Last Updated on June 24, 2016 by Morris Green
Have you ever been addicted to heroin? Hopefully, you haven’t because it’s brutal. Heroin use is a life devouring thing. It changes you and not for the better. But what is it like?
A Day in the Life
There are lots of pictures painted around the Internet of what heroin addiction looks like. BuzzFeed spotlighted 700 words that explain exactly what it feels like to do heroin, for example. But a day in the life of a person who is struggling with addiction is very different than most people think.
We see people who are affected by heroin addiction almost every day. And if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that a day in the life…well, it isn’t life at all.
The Beginning: It all starts with a fix. A shot. A snort. An ingestion. In goes the heroin, out go the demons. You’re chill. You relax. It might take away some pain. It might help you fit in at the party with all the other people doing it. It might be your first time, and it just feels like a nice drug with a nice effect, kind of like that calm and cool sensation you get from alcohol.
The Middle: It’s true that for some a single hit of an addictive substance can trigger an addiction. But a lot of people say that’s a myth. Here’s the truth of it; most addictions start with psychological dependency. And psychological dependency starts with the want to do something again, and then again, and again, and again until…it’s a habit.
For a heroin user, that hit feels great. It lingers. You feel good until you hit the seventh or eighth hour. Then, your body wants more, and your brain demands it. As the heroin dissipates from the body, the heroin user begins to feel withdrawals.
Andrew Alexander published a piece about this kind of addiction entitled 11 Things You Learn From Being a Heroin Addict. The first thing is all about death. Withdrawals aren’t like the movie or television scenes that hit your TV or Smartphone. They’re worst. Much worse.
Your body rebels. It feels like you’ve been hit by some mutated form of the flu, only fifty times worse than any imaginable mutation. You feel like you’re going to die, and you’re seriously convinced you will if you don’t get a fix.
The End: It’s all about getting back to the beginning, the fix. You don’t just want it; you need it. It doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re doing; you drop everything to get something to end the withdrawal. You might stumble into a hospital where you’re mistaken as a patient with a severe case of the flu. You start flipping out about being in pain because you are and you beg for something—anything—to take the edge off. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a shot of morphine or something similar, but depending on your tolerance level, it won’t do much.
The fix consumes you. You end up on the street, looking to score. And you don’t care where it comes from or how you get it. Once you get it, once you take it, it starts all over again, growing more intense over time.
The cycle of heroin addiction isn’t a movie. It’s not fake. And it’s not exaggerated. It’s life consuming. It’s ugly, and it’s painful. It makes users wish for death. Is that really what you want your life to be?