A Day in the Life of an Addict
I wrote this for Health. I am
in the 8th grade. It inspires some people.
Today we are going to find out what it is like to be an addict. First I will give you some background on this person. He is 17 years old, and he started using heroin when he was 15. He gave in to peer pressure. He had been in 8th grade health the year before he started, he knew what happened when people became dependent on a substance. He wasn't going to let that happen to him. But when he was 15, his parents were getting a divorce. They had been happily married for a long time, and now that they were getting a divorce, he was upset. And he blamed himself, because to our addict seemed that most of their arguments were about him. So he gave in to peer pressure at that party, partially to impress his friends, partially to spite his parents, and
partially to help him forget about that D he was earning in Science. But that was a long time ago. Now, he is living with his Dad, not because his parents got a divorce and the father was awarded custody, but because shortly after this boy became a drug user, his mother was killed in a car accident in which the driver of the other car was high. Ironic, isn't it. But the father was so distraught, it seemed like he didn't want a divorce anymore, he just realized that he couldn't live without her, and he fell apart. So, this kid is living in a 2 bedroom apartment with his father who earns his money by working at Jack in the Box. But what is more depressing is that he doesn't even care. He doesn't care that his father has become an alcoholic, from not knowing the proper way to deal with his grief, he doesn't care that he is going to have a son in a matter of weeks, he just doesn't care about any of those things, or the people, that should be most important to him. That should be sufficient information to start our day.
It is the break of noon and our friend is just waking up. He immediately doesn't get dressed, doesn't brush his teeth, doesn't take a shower, doesn't use mouthwash, but sits down on the couch next to his dad - who has long since passed out - and shoots some heroin. Not quite a bowl of Captain Crunch, is it? After doing this for a while, he goes to get some more, it seems that he has run out. So he walks across the street in his pajamas to his supplier. But the cops are there. Oops, it looks like someone ratted him out. Well, our boy still has enough brain cells left to not go in there, so he goes home. He says to himself, Ok, what do I do now? It is alright, Jared will be along day after tomorrow with some more. I can go that long without it. It is true that
withdrawal is probably the most difficult part of quitting. And at this point who we are observing has had no thought of quitting, just of how long it will be before he can get some more. But because of how often he had been getting baked, he was off on his calculations. Jared wouldn't be there for four more days. That will be a little tough.
So we stay and we watch. At first he seems all right. A little fidgety, but that can be attributed to anything. He watches a lot of TV. Mostly hard-core music videos. But that only lasts for a little while. He is having trouble sitting still. He gets up, thinking to eat something. There are some Lucky Charms in the cupboard, but no milk. So, he uses hard liquor instead. At this point, his dad has gotten up and gone to work. So he eats. Ravenously. Not surprising, considering the extremely low amount of food that he had consumed in the last month. He eats another bowl, and another. Then he throws up. It has been 3 hours, he is alright. Not violent, not angry, maybe he wasn't so much of an addict as I had thought. But then he lies down on the floor in the fetal position. All curled in. After a few minutes, he starts to have some sort of spasm, seizures. His body is yearning for something that he doesn't have. He lies that way, convulsing, for several hours, then it seems like things are going better, he gets up. It looks like he is going to do something, find something to satisfy his desire. Or maybe not, he grabs a gun. A gun? What the heck? Ohhhh, it looks like he is going to take matters into his own hands, it looks like he can't handle the withdrawal. It looks like he is going to shoot himself. I hope that he doesn't use that alternative. That won't really solve anything. But he does, he aims very carefully, even though he is trembling, he takes very careful aim, and pulls the trigger. It is just at this moment that his hand shakes terribly, oops, he missed, still hit his head, just not the temple. The bullet kind of skid off the back of his head. Still very dangerous, not puncturing the skull, but the skin. There is a lot of blood. He could very easily die from loss of blood at this rate.
But just then, his father came in. It was one of those rare occasions when he was sober, being as he had just come from work. He saw his son, and seemed to lose a lot of color. But he felt his wrists, and he had a strong pulse. It was getting fainter by the second, but what was important was that it was there. So his father called 911. The operator asked all of the usual questions, and it was very surprising to me, but the father gave very coherent and clear answers. The ambulance came, and took the boy to thehospital. The father was as helpful as he could be. But inside, he was so full of remorse. He had looked at his life in that first second that he saw his only child, and it was awful. He had achieved nothing save this person that he did not know who was lying face down on the dirty unkept tile floor in the kitchen. And this person, he really wasn't anything to be proud of, yet somehow the father was. He was so proud. And he made himself this solemn
vow, he would become something more, he would not be a 41 year old drunk working in a Jack in the Box, but that isn't the important part of the promise, this next part is; he would become a wonderful father, it was too
late to have that talk about the "birds and the bees" but there was other stuff he could do. He could get his child back in school, he could make him go to rehab, and he would go to rehab himself. All of these things he swore to himself he would do, how, he wasn't sure, but it is a good intention. That is what matters.
Then again, they do say that good intentions pave the road to hell.
There you have it. Our day in the life of an addict. I hope that is convinced you not to ever even try to do drugs of any kind. Just because these people in this fictitious story have the chance at a happy ending, it
doesn't mean that if this happened in real life it would. You know how made-up stories end, they are always happy with me. They aren't in real life. Just remember that.
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