Trying to Escape Loneliness Through Drugs
The beginning of Sam’s road to the life of a Heroin addict began with a lot of loneliness. That was Sam’s companion growing up. In order to shake it, he gravitated towards drugs. His sister was three years older than him. She introduced him to alcohol and ecstasy for the first time at the Arizona Grand Resort—he was 13 at the time. He didn’t really feel a sense of relief from his loneliness until he tried weed. “I always felt alone; I always felt not right; I always needed something to feel better. I knew the first time I smoked weed that I had found a solution,” Sam said.
The euphoria was extinguished early, as he was caught with a bag of weed at a shopping mall. This was his only trouble with the law. Unfortunately, the punitive results didn’t persuade him to quit smoking weed. The day before his last drug test, required by his probation, his sister took him to the garage and sitting on a tile was a debit card. Sam thought this meant they were going to go use it to get money to buy weed, however, she had a different idea. On the tile was some blue-ish, white powder and she told him that he would do one-half and she would do the other. The crushed up powder OxyContin.
The two thoughts that flooded Sam’s brain were: This is incredible; I’m probably going to do this the rest of my life. I love this; this is going to kill me. Not able to heed the warning of the latter thought, later on, he went back to the basement to try and scrape off the rest of the OxyContin, but he ended up just scraping up bits off the tile.
Addiction, Family, and Heroin
Eventually, Sam began going downstairs and stealing his dad’s pain pills. One day he found $1,000 of his dad’s cash and bought a bunch of beer and weed with it. His dad found out that he stole them. “He kept asking me where the money was and I was like I don’t have it. That was the first time I had felt the shame,” Sam said. Though his dad scolded him, eventually, he found out about Sam’s condition and they started doing drugs together. Sam tried heroin for the first time when he was 14. The first hit he took made him throw up, but he enjoyed the feeling so much he asked for another hit. Heroin ravaged his relationships with friends and family, isolating him even further.
His rock bottom moment came when his little sister caught him and his dad getting high together. She walked in on them, left the room and went in her’s to slit her wrists. Sam tried sitting down with her afterward, but she wouldn’t have anything to do with him. Unfortunately, this didn’t immediately stop Sam from using.
Sam and his dad sustained their drug habit by pawning. They had up to three thousand worth of items in the pawn shop at one time. However, there was always a hole in Sam. He quit heroin, but he still felt sad and was using other drugs. One day, he was sitting with his dad and they were about to get high, but his dad stopped him. His dad asked for him to go to rehab five months after his 18th birthday.
Harvesting Healing in Recovery
Sam agreed and went to a drug rehab in Scottsdale, Az, but he ended up calling his dad to get picked up. Sam proceeded to get high after coming home, but his dad wasn’t having it. He made Sam seek out another rehab facility. Before going to intake, he ate eight valiums, smoked meth, and weed. He didn’t remember anything until the seventh day of intake. On day ten he had a terrible mental obsession.
His counselor came to talk to him and Sam said he was screwed and that he was going to get high again. In response, his counselor said that he was right and as long as he recognized that he was screwed and going to get high again, he would be okay. This confounded Sam a bit. But, his counselor told him a story about how the Romans would burn their boats when they came to conquer a new place so that they would either start a new life or go back and die. “I subconsciously decided to start a new life,” Sam said. That night, he went upstairs and prayed. After falling asleep, he had a dream and heard a voice that said: “you’re in the right place, you’re doing the right thing.” With goosebumps and a smile on his face, Sam realized he didn’t want to get high anymore.
He started working the 12-steps and the shackles of addiction slowly loosened their grip over his life. Sam believes that working the steps will help people overcome the things that lead them to abuse in the first place. “Find a solution, find a meeting to go to. Take this simple solution and run with it. It will give you a life greater than you can imagine. Simple as that,” Sam said.