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Addiction - What is it about heroin that causes so many addicts to hit rock bottom?

Discussion in 'Heroin' started by Dankitydankness, Sep 7, 2012.

  1. Dankitydankness

    Dankitydankness Silver Member

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    So I've been thinking alot about drugs recently. Particularly heroin. And it came to my mind that so many people in this world today live a completely normal life yet they smoke alot of weed. They have salary jobs, a family, and would be considered successful. Its just that they toke it up all the time.

    So my question is why is it so hard for people addicted to other drugs (particularly heroin) to live that normal life? I believe some people refer to it as the "pipe dream" or something. So why cant they? I mean why do I feel like most people who get addicted to heroin either get off it soon enough or eventually end up pawning everything they own until they are pretty much a rock bottom junkie?

    I mean what is it really about this drug that causes such a downfall? I understand heroin addiction can get very expensive. But i mean from watching the wire, i see that their are many homeless addicts who are flat broke and the only money they can get is what they steal. Yet they still (barely) maintain their addiction.

    So why cant someone who has a 5 figure job be a heroin addict and maintain their addiction without ever hitting rock bottom? Just like the so many successful stoners out their. Is it that when they have the money they are just going to blow it all on heroin until their tolerance goes thru the roof and their addiction becomes too expensive?

    Why cant they just wake up in the morning shoot up, go work their 9-5, and then come home and do whatever the fuck they want? Is the addiction just too hard to keep under control?
     
  2. Yelxuh

    Yelxuh Newbie

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    "Downfall" is subjective. But I really don't care of all yew jim Jims in this town people hanging around drug dealers in my town. I guess I just don't know...
     
  3. runnerupbeautyqueen

    runnerupbeautyqueen Palladium Member

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    Heroin is funny. You mention homeless addicts that manage to barely support their habit spending everything they have on it but the same is true for people who make a lot of money. I used to work as a stripper, if one night I made $500 that meant I spent $500 on heroin. If the next night I made $17 that meant I spent $17 dollars on heroin. Somehow no matter how much or how little money I had it went to heroin and it was always just barely enough.

    What is it about heroin that makes peoples lives spin out of control? Well tolerance is a big one. Fear of withdrawal. From a legal standpoint someone caught with a little bit of heroin is going to face worse consequences than someone caught with a little bit of weed. A good majority of users inject which brings about hep c, hiv, not to mention loss of veins and abscesses. The stigma around heroin makes it a lot harder for junkies to go into treatment than say, alcoholics. The general public is extremely anti heroin, it is hated probably more than any other drug. Because of this users generally tend to hang out with other users because they fell less judged and when they do decide to try and quit it is hard because the only people they know are still using. When I used to smoke weed everyday I could wake up without any, go to school, go to work, do the same things. It sucked not being high but it didn't prevent me from going about my normal activities. If I wake up with no heroin it is like the apocalypse - no chance of me doing anything besides cursing the world with a phone in one hand and cash in the other, jumping up every time a car passes because it might be my dealer. When I was homeless if I would get $40 or something someone would say "awesome now we can get a room for the night" to which I would reply "why, if we get high it won't matter where we sleep?" Heroin makes your problems seem less important than they are. They still exist but because they aren't weighing so heavily on your mind you're less likely to take any action to actually fix them. So they just pile up until you have so many and no way of fixing them, except to take more heroin.

    Once you're addicted using heroin isn't really option, you "need" to use. And quitting seems like such an impossible task. It becomes the answer to every bad day and the perfect way to celebrate every good day. It becomes the answer to questions it asks. What's the easiest way to solve a heroin problem? Do more heroin.

    I honestly think if money and purity and availability and social stigma were not part of the equation heroin would not have such devastating effects. If it were available by prescription addicts would not spiral so far downward. But then again I am an addict so of course I'm going to tell you the solution the heroin problem is heroin.
     
  4. Solinari

    Solinari Titanium Member

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    It is a good question but I think the main point is fear of withdrawal and physical withdrawal, now I have heard weed (proper herb) being referred to as "green smack" because I've seen a couple of people have no weed and it's almost like they're rattling.

    The difference is when you need that heroin you WILL do anything possible to get it, it is a compulsion. I call it a mission (I used to call it selling my soul going door to door with stuff) but now my missions are few and far between and when I do go on a mission I have about a 99% success rate. I can think of maybe one or two time I went home with nothing and one time I got the money but got burned the other time no sale.

    The stigma as well has a lot to do with it I believe. Heroin addicts or "junkies" (junkie granny robbing scum) is the stigma that has been attached to the use and abuse of heroin. It doesn't have to be like that and it shouldn't be. It could be solved in a year with regulation. I don't know how it could be done but I believe it is possible and in the UK around 450 people get a weekly supply of pure sterile pharmaceutical diamorphine with sterile water and needles. I don't know, the idea of every person on methadone getting pharmaceutical heroin doesn't sound appealing does it but is there really much difference? And it WILL cut out any "topping up" (ARGH i hate that term). The idea that people would sell pure pharmaceutical heroin on the black market in order to buy illicit heroin is just ridiculous and an argument that is used against this policy. Also I believe methadone was the worst choice for opioid replacement therapy, I think the unbelievably long half life makes it so difficult to come off that once you're on you can expect to be on it for several years, maybe even decades, it's been almost 7 years for me with a couple of attempts at "detox" with no after-care, 2 week detox out the door bye bye good luck, sure that will work!

    I know it is possible for people to maintain a life, a job a partner a family and still take heroin. I know for a FACT doctors and medical professionals do it all the time and can do for many many years or even their entire career without anyone ever knowing or suspecting.

    The heroin addict we think of get in to a lifestyle with a stigma attached, this is my theory. In the eyes of the established medical community, at least the ones I deal with, it's all or nothing, it's abstinence or addiction, there is no middle ground with these people, at least in my experience.

    Maybe I am wrong in thinking there is a middle ground, maybe it HAS to be abstinence but I just don't think that using heroin and even injecting heroin in principle is wrong or any different than the people at the pub everyday or those weekend binge drinking cocaine (i mean 90% novacaine snorting DICKS) that cause all the problem in our cities at the weekend. The illicit nature of the heroin, the unknown purity, the unknown adulterants and the idea of how it gets from A to B is sickening but all things being equal and if we had quality control in the same vein as alcohol (not saying sell heroin in supermarkets) then many of the problems associated with it would be eliminated.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2012
  5. Dankitydankness

    Dankitydankness Silver Member

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    so runnerupbeautyqueen. you say if in one night you made $500, then all 500 would go to heroin.

    So if you spent all 500 on heroin, how long would all of that last you. would you shoot it all up in one night or would it last you several nights. i mean once you are high, do you just have the urge to keep taking more?

    i mean how can $17 be good enough one night, but then the next youre spending 500. Is there any self control when it comes to heroin use? When you have a big stash of heroin, does it all go as fast as you can shoot it up, or do you pace yourself?
     
  6. SmellyDawg

    SmellyDawg Newbie

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    For Swim, whenever he has a big stash of heroin, it will still finish very fast because he will smoke more due to the fact that he has more and by the time he knows it, he will be left with only a little bit. Swim used to inject but he finds that the withdrawals are much worst when he injects(IV) it. Swim is probably trying to chase a high by continuously smoking it and because the high is short lived only making his mood better making him feel good. He does not feel high anymore but smokes it only to prevents withdrawals and lift his mood up giving him energy too. Only when the quality good, he will feel a slight high like when his tolerance was low.

    Therefore whenever he keeps smoking it, it makes his mood and energy good but within a short period of time like an hour or so, his mood will start to go down making him feeling lazy to do anything. If swim has a small amount of heroin, he will have to consume less so as to prevent withdrawals from occurring. It's never enough. Swim has been clean off heroin for four months now due to the fact that swims dealer got busted and he can't find anymore heroin at the moment. He tried to stop many times and this is the only way he stopped. Swim can find other types of drugs and does it occasionally not wanting to get into a habit but still craves for heroin a lot almost everyday.
     
  7. runnerupbeautyqueen

    runnerupbeautyqueen Palladium Member

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    I just meant that no matter how much heroin I had it was never enough. If I have 100 shots lined up I'm still just worried about what will happen after I use #99. The more you use the more you need and the more you need the more you use. It's a cycle of repetition until the day comes that you can't get any.

    Obviously $500 in heroin will last me longer than $17 and for me there is some degree of self control. Once I'm high I'm not on a mission to get higher. When I buy more it lasts longer because I'm not worried about running out as much. Bu when I only buy a little I'm thinking "how am I going to get more? what if something happens and I cant?" etc. So stupidly I use more because I'm worried about running out. Completely backwards thinking, yes I know.
     
  8. Hardstepa

    Hardstepa Silver Member

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    When I was on heroin I used to be able to work as well but only when I had a good,regular supply of gear.As soon as a drought hits then the last thing you would do would be go to work while still rattling.I also found it easier to attend work and function more when I was smoking it but when I was injecting I didnt really want to work at all.I found it easier to function when smoking it as when injecting it it doesnt hold you for so long and its much more of an up-down feeling.I would be wasted after a hit but when it wore off would feel bad much quicker.With smoking it I could have some before work then if need be wait till I got home 8 hours later to have more.Though usually would smoke a wee bit more at dinnertime.

    Also most addicts I know are unemployed when they start taking heroin,probably out of boredom,and if you are an unemployed heroin addict the chances of starting work are very low as you cant go to work everyday and wait for you first months wage while feeding a heroin habit.The fact that its illegal also plays a big part meaning you cant always get what you need at the right time.I think most heroin addicts would work if they could to feed their habits but you would need a bit of flexibility with hours and stuff.I do know a couple of users who are self employed tradesmen meaning if they need to go for a smoke or to score they can and they wont get in trouble from any bosses.
     
  9. Dankitydankness

    Dankitydankness Silver Member

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    so how long does 500 last you?
     
  10. Aprof

    Aprof Silver Member

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    This is a really complicated question with a lot of generalisation groundwork that needs defining.

    Firstly, whether you believe 'addiction' to be a disease/illness or not is kinda a factor in this. There is substantial factual evidence that a percentage of the population suffers from an abnormal dopamine reward system. These people have the propensity (totally regardless of background or upbringing or trauma or anything) for addiction. They can get addicted to almost anything that produces a pleasurable rush and redresses the low dopamine levels that allow that person to feel 'normal' that life isn't dull, listless etc. They crave not the drugs, but the feeling that regular people seem to live with. It's such a subtle difference, it rarely gets diagnosed, the symptoms early in their life are varied and individual - difficultly completing things (unsustainable motivation - because, hey, what's the point in doing anything, it all feels underwhelming), low self esteem, relationship difficulties, irritability (everything is a chore), restless feeling (new situations are exciting, so its hard to sit in one place for too long)..

    Everyone probably gets this at some point, it may be persistent, you may be able to work your way out of it with enough effort, or it goes un-noticed. Slowly effecting your path through life. Some parents may notice something in their children and overzealous script them for ADHD or Antidepressants - OR, self medication through behaviour starts early, leading usually to substances.

    - This is the true addict. I didn't believe it myself, but when I looked back at my life, I was never really off drugs. I used weed until it stopped working, had periods of drifting between jobs, girls, life was flowing the opposite way to me, I was walking the wrong way on the travellator of life!

    Nothing brought me to my knees.. I found cheap internet chemicals 10 years ago and was on GBL 24/7 for about 6 months until it stopped working. Eventually, finding Heroin just seemed inevitable. I had used Codeine extraction every few weeks, ordered Opium poppies off the internet.. It didn't seem like much of a leap to Heroin I told myself, I'd never had a problem with those drugs beofre (I justified ALL of my using for years because I'd never had rock bottoms)

    I had funded myself pretty well.. all excuses.. it's taken REAL hindsight and forcing myself to see the truth that I am not like normal people. I do things to excess without thought of consequence because I am constantly seeking something external to fix my internal problem. I even drink coffee to excess.. you name it, I'll do it to death, then move on. Hence never believing myself an addict because, well, firstly, I wasn't on Heroin - and of course, that proves you're an addict and
    secondly, I never really pondered the question of what it meant to be an addict.. I never considered it a constant need to get high! Ridiculous really, but that's what most of my thinking and actions had been focused round fr much of my adult life.

    I never got stuck on one drug for so long because I used to to excess, til it lost its magic or stopped working completely - then moved on. I was never off anything for extended periods of time!

    As soon as I touched Heroin, I think it took 2 weeks to never want to stop - I couldn't give you a reason at the time. It was like my mind wouldn't let me see the bigger picture. I just had two 'modes'.. Using and Scoring. I began to lie uncontrollably, told everyone I was in control, and when I got ill, it wasn't because I was addicted.. I just needed more. My thinking didn't really extend much further than beyond that really. Not that I had a proble, - I'd just sort it out, tomorrow, next week, just a couple more good bags and I'll knock it on the head.

    4 years later, I'd spent everything, gone hugely into debt and been in 3 rehabs. It only really sank in when I got an extended period of clean time in a long term rehab that it all started to fall into place and I actually believed what these 'experts' in charge I resented so much for trying to help me and tell me I could never use anything ever again, because I was an addict.. my evidence was SO clear it was overwhelming, but my brain still tried to tell me it was bullshit. But I proved it to myself time and again, I have NO off switch, I have no middle ground, I'm either clean in a state of mild anhedonia, or using. My addiction switches to food and exercise when I'm off drugs! I'm barely in control of my free will, I have to watch myself constantly.

    In answer to your question. Rock bottom is different for everyone. For me, I found no matter how far down I went, there was always a door in the cellar to go to the next level of hell!

    Assuming you're of the addict type - cannot stop when started. Different drugs will take different amounts of times to get to your desired rock bottom. Heavy users (physically addicted users that can cut back / stop when they're absolutely forced, they are not mentally defected like myself who will pursue the madness to the ates of death!)

    Cigerettes:
    Rock bottom - it takes 30+ odd years and its probably too late by then.
    Journey to Rock Bottom - Money, decreased taste, lung capacity, teeth stains etc..

    Weed:
    Rock Bottom - Probably ruins your social life and mental faculties after 10+ odd years, but you can always cut back and work on stuff again.. ups and downs. You might become an agoraphobic recluse, paranoid etc.

    Heroin / Crack:
    Journey to Rock Bottom - Took me less than 2 years to achieve all of this; Loss of friends (both close friends prior to using and death of using friends you get to know - although would refer to them as acquaintances rather than friends in the heroin underworld), all savings and acquire a considerable debt, destroyed my own company, home, criminal record, hygiene, illnesses

    None of this stopped me - justified the lot and kept on trucking..

    Rock Bottom - How far are you willing to go?! 3rd Rehab, progression to needle to maximise cash I could scrape together, begging, unemployable,

    A heavy user would have stopped, gone through hell and maybe got their life back on track slowly. I couldn't do that - for me, and the special type of person that usually ends up in my predicament, suffers the same affliction as me.. life is listless and this chemical perfectly treats the symptoms. 99% of my using made me feel normal (and I mean, capable of dealing with an average day, I don't mean well from withdrawal) and able to cope far more than give me a high.

    In Trainspotting, some people find the end unrealistic because the guy kicks the habit and moves on with his life. Personally, I think this is possible, but only amongst the physically addicted heavy user type. Not the fundamentally different brain.

    Sorry, hope I haven't droned on with my opinion too long. Bottom line.. the more expensive and more willing you are to get your fix, the quicker the "rock bottom" - also importantly, it has the physical factor that means I don't want to just get high, I want to feel fucking WELL when I wake up as my top priority.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2013
  11. aegis88

    aegis88 Silver Member

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    This is exactly what I have always said. You could have all the money in the world but there is always going to be that day when you can't score and there is no way you're going to work on a rattle. That only has to happen a few times and you lose your job. Either that or you're just enjoying the gear so much and everything feels so fine that going to work just seems like too much bother so you naively quit, forgetting that means losing your income and starting a very downward spiral. Also when people first start they can get a hit within minutes so it's possible to have a hit in the toilets at work without raising suspicion. Fast-forward a few years and you're in there for hours.

    I always thought I was functioning completely normal when I was on gear, but whether I actually was I don't know. It felt like it at the time, but then everything feels alright at the time when you're doing heroin. I've been told I did/said so much I can't remember doing/saying I don't know what to think anymore. I managed to keep my addiction secret from friends and family for two years although they did start to get suspicious towards the end.

    Other than the factors I've mentioned above, the effect of heroin is such that it just makes you not care. It makes you withdraw from friends and family, it makes you not care so much about going to work, it makes you not care so much for your appearance and for all the other things you liked to do before. Once you've fallen in love with heroin, everything else somewhat loses its appeal. My boyfriends always said if you could have an endless supply of heroin (and veins) you'd happily live in a cardboard box. Most of the addicts I know managed to hold down normal lives for the first few years then it all catches up.
     
  12. Hanstara

    Hanstara Newbie

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    In response to the Dopamine Reward Center in the brain. Swim looks back on his youth and see's himself being a addict since day one. When swim was younger he would do everything in a addicting manner. Video game's, eat, steal, smoke weed, even masturbate.... So Swim was probably born with a chemical imbalance in my brain. Heroin is one of the drugs that changes the brain. When you are a heroin addict you either have Ups or Downs. There is no happy medium. People hit rock bottom on heroin cause the reward system associated with heroin has a higher pay out. A person first getting into heroin will not know what heroin withdrawls are like tell they do it every day.,., Once the heroin withdrawls hit the only thing that is going to make the pain stop is more heroin. From feeling like you got ran over by richard simmons driving drunk in a pickup to feeling like a million bucks.... To sum it up... Heroin Addicts hit rock bottom cause there is more at stake...They will do anything for the drug cause they know that if they put $100 dollars on Heroin Horse, at the horse track,.. They know they will walk away with at least somthing.