My legs had been aching and quivering from this awful dull pain for about thirty hours.

The pain was persistent and incessant,  regardless of how I positioned them.

I was insatiably thirsty, no matter how much liquid I drank.

There was no fridge downstairs, so I drank the warm Budweiser cans in a vain attempt to avoid having to be seen by the normal people upstairs.

It was a beautiful and sunny late-Spring weekend in Ogunquit, Maine. My extended family’s 2.3 million dollar beach-front property.

While my comrade and I were experiencing hell for the first time of our lives. We’d each seen some low lows, but this was the worst.

I felt as though I was going to start melting from heat one moment, then I was shivering and freezing cold the next.

With my arms clenched around myself, my chest and ribs felt so tight and fragile, as though I was wearing a strait-jacket that was getting increasingly tighter with every moment.

I was not puking, though I faintly remember wanting to at times because of the intense nausea and the putrid smell of the stale old beer.


I distinctly remember being so surprised that heroin had such a bad rep in society. People seemed to regard it as one of the worst drugs in existence.

We’d been doing it for a few weeks at this point with no apparent consequences.

The high was more intense than OxyContin, and for only a fraction of the price.

I loved it.

It was a no-brainer to make the transition.

What I failed to realize was that the adverse affects would inevitably seize me once I stopped ingesting it on a daily basis.

This was not common sense to me despite all my prior experience with other drugs. Heroin seemed different.

Fortunately, my life as a dope-junkie was a short lived existence. It probably lasted about six months before I detoxed and went to Marine Corps boot camp.

My pain and sufferings with addiction were not born with heroin, and certainly did not end with heroin.

I recall years later, in early sobriety, having the thought that if I ever did relapse, heroin would bring me to the undertaker.

It is the one drug that I can say I didn’t get the full taste of. Out of all the others, it’s the one that I didn’t feel satisfaction around.

I say ‘satisfaction’ because I feel as though I saw the mountain top of every other drug I experienced.

I say ‘mountain top’ with the subtle implication of it being proceeded by the deepest darkest canyons of despair and misery.

Maybe this is why so many are dying everyday from it. Maybe you never get the highest high again once you’ve experienced the first.

Maybe that is why it has such a bad reputation.

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