Why I Gave Detox A Chance

By Gallus Detox 02/22/16

(Sponsored) The sad reality of being a drug addict is that eventually you find yourself trying to escape from your escape. After a decade of addiction, all I wanted to do was escape to a better life outside of using. 

Why I Gave Detox A Chance

As an avid heroin user for almost 10 years, I believed that detox wouldn't work. I had my mind made up. I was too stubborn to even attempt it. I think for the most part I believed continuing to use would be much easier than trying to stop. Withdrawal? I didn't have time for that. I have an all-or-nothing mentality, and I had my mind made up that if I wanted to stop, I just would. I knew my strength—or so I thought.

My road to addiction began as innocently as taking some painkillers to manage a severely broken ankle. I loved the feeling that Oxy gave me as I fell asleep. It was a sudden rush of calm all over my body, I felt no pain and not a single care in the world. It's scary how fast my body became used to it. At first I didn't even want to take any pain pills, but sleeping in a cast was really uncomfortable. I soon figured out taking an Oxy would help me sleep. Some nights I would mix Oxy and Vicodin just to make sure I didn't wake up in the middle of the night. 

Since I was prescribed painkillers in the ER, I was never really told how to taper off of them. The thought of becoming addicted honestly never crossed my mind. 

After a few months, my ankle had pretty much healed but I still found myself taking pain pills. If I tried to go a day without them, the withdrawal hit me like a ton of bricks; I was nauseous, broke out in cold sweats and craved relief. So I continued taking them, and promised myself that I would stop tomorrow, and then that turned into the next day and so on. I found myself making excuses to take them everyday. For me, it was easier to take more pills than to face the fact, or even the possibility, that I couldn't continue on without drugs. 

At first it wasn't hard to get pills. I would just keep complaining about the pain and my doctor wrote me a new script. I was honestly surprised how easy it was. It seemed nothing would get in my way and I was able to keep my secret a little longer every month. That alone gave me a high. No one knew I was doing anything. I kept things private and could put on a great act. To everyone else I was normal. I think this was one more factor that led to my denial that I had a drug problem. However, about six months in, my doctor starting questioning my drug use and would not renew my prescription. Instead, he wrote me out a plan to taper off. I still remember tossing the paper into the trash as I left. 

That night I began frantically looking for an alternative because I still wasn't ready to stop. There are hundreds of drug forums online, and pretty much any question you have you can google an answer for. I wasn't necessarily searching for it but one thing continually popped up right in front of my eyes: heroin. I found so much information on heroin; it seemed to be a much cheaper alternative to Oxy and easier to get. The only problem was I didn't know any drug dealers. It's not something people exactly advertise as their career choice either. Through the forums I had learned that sometimes drug dealers linger around methadone clinics. It sounds terrible, but most people leave these places and instantly score more. It's like preying on the weak. I had success finding a drug dealer and from then on my new addiction was heroin.

I think many drug users, and addicts in general, continually try to justify using. I used to think to myself, Well I might have pain later so I better use, or I had a really horrible day and I need to forget about it and then I used. I never bothered to look at healthier ways to deal with my problems or stress. This self-talk increased daily. Even as I was attempting to text my dealer I would talk myself into picking up the phone. Eventually, I didn't need any convincing. At some point, heroin took over my life. When I used I was on autopilot. I started messing up and people began walking out of my life. I was broke, lying, stealing, doing all the cliché things I swore to myself I would never do.

The last five years of my addiction seemed as if it happened overnight. At times, I couldn't believe the life I was living, and that I did this to MYSELF. Drug addicts like me think that the good times will always outweigh the bad, that using to escape reality can continue on forever. The sad reality is that eventually I was trying to escape my escape. Then what? What did I have left to do with myself? 

I began trying to slow down my use but I couldn't stand it. It's hard to describe the pain to another person. I literally felt like every bone in my body was on fire and I wanted to crawl out of my own skin. At times, I could describe it as thousands of spiders crawling on every inch of me. The itching was unbearable. I was held prisoner in my own body. I had many suicidal thoughts, and if I had to choose getting high over the pain I would have chose using every. single. time. The withdrawals were the worst thing I have ever experienced in my life. I shudder now reflecting back on that time in my life. 

One day I woke up at 4 am in a dark room filled with a few other addicts and decided I didn't want to feel like this anymore. My cocky self-confidence gone, I had been defeated, I had lost everything and I was suffocating from the inside out. I decided that maybe detox was something I would want to try. I had come to realize that if I could get over the suffering of withdrawal that maybe, just maybe, I had a chance at a normal life. I knew detox could assist me somewhat with this. 

Knowing my past history with methadone clinics I knew that it wasn't an avenue I was interested in exploring at all. Through many conversations with a friend and Internet searches, I found a medical detox program that forever changed my life. I had my doubts going in but the experience was much better than expected. I actually felt remorse that I didn't try it sooner. I know that many people are afraid of detox, whether it's because of the pain of withdrawing or the fact that you will finally have to face the shit going on in your life.

If I had not been so stubborn I could have felt like myself again much sooner, I could have possibly avoided loss, heartache and pain, but part of my life now is moving forward and not looking back. I couldn't continue to mourn the loss of people that walked out of my life, or focus on the fact that I had drained my savings over the past 10 years on drugs. I needed to look ahead to gain perspective on what type of life I wanted to live. I could continue wallowing in self-pity or become better; I chose the latter. I know for many people addiction is something that completely ruins their life, and there's no easy fix. Just when you think you may have it figured out, a person can relapse. However, detox is worth a shot. It will give you a chance to feel like YOU again, and during that time gain some perspective, and it may just save your life, like it saved mine.


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