continue for the next seventeen years. He was now a prisoner to the need of finding some kind of opiate every day to keep himself from going into withdrawal.
A co-worker suggested to Joe that he find a methadone clinic where he could get a daily dose of opiate and save him from the need to chase the pills or heroin he needed every day. “It’s still a bad addiction,” the friend said, “but it will save you money and you won’t get arrested.” Joe enrolled in a methadone program and stayed on it for seven years. He said after a while he felt “sort of normal, but drugged.” He also continued to abuse morphine and heroin in addition to taking the methadone the clinic gave him.
Finally, he began to look for a solution to his addition, because he realized that as long as he was taking the methadone, his confidence in being able to live the life he wanted to live was constantly diminishing, along with his self-respect. He went to his first rehab program at a Narconon facility.
Because of the long-lasting quality of a dose of methadone, it took Joe weeks to fully withdraw from the drug. He said, “I didn’t sleep normally for the first twenty-one days.” He made a thorough job of working his way through the steps of this rehab program so he could truly learn how to stay sober once he went home. On his graduation, he returned home to Louisiana to resume his life and his job, free at last from any dependence on heroin or other opiates.