Yet another stupid search string – What drug users would do if desperate?

It’s fucking hot here in Johannesburg, really fucking hot, and my fan is broken, so sleep now is not quite possible for me. In my boredom, I took another look at the search strings that brought readers here:

What drug users would do if desperate?

What kind of stupid question is that?

People do believe some strange shit though. About four years ago, I was in the middle of my relapse. I wanted to stop, but had convinced myself that I couldn’t. So I went to a couple of NA meetings high.

There I had the strangest conversation ever with a man who was three years clean from his heroin addiction… He was trying to help me, as I stood there so fucking high, watching the stationary cars sliding up and down in the parking lot. He described how, if I didn’t stop using, I’d end up “sucking cock” to get my money for drugs. I just laughed at him. Maybe for some people, desperation can make them do terrible things. Maybe he, a straight male, was willing to go that far. (Quite clearly he did go that far. Hence I have not written his name here.)

But not everybody does terrible things when desperate. I would never steal, never even beg. My girlfriend used to talk me into selling stuff at Cash Crusaders, or putting it on a “buy-back”. The thought to do that myself would never even have crossed my mind. But prostitution, by me? Not going to happen, ever. So maybe I shouldn’t have laughed at the guy, but I was really high… It’s just that his idea of desperation and mine were so incredibly different. I realized then that meetings couldn’t work for me, because my outlook versus the other people at those meetings was so different. I didn’t get to stop right away though, but rather continued for two years after that, always working for my drug-money, and getting myself deeper and deeper in trouble (financially and by being around dangerous people). When I finally did reach the point of desperation, I snapped myself out of it and stopped using drugs. I’d drawn a line and said “I will go no further”, so when I reached that point years later, the obvious choice was to stop. So don’t be an idiot and generalise. We are not all the same.

Edit… After a friend commented in Facebook, I realized I have more to say…

I knew others who managed to quit drugs way before they had consequences anything like mine, and still others who could use hard drugs recreationally without any ill affects. But some of those people were addicts. This goes against everything they told us in rehab and NA: that you can’t stop by yourself; that you must surrender.

Further, I hate seeing these kinds of searches. It’s almost like those people are looking for a feeling of schadenfreude, some inspiration gained by looking at the misfortune of others, or maybe they just like to laugh at the stupid addicts, like they do when they look at the many “faces of meth” online. The problem with that, is those faces are quite unlike almost all addicts you’ll find in the real world. (They are extreme cases, mug-shots of people, and not just any people, hardened criminals, who used drugs for thirty years labelled as ten years. They’re supposed to serve as examples, but they are caricatures and do not represent what addicts really look like at all.) They give you a false sense of security, and superiority, a sense that only low-life idiots get to be addicts. That way you can judge others while ignoring your own issues. In reality, drugs are nefarious, and addiction can sneak up on anybody. When you search for those kinds of things online, you are missing the point.

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About Jerome

I am a senior C# developer in Johannesburg, South Africa. I am also a recovering addict, who spent nearly eight years using methamphetamine. I write on my recovery blog about my lessons learned and sometimes give advice to others who have made similar mistakes, often from my viewpoint as an atheist, and I also write some C# programming articles on my programming blog.
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