Heroin addict explains what it feels like to take the drug for the first time
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A former heroin addict has shared how it feels taking the drug for the first time and the moment he realised he was addicted. Watch the video below:
John was addicted to heroin for over ten years before a life-changing near death incident made him realise the value of life.
His addiction began in 1997, when he met with an ‘associate’ and was shown how to smoke heroin.
He said in an interview with UNILAD: “It numbed me to the point of - I felt totally, totally content. I reckon it's sort of going back to being in the mother’s womb, I should think, where nothing bothers you, nothing phases you, nothing worries you.
"Everything is just easy, blissful. You’re almost invincible. You start chasing that buzz again. You want that feeling.
"I would say that I didn’t run out of heroin at all for the first four months, and then between four and five months I woke up once and my world was never ever the same. And that’s when I realised that I was physically and mentally addicted to it.”
His addiction meant he was constantly thinking about ‘scoring’ heroin and where he’d get the money to do so.
To fund his addiction, John ‘nicked washing machines’ when people took them off delivery lorries and ‘grabbed armfuls of designer clothes’ to bring to ‘fences’ - people who would buy anything he stole.
He served nine prison sentences, either for driving while disqualified or for shoplifting.
“I went through some nasty, nasty rattles when you’re detoxing,” he said, describing the physical effects of craving an addictive substance.
“The most they’d give you is an aspirin and that’s not going to do anything,” John reflected.
“If you can imagine your intestines and your bones feeling like they are on fire one minute and then being frozen the next. "You’ve got horrible sweats, you’re being sick, you get diarrhoea, you cannot keep still, you’ve got the twitches. Your mind is just trying to switch off, you can’t sleep. It’s just the worst feeling, the worst experience I’ve ever gone through.”
Upon realising he wasn’t in control and due to not going through a proper detox programs, John was using heroin within an hour of his release from prison.
In around 2006, he thought being a heroin addict was ‘always going to be my life’ but two years later, when he was robbed and stabbed three times in the back, everything changed.
“I remember laying down in the dirt and I could taste ash and dirt on my tongue. And out of all the years that had gone past before when I didn’t care - because I mean I’ve overdosed many times - at that moment something was just in me that this life was so very precious, and there was more to life.”
After his hospitalisation following the robbery and stabbing, John proudly declared: “I have never touched any illicit drugs since then," comparing the experience to returning a computer to its factory settings and having a ‘blank space’ to work on.
“That was an incredibly tough time,” he said.
In September 2020, John celebrated 12 years being clean from heroin, which is a huge achievement considering his addiction ‘was 11 years long’.
Since turning his life around, he has become a multiple published author, animal rights activist, a qualified nutritionist and is the joint owner of an animal sanctuary.