From One Drug of Choice to Another

Sober woman at home with a cat
Photo by borevina/

It is not uncommon for people who struggle with addiction to move from one drug of choice to another. This can happen in several ways, but the most common is thinking they have everything under control and it is okay for them to have a drink of alcohol.

I wanted to share my story of how I continually changed from one drug of choice to a new drug of choice and, more importantly, how I learned abstinence was the only way for me to recover.

For years I used drugs and experimented with new substances. After living on this downward spiral, I finally moved back into my mom’s house. She sent me into a detox center with the agreement I could leave if I went into rehab. That was my first taste of a 12-step program. Mind you, I did get sober from heroin and have been sober off that for three and a half years; however, as much as I would like to tell you I got sober, I did not.

I moved to Louisiana the day I left sober living to be with my friend. I took two bags with my cat and me. I was sober for about three months, then November came. I was alone on Thanksgiving with no one to call or hang out with. Boredom hit me, and then depression, which was followed by, hello old friend—inhalants. I became chemically dependent on them. I hid my addiction very well for quite some time. I had a good job making my own money. I met a guy, we moved in together and got engaged. I was still dealing with my addiction, but I was happy.

My then fiancé finally caught on to my little secret and did what he could, but it got way too out of hand. I ended up going to another 12-step program and relapsed the day I got out. I lost my job, my fiancé, got kicked out of sober living and had enough. I had to get real help. The other programs did not work for me, so eventually, I did find that help.

I have realized that a lot of my change in drugs of choice was out of boredom, depression, and wanting to find a new high. Now that I think about it, the thought I would have control over heroin seemed ridiculous.

I have met so many people recovering from addiction, and when I have asked why they used drugs, I get so many different answers. I hear depression, boredom, wanting to feel numb, to escape, and that it started as something fun to do and turned into them getting in way over their head. It is hard to pinpoint why I changed my drugs of choice so much, but I can say I do not feel so alone. I needed help and needed to talk to others who may have gone through what I have gone through. I have made many mistakes in my life, but the best thing is that I can work on getting my life back on track. Abstinence has been my savior because it has helped me keep a clear mind on my decisions and think things through more.

“There are so many options for people who cannot put the drug down but want help. The first step for me was admitting I had a problem and that I had hit rock bottom...”

I don’t miss partying anymore, nor the girl I was before I arrived at sobriety. Every day I am working on myself and focusing on having an actual life that does not revolve around when I can get my next high or how I can get money. I am working hard every day to keep going and not running or hiding anymore. There are so many options for people who cannot put the drug down but want help. The first step for me was admitting I had a problem and that I had hit rock bottom. Which sometimes, you need to hit rock bottom to get to where you need to be. This is just how I got sober from all my drugs and freed myself. Everyone is different, but everyone deserves help, and I hope this helps push some people to get help before they hit rock bottom or things get way too out of control.



Aaron has been writing drug education articles and documenting the success of the Narconon program for over two years.