If I didn’t get treatment, I was going to die — it was just that simple. I had become addicted to heroin after I realized that painkillers just weren’t doing the job for my chronic back pain. The first time I shot up was like heaven. I’d never experienced anything like that rush before, and I wanted to live my life feeling this good all the time. Each cycle after that was a little less fulfilling and a little more dangerous. By the time I realized what was happening, it didn’t matter. I was a slave to the needle, and nothing short of a miracle was going to get me better.
I don’t know what I expected, but life had become an absolute nightmare. I couldn’t relax, my thoughts raced a mile a second, my heart was beating out of my chest and my back pain was worse than it had ever been before. The only short-term cure was a dose of heroin large enough to temporarily make me forget reality. I was playing a marathon game of Russian roulette, and it was only a matter of time before I found the chamber with the bullet. To say that I had given up would be an understatement. To say I was seeking relief from withdrawal, even if it meant death, would be closer to the truth.
I was convinced that detox would kill me, but felt that if I was going to die, it might as well be in my own house. So after a year and a half of consistent heroin abuse, I decided to try and detox on my own. Since I moved to Florida, I had no family around and very few friends, so I’d be able to slowly commit suicide without anyone checking up on me. The problem was that I underestimated the general decency of human beings. I spent two days violently vomiting and screaming in pain for all of my neighbors to hear. One of them must have called the paramedics, and before I knew it, I was being taken to a hospital.
In the hospital it was quickly determined what my problem was. After my condition stabilized, my doctor told me that I needed professional treatment if I didn’t want this to happen again and maybe I wouldn’t be so lucky next time. He gave me some literature on what he considered to be one of the best Florida drug rehab centers. He emphasized to me how serious my drug problem was and that I really needed to get professional treatment to get over my addiction.
He was so right . . . this drug rehab center made all the difference and truly changed my life. Between addressing my suicidal and depressive thoughts in therapy and getting more help for my back than I had in years through massage and fitness therapy, I was able to get my life back and finally defeat my heroin addiction. During my 30 days in treatment there, my doctors helped me to find strength and inner resources I never even knew were there. I felt compelled to write this, because I was as hopeless as anyone, and now I can’t even imagine going back to that life. It was the kindness of someone I never knew and the care of doctors I never knew could exist that restored my mental health and got me lasting and meaningful help with my addiction.