Hopelessly Addicted This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

Why is it that no matter how incredibly hard I try to point myself in the right direction, I end up exactly where I started? It’s like a never-ending cycle of failure. I sometimes wonder why I even bother to try if nothing ever comes from it. The last few years have been extremely chaotic and frustrating; from friends ­dying, to my coke addiction, to running away, life has taken a huge toll on me. I have had nothing but horrible events, one after another. But my biggest struggle has been my addiction; it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with.

I realize that many people think the life of an ­addict is easy – we just sit around all day getting money off of people and scoring a high. Do you ­really think it’s all fun and games? Or that we want our addictions to run our lives? My addiction, anyway, was ­anything but easy.

The days were long and endless when I couldn’t buy coke. I would spend between $40 and $100 a day, just on me. My weekly debt was only $60 when I first started. I was not ­using that much back then, but that changed when my boyfriend broke up with me. Then my dealer, who happened to be my best friend, started giving me coke for free.

Soon I couldn’t go a day without it. The white powder lifted into my nasal passages with ease. I took line after line into my body, hoping I could block everything out of my mind. My mind quickly relaxed, my heart raced, and my hands shook, but everything was good. I was happy – for the 10 ­minutes the high lasted. Then I’d do another line. Eventually my friend cut me off and tried to talk me into getting help, so I cut him out of my life.

With no coke in my system, I became angry, an­grier than I had ever been. My body shook for no reason. I was irritable and distant. I couldn’t think of anything but coke. I wanted it all to stop – to go back to the way things had been before I started. I wanted my life back. I didn’t want to have to sneak out of my house and score in alleys with money I stole from a sleeping homeless guy. My life was out of my control and I would have done anything to get it back, but my body wouldn’t let me. I was lost.

Just when things were starting to improve and I was finally getting my life under control, I ran away. I met lots of new people who quickly ­became friends; they were either runaways or dropouts pushing 30, but they were all addicts. Our apartment had one bedroom with nine people in it. They took care of me. They fed me, bought me clothes, a toothbrush, and whatever I needed, as well as kept me safe and ­hidden from the cops.

Then one day I overdosed. It was like any other night at the apartment. A bunch of us decided we wanted to party somewhere else. One of my friends offered his mom’s house since she was out of town. We all hopped into cars, and on the way we stopped to buy some coke.

When we arrived the house was dark and music was blasting in the living room. I headed straight for the bathroom to get high. Everyone was dancing and drinking and laughing and having fun. That’s when I made more bad decisions. A friend took a “donation” from everyone and showed up an hour later with ­ecstasy pills. I took two.

I started to feel faint and collapsed. My friends carried me to a bedroom and put me on the bed. ­After I convinced them that I was okay, a friend helped me up and made me promise not to do any more drugs.

I promised, of course, but seven lines of coke later I was stumbling down the hall, falling every few feet. I ended up hot and shaking on the bathroom tile with four “friends” gathered around me while the others waited nervously outside. My entire body shook ­uncontrollably, and I couldn’t catch my breath. I felt as if I were suffocating and had no ­control over my body. The feeling was almost indescribable; an overdose is one of the worst feelings ever. I was scared. I was trying hard to keep my eyes open but couldn’t. My friends took turns pouring water on me to cool me down while the others tried to keep me awake.

Even after that I still didn’t stop using for another three weeks. And even though I was able to stop ­before I ruined my life completely, I still wake up in the middle of the night craving coke, almost ­tasting the drip in the back of my throat.

I ask myself every day how I let myself get ad­dicted. Truth be told, no answer ever seems reason enough. Yet here I am, a year and a half sober. Drugs are the biggest demon any person can face. Once this demon is in your life, it’s hard to break free. It takes control of you, of your life, and pulls you down before you realize what is happening.

Escaping is an ongoing battle I’ll face every day for the rest of my life. I made the choice to quit on my own, without rehab or counseling. I relied only on my family, my closest friends, and myself. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Long, sleepless nights, mood swings, huge fits over nothing – I was on an emotional roller coaster and was a complete wreck. I know that those who were there for me had an equally troublesome time.

Though I am now a recovered addict, if I could make the choice over, I would have asked for help. Being with someone who had experienced with what I was going through would have been a relief and therapeutic. I was hesitant about completing this ­article; this private part of my life will be out there for anyone to read. It scared me. I then thought, Would I have felt so alone then if I knew what ­someone else had gone through?

I no longer feel the need to turn to this demon in my times of pain and confusion. However, I often ­reflect on that time in my life.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

Join the Discussion

This article has 134 comments. Post your own now!

stayinstrong said...
Jul. 20, 2011 at 4:22 pm
wow... the only thing i did was smoking cigarettes.  i know a lot a ppl that did coke and didnt make it out alive except one.  im glad you completed this article and showed it to the world... it gives ppl hope :)
moomoocow said...
Jun. 28, 2011 at 2:16 am
This is so moving. Most people aren't as strong as you and the fact that you quit is awesome. Good for you!
happyhappy said...
Jun. 22, 2011 at 12:47 am
Wow... That is a fantastically well written article. I am sort of speechless.
JoPepper said...
Jun. 6, 2011 at 2:24 pm
Whoa you were really strong... I can't believe you went through that, and it's real... wow!!!!  You write really good!!!  I'm humbled... :O
poop98 said...
Jun. 6, 2011 at 1:05 pm
i think it is an angel i have it 20 times a day best thing ever ??????
K.M.S.Shear said...
Jun. 6, 2011 at 8:26 am
Sad story but a great one at that.
Sky.. said...
May 15, 2011 at 5:23 pm
This made me cry. And not just a few measly tears. I feel for you. And I look up to you. You are strong and I'm so glad you got out of that. I know how you feel, that need to make it all go away, and I'm glad you shared this peice with others. It's moving. I hope you're doing better.
RozaB said...
May 15, 2011 at 10:07 am
Not many people are as strong as you. Just remember how strong you are, not how weak you may have been. 
jordanelizabeth647 said...
Apr. 23, 2011 at 4:33 pm
This is really empowering and inspirational.  As a side note, how are you doing now?
Apocalypse18 said...
Apr. 23, 2011 at 11:39 am
it is like you have woven this peice out of memories and confidence. probably the best thing i have read on teen ink.
LunarRainstorm said...
Apr. 1, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Your article is enthralling to read. The words and paragraphs flow well, and I like how vividly, yet concisely, you depict your experience(s). I, also, admire your diligence in finally resisting that awful substance and remaining sober for as long as you have. Posting this was an ingenious idea. I hope plenty of people read it and become aware of your point.

Every experience has a purpose, does it not? ;D

purplish replied...
Apr. 23, 2011 at 9:23 am
Amazed by those words twisted against each other to formulate more of a reality than an experience !
Sunshinee said...
Apr. 1, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Marijuana is not addictive.

Though, you should probably tell someone who would know how to help your friend, if you're that worried.

theweirdworder This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Apr. 1, 2011 at 4:19 pm
Actually marijuana can technically be addictive, but not so much as harder drugs.
MKimmi replied...
Apr. 1, 2011 at 4:34 pm

i aree, it's only addictive if someone put something else in it. Unless the drug was actually cocaine or something.

Did this strengthen your willpower for everything? :D


theweirdworder This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Apr. 1, 2011 at 5:44 pm
Yep. Oh and marijuana can be addictive on its own. Although unlike cocaine and other drugs, it's very hard to OD on. To say that all people who use weed will get hooked to it is stupid but it can happen and users need to know the risks before taking it.  People with certain genetics are more predisposed to addiction than others, too.
Madgie replied...
Apr. 14, 2011 at 1:36 am
Marijuana is easily as addictive a cigarettes. Sure you can't OD on it, but doesn't mean it can't hurt you the same way cigarettes can.
kipper replied...
Jan. 12, 2012 at 9:40 pm
actually, one's addiction to marijuana is purely mental, though its still difficult to overcome. Other drugs, cigarettes and coke included, become a physical addiction over time; the body actually becomes reliant on the substance.
HannahBanana23 said...
Apr. 1, 2011 at 11:08 am

Wow im so proud of you. Overcoming an addiction is one of the hardest things in the world. I've never done drugs and I dont plan on it. Stay sober :)


Hover This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 10, 2011 at 1:49 pm
That's so amazing that you had the bravery to post that. :) You're also a great writer! This is a really good article.
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