When Drug Dealing Becomes A Drug Addiction
Jasmine’s story of addiction parallels many others’ in that there isn’t necessarily one rock bottom—there are many. She lost friends. She went to jail. She almost died before she was 23. She had all the makings of someone that would never quit. When rock bottom doesn’t provide the wake up call for someone, death lurks on the other line. Fortunately, someone came to her aid.
The Beginning of Addiction
Jasmine raced through high school, graduating at 16. “I figured that I was way ahead of everybody so I can party and let everyone else catch up. I started doing cocaine and drinking on the weekend with my friends. I was a blackout drinker,” Jasmine said.
Like many people who suffer from addiction, Jasmine had no control over her drinking. She couldn’t casually drink. Drinking led her to cocaine use. She did cocaine for 45 days straight after the first time she tried it. Eventually, her parents found out about her use and they made her go to a treatment facility. Unfortunately, she that everyone in the treatment center was worse than her and it only perked her interest in drugs.
She met a guy at the treatment center and he introduced her to more drugs like mushrooms, ecstasy and marijuana. Her parents were enraged and sent her off to upstate New York. This only perpetuated her issues as she was in a town, isolated with nothing to do: so she kept doing drugs.
One day, she got run over by an SUV and broke several ribs. Her doctor prescribed her some pain killers. In a moment of error, she decided to use her mom’s credit card without permission and she was charged with fraud. She bailed herself out, but it got her in debt. In order to get herself out, she started stripping. While stripping, she would take copious amounts of pain killers to dance without pain.
Eventually she ran out of the pain killers and her boyfriend at the time suggested that she take opium. She didn’t really know what she was taking, but it made her feel good. If she knew she was taking heroin, she wouldn’t have taken it. However, she enjoyed it and she wanted to do what her boyfriend was doing. “If I didn’t partake in that I felt like I was separated. I didn’t care. I was in love,” Jasmine said.
A Couple Rock Bottoms, Not Enough
She was paying all their bills, doing heroin and trying to make a relationship work when she got evicted. The eviction marked the end of the relationship, but she found another guy and started doing drugs with him. Her house was eventually raided by the DEA and she swallowed the heroin she had so she could throw it up and use it after she was released—which she did. After that, she moved in with an older guy who enabled her addiction. She was partying every night, staying at hotels.
One of her good friends owed a drug dealer approximately $4,000, which he couldn’t repay. The dealer sent him to the desert and burned him alive. In response, Jasmine overdosed and had to go to a nursing home to recover. That didn’t stop her from using. She had people send her heroin in the hospital and she smoked through an apple at the nursing home. No matter what happened, she couldn’t quit.
Intercepted by an Intervention
She eventually went to prison and after she got out a guy she was dating set up a last ditch intervention to get her help. “Everybody was crying and saying they wanted the old Jasmine back,” Jasmine said. Moved by their care, Jasmine decided to go to treatment again. She realized in treatment how bad her life in addiction was. “[I was] not having to wake up every morning so sick and having to spend hours digging with a needle in my arm trying to find a vein and at this point I had no veins left. I actually spent a lot of time in therapy resolving a lot of the issues I had,” said Jasmine. “It doesn’t matter how bad I want heroin. I still crave it today. It doesn’t matter if I feel good or bad. I can notice it and recognize it, but I know that I can’t use it. And that’s just not an option for me,” said Jasmine.
In her recovery, she has depended on things like yoga, music and art. Things outside of herself that make her feel connected to something bigger. Of the people she used to do drugs with, seven are dead, three are locked up and two are clean. “If you do everything you can to feel good you won’t use,” said Jasmine. “My life is a bit boring at times, but it’s peaceful now and I’m happy,” said Jasmine.