The easiest withdrawal I’ve ever had

When I was about fifteen, I was having like, really bad cramps and a bunch of—I went to all kinds of doctors and no one could figure out quite what it was. And they thought it was my bladder or something and so they decided to start giving me painkillers for it. I was using for about two or three years probably, the painkillers. I think I just turned eighteen.

One of the buddies that I was hanging out with introduced me to heroin. I snorted it for a really long time and I was like, “Okay, this is okay, I’m just doing it on the weekends, that’s fine.” Then it turned into every day. Then eventually it got to the needle. And once you start using the needle, it’s like, it’s game over from that point.

I had a job that cocktail waiting on Bourbon Street. There would be some nights I’d make a thousand dollars in cash. I would leave and still, by the next day, I would have blown that all on heroin and I would be struggling to find food.

So finally I got really, really sick—lost my job and at that point I was like, “Fine, I’ll go check out this rehab.” Going to that rehab, I met all kinds of people and learned about all kinds of drugs. And I did the Suboxone thing for a while. One weekend I was like, “Oh, I have some needles—maybe I can try to shoot up the Suboxone.”

I’ve overdosed before. But this time I was completely conscious the entire time. Right before I fell on the ground I looked at myself in the mirror and I was just completely white and my eyes were not even bloodshot, they were just, the white of my eyes were just completely red, and the rest of my body was purple. And I was like, “I’m gonna die right now.” I should have stopped at that point, I should have been like, “You almost died.” But honestly, I just kept going, which was the worst part about it—I just kept going.

And I told my mom—she really wanted me to go to rehab—and I said, “I’ll go to rehab if you find me a non-12-step program.” I thought that they didn’t exist and so I wouldn’t have to go to rehab. And so I was like, “Well, that will take her a while.” And sure enough, she comes back with this brochure and she was like, “Look, it’s holistic and it’s not 12-step.” And I was like, “Oh man, she found one!”

I weighed probably close to 90 pounds when I got to Narconon. The withdrawal was so easy. And telling a junkie that they’re about to go through a drug-free withdrawal is very scary. But, it was the easiest withdrawal I’ve ever had. I can definitely say that. When you’re going through and there’s people that are closer to your age and they’ve been through it and they’re successful and they’ve been clean for years, it makes all the difference. You can actually relate to the people that work at Narconon.

The back end of the Narconon program was by far my favorite because that was the part where they really get to those underlying issues of why you started using drugs in the first place. And it’s nobody telling you, “This is why you started using drugs, you’re this and you’re that.” It was me.

My relationship with my family now is great. They’ve never been so proud of me probably in my whole life. It’s great. It’s just like, there is no other way to explain it. You know, it’s just a really good feeling when you go from a point where every time your mom thought about you, she cried—to going to a point where every time your mom thinks about you, she’s just ecstatic and wants to tell all of her friends about you. Because I was never the kid that your mom wants to go brag about. And now I am.

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