Lorelie Rozzano is a guest blogger for Vertava Health.
I Asked Recovering Addicts Why They Used The Deadly Drug Fentanyl. Here’s What They Had to Say.
Fentanyl is killing people all over North America. The numbers are staggering. I live in the province of British Columbia, in Canada, and public health has just announced a state of emergency in recent overdose deaths. The United States is also experiencing an epidemic of drug overdose deaths. Since 2000, the rate of deaths from drug overdoses has increased 137%, including a 200% increase in the rate of overdose deaths involving opioid pain relievers and heroin – Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
With the dangers of using opiates so high, you might wonder why addicts would take the chance. Rather than researching more scientific data, I’m bringing you the answers from the mouths of those who know best.
I Asked Recovering Addicts Why They Used Fentanyl Or Other Opiates Knowing It Might Kill Them. Here’s What They Had to Say.
Nicole L – I am a recovering addict, and I’ve learned that I have a thinking disease, my brain is different, alcohol and drugs are a symptom. Unlike normal people, I develop a phenomenon craving if I put ANYTHING in my body. As dangerous as it was, it was a necessity. If I didn’t have heroin I could not function. Fighting to save yourself from yourself, I wanted to die by the end of it. My disease wants me dead, but today I have tools I can use to fight the good fight, against it.
Leslie H – My nephew is recovering addict and told us that in area where he lives when addicts hear about deadly overdoses they want the dope. Reasoning being; it must be really good dope and if they use less they will get super high… That’s why it’s a double edge sword about putting the word out.
Joshua K – I’m a recovering addict. No relapses in 5 years, after 10 years of IV using. Addiction is a thinking problem which takes over your reward system among other things. When we were younger we smoked pot to fit in, then as we got stressed, we used. When I had a hard day I smoked. He or she pissed me off, I’m gonna smoke and so on. Well over time your brain is trained not to deal with stuff. As an adult, we’d continue to bury our problems and as this goes on, life is piling up on our backs, (money, stress, child support and leads to being in the system so we give up) then we find stronger drugs which always leads to opiates and it’s downhill from there. We find false solitude from a hopeless helpless life, in a hopeless lifeless drug! Summed up….a non-addict looks for happy things to thrive off of, we as addicts look for every reason to say F – it, and get high. We reward negativity and it’s all wrong. That’s why we hurt everyone. If we did good, there’d be hope and that means saying goodbye to dope. It took 4 years in prison and 4 in county to get my family back. I introduced myself to my 10yr old daughter who didn’t know I was her dad. She makes me smile. Today I have a beautiful daughter and a loving wife…her mother!
Scott G – I used for over 10yrs, whoever has the killa-dope, is who gets the business. Don’t matter what’s in it. I met a dude in detox, he had PCP in his system. He’s never done it but like me, used to shoot H. They mix everything trying to get that killa-dope. Cuz it’s the good shit n “I won’t die” thought crosses your mind.
Ashley S – I watched a documentary on this last week. They said that none of the Heroin on the Cape (Massachusetts) was pure heroin anymore, it was ALWAYS mixed with fentanyl. The drug makers they interviewed said that since it was all synthetic, it was way easier to make than heroin.
Cathy B – Fentanyl took my youngest son in June of 2014. He was 27, and left 2 little girls behind. The youngest was 9 days old. She will never know her daddy.
Carrie B – My family member started using this drug years ago , had no idea it was fentanyl from the beginning, thought it was oxy he was buying. When he tried to stop using it he got incredibly dope sick so he continued to use it, just to feel “normal” and not sick. He thought he could stop on his own without help. He was embarrassed and ashamed but he finally got medical and professional help and stopped. Said he was in a dark hole that he didn’t think he could ever get out of and the dope sickness was so painful he wanted to die. Most of the people I talk to about this drug say the same thing – the dope sickness was like painful torture and the pain stopped them from trying to get off. Sadly we lost 4 close friends, all from relapses because they couldn’t get to treatment in time. Once you detox your tolerance drops and if you use again it’s pretty much a death sentence. For 2 years he pretty much lived in hell and my family lived in a different kind of hell, along with him.
Tawnya M – As an addict I will take chances, chances that to someone else may seem so obviously dangerous. I will want/crave/desire something so bad it consumes every basic cell in my body. My brain will tell me “not me.” Addiction is difficult to explain unless you can feel the overwhelming obsession of it. Please understand that unless an addict is in recovery, we are not seeing the world the same as you are.
Shirley W – The reason we risk dying, is because we’d much rather risk an overdose than go without the drug. The withdrawal is far more frightening than the thought of dying. If we hear of dope that’s been going around killing people, we want that dope. Because that means it’s good. It’s strong. And not only will we have a better high, but we’ll need less than normal, so it’ll last us longer.
Addiction isn’t about will power or reasoning. It’s more complicated than that. Addiction is a brain disease that can be terminal.
As you see reading through the testimonies above, addiction is impulsive, delusional and irrational. There are many who still believe addicts must hit rock bottom. But rock bottom has a trap door underneath it and the likely hood of opiate users hitting ‘rock bottom’ today, is six feet under.
If your loved one is addicted, don’t wait until they’re ready to seek help. That call might never come. Instead, call the number below. Learn what you can do to give them the best chance at life, and a successful recovery.
If you or someone you know needs help, please call this confidential support line for assistance. 1-888-614-2379.