What is it Like to be a Heroin Addict?
“It’s hard to describe but if I were going to sum up what it was like to be addicted to heroin, I would say it’s like waking up every morning and only being able to think about one thing.
“Getting heroin was all consuming. It was like being afraid for my life if I didn’t get my hands on it. Everything else faded into the background and I found myself doing things that made me hate myself, just to get it.
“Then I wanted more to get high enough, so I couldn’t think about what I had become and what I had done to get it. And every day I took more and more to escape reality.
“It didn’t start that way… I started snorting heroin on weekends with my girlfriend. We would go on a date night out to eat and then sit in my car, snort heroin and go somewhere else. I had a job and was in college. From the outside, even to my parents, it looked like I had my life together. Hell, even in my own eyes I was doing fine. I was just having a good time…
“I realize how insane that must sound and now understand the road I was heading down. For me, it wasn’t like in most movies about heroin. I didn’t just start using then immediately turn into a junkie who was stealing and lying to everyone. I was just having a good time… Until I wasn’t.
“That’s the thing about heroin addiction and it might be that way for any type of addiction. You realize one day your habit is out of control and by that point, it’s way too late.
“I did what I had to, so I didn’t get sick. I now realize that being on the verge of being sick is when all the bad shit would happen. That is the point where I would steal from anyone I could, where I would tell any kind of lie because I felt like if I didn’t get more heroin, the world would end. And I was willing to do anything to prevent the world from coming to an end.
“That’s why when people told me, ‘you need to stop’ or that I was hurting them, it didn’t matter anymore. It’s not that I didn’t care,
it’s just that nothing they said would stop the feeling of impending, inevitable doom…”
“That’s why when people told me, ‘you need to stop’ or that I was hurting them, it didn’t matter anymore. It’s not that I didn’t care, it’s just that nothing they said would stop the feeling of impending, inevitable doom of not getting more heroin.
“Looking back, I don’t know how I would have quit if I had not gone to treatment. Specifically, addiction treatment outside my area because when I went through detox, I was still thinking about using heroin. That cycle of getting high and then soon after being worried about the next fix is hard to break. It took me months to get to the point where I was completely confident that I would never go back to where I was in life before treatment.
“If you see signs or suspect someone is using heroin, don’t tell yourself that could never be. Because trust me, it could be. I grew up with a great, supportive family. My dad was a professor and my mom was a teacher. I didn’t come from a broken home. They never thought it could be heroin… they were wrong.”
—Anonymous, Narconon Graduate