Hi I'm new around here, but I thought I'd post my own experiences with heroin. I've never touched it, but I've suffered through the withdrawls, the lying, the stealing, the pain, and the endless cycle that inevitably draws the addict to embrace his adversary. You see, my brother is a heroin addict, and to say he's flushed his life down the toilet would imply he only flushed once -- it's more like he flushed it down the toilet, it arrived in a dingier, lower toilet, and he flushed it again. I remember when I first found out he did it. I was shocked, but not judgemental.He was my guide into the world of drugs, and he offered it to me just like he offered me weed for my first time. I don't blame him or hold it against him that he offered me a pass into his own personal hell, he was ignorant then. He doesn't seem much wiser now. I remember seeing him again a few months later (he lived in another city), he said he was going clean. "Cool," I thought. I remember seeing him a couple months after that. Still going clean? Ok... well when I saw him for the third time and he was still going clean I began to wonder. I appreciated his candor about his drug use, but hell, these were still his golden years compared with what was to come. He was in school, his wife and him had their own apartment, he had a job... basically he had a life. But eventually, one must choose between life and heroin. He chose the one that comes in needles. I found out he had maxed out my parents' credit card which they had given him. $20,000 limit. I found out he had been spending his tuition and equipment money on heroin. I found out he was moving back in with my parents. Now, I had never told my parents the truth about him, because I had never believed what the media told me about heroin addicts.It didn't take my parents long to figure out, when their son came home bombed out on H, having an easier time following his waking dreams than their conversation. So then he was "clean" again, a word which has come to mean to me: the interval between using. A few months later he stole some checks from my parents and he and his wife went on a little binge. Then he sold his car and pawned off any possessions of his of value. I fully believe if he could, he would have pawned his soul. Well after this slip-up, he and his wife were clean for over a year. I moved out of town and everything seemed fine. When I came back, he seemed a little "off." I didn't really think too much of it though. That is, until he house-sat for my family and I while we took a vacation. We came back and discovered our house had been redecorated. Or, I should say, de-decorated. My valuables now festooned the shelves of a pawn shop. The night we came back my brother tried to commit suicide. I tried to help him. I tried to tell him the reason he was using this drug was a deep-seated emotional problem, something he had to deal with, not avoid. I tried to show him how I had dealt with my own depression (and accompanying drug dependency). I tried to put the spirit back in him, all the while telling him it's something he must do himself. My brother went to a free rehab clinic (his wife had not relapsed along with him), and he also got on methadone. He was clean for a few months, then one day disappeared with his car (his wife had bought it), and lo and behold, he had been off chasing the dragon. By this time I wasn't shocked or saddened, I was numb. It was almost like I had been waiting for it to happen. And well, the next time a month later (back in October) was no surprise to me either. Of course, since he had stolen from me I was no longer in the "inner-circle." I was lied to like I was some parent, he would hide the habit from me making our relationship entirely superficial. I removed my faith in him when he was no longer candid with me. I think his lying to me is morea reflection of his opinion of himself. Well, things are different now. They're worse. I had no contact with him and his wife for a month, and he ended up moving in with my only other friend besides them. When I finally come over to their place for a visit, I see track marks on my friend's arm. So basically, not only has my brother relapsed yet again, his wife finally ended her abstinence, but they've now dragged my only other friend into their own personal hell. They look like zombies, live like zombies, ARE zombies... thrall to the drug I know so well but have never touched. My friend finally came forward and told me the truth. It was good to hear it from someone because I hated the feeling of patronization like I "wouldn't figure out." But it doesn't change the fact that my brother is a shell of a person and I'm almost disgusted by his presence, his wife is an emotional wreck with health problems, and my friend is deeply suicidal. I know heroin -- not the high, but all of the lows. I hate it, it revolts me, it saddens me, it makes me wish things were like they were; most of all, I know it because heroin is my brother.