Overdose Survivor is the Place For Addiction Hope
This story starts around fifteen years ago as a seventh grader snorting Oxycodone in the bathroom of my local middle school. There’s so much in between that I could write three books about my opiate addiction and still never come close to touching on all of the details, the distress and the pure heart break caused by my addiction to OxyContin at first and eventually heroin and Fentanyl.
Instead of trying to re-visit my entire troubled past in this one post, I’m going to tell you about my most recent run with active addiction that ended in three un-intentional heroin overdose on what the streets calls “Fetty” dope because it’s sold as heroin but everyone using it knows it’s almost entirely Fentanyl, Carfentantyl or another analogue of the powerful opiate pain-killer.
Three Heroin Overdoses, Three Narcan Administrations and Three Chances
Coming off of five years clean and sober which involved the birth of three children, a couple good jobs and a lot of other really good things- I thought I could use dope one more time and I relapsed. First it was crack cocaine, because that’s not my drug of choice, so I could obviously use it just once and stop, right?
After spending a night hiding from my kids’ mother and smoking crack with a “buddy”– everything in between quotations is bull shit by the way- I came home thirsty as hell for the next go-around. My active addiction was back in full swing and it would only be a matter of time before I returned to my old “friend” in IV heroin.
It’s not that I blame that “buddy” I referred to because I never blame anyone else for my choices. It’s the addiction I blame. It’s myself I blame. Anyways, shortly after that night spent chasing my first hit of crack, I decided that I could do it again but this time I was going to leave any stone unturned. I wasn’t going to jones for more when it was gone. Not when opiates are such a “good” way to come down from cocaine and meth or other “uppers”.
So this time around I made sure I bought a bag of that fetty dope everyone was raving about because it was so much stronger and it’s cheap. Once I started that cycle, it was a blur of six months that included three Narcan administrations due to heroin overdose, several trips to the hospital and a whole lot of broken hearts and let-downs of everyone around me including my dad, my children and my girlfriend.
Someone Thought I Was Worth Saving
That same girlfriend that I was letting down continuously as I ran the streets- often times sneaking out after she fell asleep- is the person that had to Narcan my life-less body three separate times. She did it because she thought I was worth saving even when I didn’t believe it myself. Even though I was breaking her heart more and more every day, she continued to stand in my corner because she had been a part of my sober life for those five years prior.
We shared the birth of twin daughter in 2017, another daughter in 2018 and we shared five years of raising them along with her son to the best of our abilities and beyond at times. Everyone has a Marissa in their life, even if you think at the moment you do not. I promise if you look around you will see that there is someone who wants to see you succeed even in your darkest days.
Let that person save you.
My Goal With Overdose Survivor
If I’m being honest, the reason I’m writing this post and every post to follow is as much for my own benefit as yours. You see, helping people gain the strength and courage to quit using heroin, alcohol, caffeine or whatever else it may be helps keep me clean and sober. I’m not a recovering addict that preaches or even attends AA, NA or other self-help groups but there is one thing I learned in NA that has helped me maintain my sobriety and that’s helping other addicts helps me.
If I can prevent one person from being that 25 year old in the obituaries who died “suddenly of unexpected causes” which these days almost always means heroin overdose, then I have in some way paid back a little bit of the debt I took on when I had my life saved and was given another chance to be a dad, a son, a brother and a lover. In the future of Overdose Survivor, I’m going to tell you more about my story and hopefully offer you some tips to get sober, stay sober and live life to the fullest after you do so.
There’s a lot of story to be told after my nearly twenty year battle with opiate addiction and the ensuing heroin overdoses, my near-death experience with bacterial endocarditis in 2016 and other health problems associated with IV heroin abuse, so be prepared for things to get dark at times but I promise to follow up with the much brighter times I have had in sobriety.