Filed under: JUNKe life
Actually my life is a lot less chaotic these past couple years. Even though I’m still using daily, I’m not running around in what’s referred to as “the life” these days. I attribute my current stability to methadone maintenance.
I’m no longer on methadone maintenance, and haven’t been for about three years. However, it was methadone maintenance that got me out of “the life” and enabled me to get my life straightened out, so to speak.
What’s so great about methadone maintenance. Well, it isn’t the methadone. It’s the maintenance. Maintenance is being prescribed a daily dose of an opiate (in this case, methadone). By being able to have one’s habit provided through a doctor’s prescription, one no longer has to scramble to make money, and to score. Therefore, one is able to removed oneself from the drug scene since one’s reason for being in it in the first place is to find drugs. Now that the drugs come from a pharmacy one doesn’t need to hang with other users andealers in order to survive.
Maintenance means getting a dialy opiate drug to feed one’s opiate dependency. Feeding the dependency is what being addicted is all about. The imperative to feed one’s dependency is what causes people to sacrifice everything in order to keep that monkey on our backs feed. Because we know from harsh experience, if we don’t feed it, we suffer big time.
I spent four years on maintenance and through those four years I was able to save some money, get my head back together, and eventually buy a house and move to the country. It was actually amazing how quickly things started falling back into place when I no longer had to scramble day in and day out for drugs, and spend every damn penny I could beg, borrow and steal (yes, steal) to purchase drugs and super-inflated illicit market prices.
The first thing I purchased was a computer. I spend a lot of time on it. Being on the computer was a good way to fill my days when I was first on maintenance. It gave me something to do and kept me occuppied. That was important because it is often boredom that returns people to the street.
I spend a fair bit of time in methadone forums, chatting with other people on methadone maintenance. Not only did I get help from others, but I was able to assist newbies in understanding the process of methadone maintenance and help them to not get frustrated when everything didn’t automatically go right.
Eventually, I went of methadone completely. That was a big step because I hadn’t been opiate-free in nearly a decade. In other words, every single day for almost ten years I’d taken some opiate drug – usually injecting morphine or heroin. So to finally meet a day when I was entirely drug free was a scary, yet very liberating thing.
I went about two years without doing any drugs what-so-ever. But then one day, while visiting a friend who was using heroin, I decided to give it a try again. I had no intention of starting to use regularly again. I just wanted to get high once or twice. It blew my mind how little heroin I needed to take to get very high. I mean, one-tenth of what I used to do just to not get sick, now got me extremely high. So, the little bit I purchased, lasted me way longer than I expected. Too long as it turns out. Because I was able to do a little bit each day for six days, and then at the end of those six days, lo and behold, I was wired again.
So for the past two years I’ve been using everyday. Caught up again in the dependency trap where I have to get some opiates into me or I’ll get very, very sick with withdrawal. And I’m getting to the age where undergoing withdrawal (never a picnic at the best of times) would be very risky to my health. So need and fear keep me using.
Luckily, I’m not back in the chaoitic life. I have my schedule organized. I score, and I score in bulk, enough to last me until I score again. When I was penniless in the past, I could never score in bulk, and could never get ahead. Now I’m able to do so. Although it is getting a bit harder to keep up as the months go by because my habit keeps getting larger.
There’s a nasty little paradox with opiates and its called tolerance. You soon are able to tolerate what just weeks ago would have been a dangerously large dose. Through tolerance you have to keep increasing your dose just to get the same result. Evenually you become so tolerant that you don’t hardly get high anymore, you just use so as not to get sick.
Along the way I’ve managed two university degress (undergrad and grad), gotten married, fathered a daughter, and gotten divorced. Today, I’m happily involved with a woman whose my partner in every sense of the word. We morgage our house together, we raise our children together, we do dope together, we work for drug users rights together.
Its tough maintaining a house and a habit, but it is infinitely easier than the hussle of “the life” and infinitely more rewarding as well. Oh, and did I say, I intend to stop using again… someday!
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