Oxycodone Was my First Love and I Would Have Died for Her
When you think of a persons first love, rarely would you think that something like a narcotic pain-killer in OxyContin would fit the typical description. In my case though, Oxycodone (the active ingredient in OxyContin) was very much my first love and I have proved repeatedly I would die for her while we were together.
You see my love affair with opiates started around the same time in my life that normal people start to fall in love with another person. It was during a bathroom break in my seventh grade Spanish class that I met Oxycodone officially and trust me, it was love at first sniff.
Why Did I Fall in Love With Opiates?
In every drug addiction treatment center that I have been in (and the list is lengthy) they have asked in one way or another “what is it that draws me to opiates? Why do I continue to shoot Fentanyl even after it has caused such negative, life-altering effects? Why do I continue to put Heroin and Fentanyl in front of everything in my life, including my children, my future wife and the rest of the family I still associate with?
The people who love me have tried so hard to understand how my love for a drug that causes me so much physical and emotional pain can continue to be placed in front of the love I have for them. I have tried to explain it to them the best I can, but there’s a secret that they don’t know- and it’s that I don’t even understand why I continued to use drugs even after they have ruined my life over and over again.
“it was like the world had put a warm blanket around me”
Even after starting my life from scratch so many times. Starting at the bottom at a job and working my way up just to let it crumble in a matter of months when I started using again. How could I possibly expect them to understand?
Opiates Were Like a Warm Blanket that I Couldn’t Uncover From
When I snorted that first 7.5 mg Percocet tablet in the seventh grade, it was like the world had put a warm blanket around me. In terms of warmth and in terms of comfort, opiates provided me with both that I had not been able to find in anything else up to that point.
Suddenly the shy kid that once peed his pants in the second grade because I was too scared to raise my hand suddenly felt like I could take on the world. I was talkative, I had a boost of motivation, I was able to talk to the popular kids and it wasn’t awkward anymore. In the beginning stages of my opiate abuse, I truly believed that this feeling could last forever.
Unfortunately by the time I realized that I had a problem with opiates and the benefits I was getting were just a facade, I was already head over heels in love with them and I couldn’t let go. It was mutual too- or so I thought. Opiates loved me back in those glory days- as long as I could find enough money or steal enough pills, no one could take away the feeling I got in those early days. I was cuddled up cozy to my opiates while everything around me fell apart.
I Wasn’t a Full-Blown Opiate Addict Right Away
I wasn’t a full-blown opiate addict after that first experience with Oxy in the school bathroom. In fact, after that time I only used Percocet a couple more times over the next two years or so. In hindsight I think the reason I didn’t turn into a full-blown addict sooner was because I found a girlfriend, made friends, did well in school and started to naturally enjoy my life. I wasn’t looking for anything else.
It was around two years after my first use of Oxycodone that I started to get back into abusing opiates.
In the middle of my freshman year of high school, my parents made a decision to move us from Massachusetts where we had been raised to Upstate New York where my grandmother was sick and living on borrowed time. I don’t blame them for wanting to move given the circumstances, but I have long since identified this event as the one that sent me into the rabbit-hole of opiate addiction.
Drugs Gave Me a Connection I Lacked After the Move
When I started to abuse drugs after I moved to NY, it was for one simple reason. Drugs gave me a group of people to call “friends” so long as I was pulling my weight and of use to them. See I wasn’t the popular kid. My younger brother played sports and was in seventh grade when we moved, so he had a relatively easy time finding friends. Sports gave him a connection to a group of like-minded people.
I was a 14 year old freshman in high school that didn’t play sports, wasn’t particularly great looking and had no idea what people in New York were like. Simply said, I did not fit in and I went looking for anything that gave me a connection to other people.
It didn’t take long for me to end up dabbling again in opiates. We’re talking about 2004-2006, just a few years after OxyContin abuse exploded and only a few years before it would be re-formulated to “prevent abuse”. OxyContin in that time period was available by the thousands and dirt cheap.
When the FDA Finally Did Something it Was Too Late
The FDA did finally force Purdue Pharma, the inventor and promoter of OxyContin as non-addictive to reformulate its drug but it was too late. Pharmaceutical companies- primarily Purdue Pharma had created millions of opiate addicts by the time the FDA and DEA did something to prevent over-prescribing. Now you had millions of addicts addicted to opiates and all of a sudden the FDA and the DEA pull the plug- leaving all of those addicts to find a way to get a fix and keep from getting “dope sick”.
Enter the Explosion of Heroin and Fentanyl
I remember those early days when the pharmaceutical opiate crackdown was taking place. Pill mills all over the country were being shut down, leaving a huge gap between the supply and demand of opiates. All of a sudden an 80mg OC that use to cost $50-60 was now as high as $200 because the demand was far greater than the supply and let’s face it- drug dealers are ruthless and pray on addicts.
In order to meet the demand of these newly created opiate addicts, “savvy” drug dealers started to bring heroin into my area and those people that were once scared of heroin because it was a “street drug” were willing to try it because it was heroin or sickness.
It didn’t take long for addicts to realize heroin was a better bang for your buck and dealers knew there was a huge opportunity to meet demands of opiate addicts created by OxyContin and other pharmaceutical opiates. I was one of these addicts and heroin took over my life. It was cheaper, it was stronger and it was flooding the streets of my town and every other town in America. Momentum was picking up and the opiate epidemic was headed toward the unprecedented levels we stand at in 2023.
Fentanyl Eventually Became the New Heroin
It would be a few more years before Fentanyl started to be mixed with heroin so drug dealers could make yet even more money. In fact, the first Fentanyl I used that wasn’t pharmaceutical grade came in the form of a “fake Oxy 80” or what was called a pressure back then. During this time, I ended up putting together a five year stretch of sobriety after the birth of my twin girls and youngest daughter. When I relapsed in early 2022, I was not experienced with this new Fentanyl dope and it had serious consequences.
I overestimated my tolerance to this new “fetty dope” and it ended up causing three nearly fatal overdoses. The final one so serious it caused what’s called a troponin leak and landed me in the hospital for a week. It was also the worst experience with Narcan out of the three. I’ll talk about that in a later post. This post was just meant to give you some more perspective and insight into my experiences.
Reach Out For Help With Addiction
If you are struggling with addiction, reach out! There are tons of resources available, which I will be compiling a list of soon. There are Facebook groups dedicated solely to addiction. My Facebook group “Overdose Survivor” will eventually be a great resource for addicts.