Tuesday September 2nd 2014

Diary of a Heroin Addict

 

I am a heroin addict. My life is limited to three concerns. The first thing I gotta figure out every morning is how to get a bag of heroin into my arm no more than ten minutes after I wake-up. If I fail, I’m dope sick. The cramps inside my lower stomach go on a full-scale attack. I can’t stand. I can’t walk. The diarrhea squirts out like a water hose.     The second issue is drawing a “hot shot.” The drug dealers cut the heroin or add fake shit to stretch quantity for profit. Some dealers cut it in half and double their money. But most drug dealers aren’t rocket scientist; they never get the proper distribution of cut to heroin every time. Too much pure heroin in a half-gram package equals a “hot shot.” Five minutes after you shot the package into your vein, your heart stops.

But my major concern is called “cotton shot rush.” It’s when a dirty piece of cotton fiber used to filter the heroin makes it into your bloodstream. Most addicts don’t carry sterile cotton balls or Q-tips in their back pocket. If you’re lucky you have access to a clean filtered cigarette. But most of the time you have to find a cigarette butt on the ground, in an ashtray, or a garbage barrel.

But there is no mistaking it when it hits. Ten to twenty minutes after you pull the trigger it whacks you like you’re in the third day of the flu virus. The ears give it away: if they start to ring you’re fucked. Pressure begins to mount on each side of your temple like a vise squeezing slowly together. Sweat pours off your brow but at first there is no temperature associated with it. The shakes progress quickly to trembles. Chills hit immediately after and the body’s temperature spikes to over 102.  If the bacteria takes up residency in your heart and you don’t seek medical attention, you’re dead. I roll the dice about a dozen times a day.

It’s been twenty-three years since I shot a bag of heroin into my arm. But I’m still a junkie, every morning I wake up and vividly recall the hell I once lived. I’m blessed.

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16 Responses to “Diary of a Heroin Addict
Dman
1:17 am October 22nd, 2010

I don’t know a heroin addict who can’t carry a clean cotton with them. I also don’t know heroin addict who actively worries about cotton fever. Its very rare.

2:17 pm October 22nd, 2010

Dman, are you speaking from experience?

Andrea Clarkson
10:45 pm October 26th, 2010

Very compelling piece. My practice specializes in outpatient detoxification from prescription medication, alcohol or street drugs including: Heroin, Oxycontin, Methadone, and hydrocone or oxycodone products. If you or someone you know is suffering please do not hesitate to contact us.

We are here to support you!

Bobbie Thrush
9:00 am October 27th, 2010

I just searched for this site and located it. It has been a great source of ideas for understanding and treating addiction issues. Kudos!

Britta Petersik
6:06 am October 29th, 2010

This is my first time posting on something like this,but hey it’s also my first time i can honestly say i really think i need,and want to quit smoking. For myself,and for the poeple around me.Which is what bought me to this page.

London Chic
4:53 am October 31st, 2010

I’ve never heard of cotton flue at all. I’m in da UK.

Concerned Friend
12:52 pm November 27th, 2010

I am dealing with a family member who is hooked on heroin. I found a pill bottle full of used cottons in his bag. I guess they save them and smash them and shoot it. I flushed them down the toilet and he got pretty mad at me for doing this. Oh well maybe he wont get cotton fever.

SeattleExJunkie
11:38 pm December 25th, 2010

i was shooting up 1-2 grams of heroin a day for about 2 and a half years straight, not counting when i kicked cold turkey to get married in vegas about halfway into it. needless to say once we got back from vegas, i called my dope guy right away. i never had any problems with abcesses/cotton fever until the very end of it. i had both my feet swell up to look like i had severely sprained ankles from trying endlessly to find good veins in my feet once my arms/hands were tapped out (so i thought, the longer you use heroin, the better you get at finding even the smallest spider veins) but never any open sores. about a month before i kicked for good, i had my first bout of cotton fever at work. yes i did shoot up at work. uncontrollable shaking/shivering, splitting headache, feeling hot/freezing, it almost felt like being dope sick. it didn’t last very long, maybe a couple hours. i was kind of scared at first but i think i knew what it was from friends’ accounts of cotton fever.

drugfree10
5:18 pm August 10th, 2012

I was addicted to perscription pain pills for 5 years then I spent the next 5 years going back and forth between heroin and methadone. I thought that methadone was safe and a good way to kick heroin, boy was I wrong! First of all, I tried to kick the methadone and it was the worst kick ever, thats when I first relapsed back to heroin. I was thinking “this methadone crudd is worse than heroin so I might as well just get some”! I went back and forth between the the two for what seemed like forever, mostly I just used what ever was available. I knew I had to get off of both of them when I watched someone OD on methadone (he was perscribed 100 mgs and took 150mgs and died!) I found a place that had a medical detox to wean me down and then they did a drug free withdrawal after that, which was made very tolerable with nutritional therapy and constant 1 on 1 methods that were geared towards making the body feel better. It only took 4 days for me to start feeling better ,eating and sleeping pretty well. After 3 more days I was able to complete the withdrawal part of the program. The rest of the program took 3 months and it was great too, but I was most relieved by the fact that I was no longer on heroin and no longer on maintenance.

BrandoVT
3:19 am January 7th, 2013

Sickness doesnt hit until about 12 hours after your last use. I agree I never feared a cotton shot, and more or less wanted a hot shot. I wanted the dope people were ODing on. As sick as that sounds. I do about 3-5 bundles of East Coast dope a day. Its a gnarly habit and I want to quit so bad. I got sleeping pills some subs, and some benzos. Any advice for this home kick?

1:50 pm January 10th, 2013

Hi Brando. Cold turkey heroin withdrawal is not for the faint of heart. My one suggestion would be to detox under monitoring at a clinic. They can administer the cocktail of medications that you need, and may even have some new meds you haven’t considered. This way, you can concentrate on getting through it instead of treating yourself while you do. Call 1-800-662-HELP to find a detox clinic in your city.

Heart Sick Doctor Mom
7:01 am January 29th, 2013

My daughter is a recovering heroin addict. She started her journey smoking pot which led to experimentation with LSD and cocaine. Along the way, she believed she was first addicted to cocaine, but was able to trade one addiction for another when she bought her first dime bag of heroin. She has failed out of a major university program, a junior college program, has stolen from her parents, her sister, her grandparents, her uncle, and my business to the tune of about $30K that all went up her nose. Formerly a straight “A” student and college athlete, she is now struggling to rediscover who she is and where she belongs. I saw the signs-the failing grades, the indifference to her appearance and lack of compunction for her failings and the way she looked, and yet, I believed her when she told me she couldn’t cope with the rigors of college. This, coupled with the break up of a stormy relationship with “the love of her life,” duped me; how unbelievably stupid-I am supposed to be an intelligent, educated woman. Perhaps, deep down, I didn’t want to believe. The deep blemishes and scarring of her once beautiful face, the nodding off in mid-sentence, the missing money and checks, the sleeping 16 hours a day, the abrupt changes in mood and temperment, the way she turned away from me-her once only trusted confidant, the way she isolated herself in her room, and those constricted pupils were enough. After a year of lies, I confronted my child. “You’re on drugs, aren’t you. You need help don’t you?,” I asked. The answer rocked me to my core. “Yes, Mommy,” she said. I am addicted to heroin and I need help. My beautiful, intelligent daughter, so full of promise and a bright future was snorting 25-30 bags of heroin a day. I found her hiding place for her used bags. There had to be hundreds, if not thousands of them-little plastic bags with blue paper and white residue. A $250-$300 habit. How is this possible? How did this happen? The light of my life and song of my day, the baby I raised and loved with my entire heart became a stranger to me. Who is this person? How could she do this? Why did she turn her back on everything she was taught to believe as truth and decide to run with the devil? WHY??? It didn’t matter. I hated the addiction, but loved my child. I called every detox program I could. No one had the openings, and my insurance would not cover the resources she needed. I presented her to a hospital ER when the acute phase of detox began. It was ugly, twisted…she screamed and moaned, her body convulsed, she vomited continuously. After being sent home with drugs to “reduce her symptoms,” she was finally admitted to the hospital the next day with dehydration and tachacardia from electrolyte imbalance. She continued to vomit for 5 days and was finally admitted to the hospital’s psyche ward for major depression and acute withdrawal of opiod substance. After day seven, she was sent home. Our insurance would not pay for an inpatient drug abuse treatment program so she would continue treatment as an outpatient at an area clinic. Her skin crawls, she has been treated several times at area hospitals for nausea and vomting, she’s had night terrors, sweats, chills, and hallucinations. She is agitated, restless, has experienced severe lower back pain, abdominal cramping, and flood-like diarrhea. Her entire body hurts and she said she wants to kill herself. Worst of all, after all she’s been through and 30 pounds later, she said her evil side calls to her to, “use again.” My daughter has been clean for 18 days now and has a long way to go. She went “cold turkey” without the use of Suboxone or Methadone, which I stoically believe substitutes one addiction for another, at least as far as my child is concerned. In my practice, I have seen opiate addicts stay on Suboxone for over a year, Methadone for longer. What is accomplished? Every person, addiction is different. My daughter opted for a total cleanse. She is currently on Clonidine 0.2mg twice a day, Hydroxyzine 25mg every six hours, Metoclopromide 10mg twice a day, Vitamine B complex sublingual twice a day, and Valerian Root with Passion Flowers daily to over come her symptoms. She has required several trips to ER and bags of Normal Saline to replenish liquids lost from the contant bouts of vomiting and diarrhea. I am guilty of administering several Prochlorperazine 25mg supposities (from prior illnesses) at bedtime to control the vomiting and Naproxen 500mg to undermine the constant body aches. My daughter has finally gone from darkness into light. Today, she feels better and has eaten solid food. She has kept liquids and solids down for 48 hours. The light is returning to her eyes and for the first time in months, she smiled. The light has overcome the darkness, morning has broken. To all those who suffer from this horrid noose, and all those who love you, my heart goes out. Stay strong and do whatever you can to keep your promises. Get help, reach out, do not be afraid. We all make mistakes, we all fall down. Together, we can overcome,

shawmana
9:58 pm January 31st, 2013

To heart sick mom: Classical music heals the brain: the sequencing in it. play her all of them over and over. start with moonlight sonata READ beautiful boy or its my beautiful boy by nick sheffs father nick s. was a meth addict who sold him self to gays for meth for yrs.
read how its a disease and stop judging your daughter all that society stuff you think is embarassing to your ego drop it or she wont trust you
you talk like youre ashamed of her and you should be asking who abused her or date raped her or touched her in childhood
you have no clue bad things happen in good families too.
she took pot early for some reason. did her father slap her at all or ever lay a hand on her any man in the family ever hurt her bc this alone will drive a child or teen straight to drugs screw everything else bc they get tramautized or maybe a death of a friend or relative she could not deal with but usually this stems from early childhood trauma
im just saying out of everything ive read this is what it comes down to. you cannot pressure he with whatver it was before it will drive her to use more and relapse
she will also need vitamins and should do a vegan diet spinach broccoli daily Red Delicious apples clean the blood its a specific compound
its hard bc they taste the drug they crave it etc its not anything you or i could relate to. but this is what ive read fm yrs of research on addiction im not a licensed specialist but its fm my own personal exp with bf’s friends etc
sometimes

vegan brown rice no sugar diet no sauces all vege fruits to get cravings out. shell crave the drug in her mouth workout routine Yoga pilates the hardest positions they massage the body from the inside. every day==running till she drops or rollor blading or modern dance or all of them noting fast food except salad or md’s coffee its green mountain organic but no burgers nothing fried its all bio-chemically engineered to make you addicted. read eric schlosser’s Fast Food Nation and Omnivours dilemma and in the Jungle written before 1929 i think about the factory meats
1. Red Delicious Apples 2-4/day they clean the blood
2. Dr. OZ books on health all of them
3. A million little pieces by J. Frey
4. Spinach
5. blueberries
6. lemon
7 limes
8 garlic
9 all nick sheff’s books
10 cinnimon in coffee hot chocolate
11 dark chocolate 65% unsweetened 3 oz a day
12 grapefruit
13 green tea
14 honey
15 pineapple
16 kiwi fruit
17 almonds
18 beans every kind
the owner of carlton ritz hotel chain got brain cancer after he had it surgically removed a japanese natural healer told him to do a diet only with brown rice, veges fruits whole no salt no oils nothing processed. just as natural as he could for 1 yr to get back to health

Call the loveline show, tell dr drew hes a specialized addcition medicine dr 20yrs experience.

First, I just read the part where you didnt get her drugs to get her off of heroin. OMG youre not a dr and youre lucky she hasnt died from withdrawals yet.
that part is awful. i dont know who told you to not give those nec. drugs just for that drug withdrawal but you need to talk to a reputable psychiatrist
you dont understand the danger of what youre dealing with.

Read Danielle Steal: Brilliant Light on her sons herion addiction he overdosed at 20 somthing early 20′s.

also dont feel offended if she doesnt include you in what she talks about or shares with a therapist. this is vital to her mental health to get out whatever she needs to just get out with someone she can trust whos not emotionally attatched may help at the beginning of talking about what actually led to her touching pot in the first place and then what made her want more and more i dont know but i do know genius minds abused or not feel like they need to experiment w/drugs even if it leads to suicide it could just be that
and thats only uncovered through therapy.
or she could relapse over and over
do not pressure her with back to school or finishing or anything
right now her mental health is at stake to the drug and relapse

Also, she will need psychotherapy with someone she trusts and respects that she can be open with about everything someone nonjudgmental who understands addictions
they will need to monitor how shes doing weekly

shamana
11:45 pm February 22nd, 2013

to hsdrmom, dont feel stupid drug addiction is in all types of families

Pat
2:19 am October 13th, 2013

My 33 yr. old son recently OD’d on heroin. I don’t understand the feeling that you get from it! What in your life is missing that you need to fill it with heroin?? He is still in the hospital unable to talk, on dialysis, has a trach and lost his leg. Is all this worth it?

Ms. Morpheus
11:53 am December 30th, 2013

Wow, that’s intense. I was under the impression that a “hot shot” contained trace metals or something…I read that somewhere. Supposedly that’s what killed Janis Joplin.

Aside from injecting (eww!) the thing that would scare me most about heroin is the impurity aspect. Nowadays it’s cut with super-potent fentanyl analogs like acetyl-fentanyl, which are much easier to OD on than heroin.

America needs a treatment program like the one in Switzerland. The heroin is a pharmaceutical grade, clear liquid rather than filthy black tar. Addicts can get their fix and spend their days working or doing something other than wandering the streets. Methadone is a decent option but has serious problems of its own, like being more difficult to quit than heroin for most junkies. Of course, kratom and poppy pods are other semi-legal options for quitting.

Glad you’re clean now.

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About Richard Farrell

Richard Farrell is an author, screenwriter, and filmmaker. He directed the documentary High on Crack Street for HBO and received Alfred I. DuPont Award from Columbia University. The Fighter, a feature film based on High on Crack Street, staring Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale, and Farrell playing himself, was released December 10, 2010. His new memoir, What's Left of Us, is being made into a feature film starring Channing Tatum (Dear John).