I’m here today to tell you all about the effects of drug addiction. I’m not here to tell you what is wrong and what is right, but I have experienced firsthand what I would never wish on anyone else. I was addicted to all kinds of drugs for over 8 years and have been clean for 4 now. I wasted the best time of my life by getting high, and was only able to recover as I found help after going to multiple addiction treatment centers.
When I was 16 I was a normal American boy, or at least thought I was. I played basketball, baseball, soccer, loved all kinds of sports and wrestling. I was hooked onto weightlifting. I would spend all of my free time away from school or friends lifting weights in the basement. But there was something missing. I felt alone. Everyone around me was having a blast in High School and I dreaded every minute of it. Everyone seemed so COOL to me. I wanted to be like them. Then I found out most of the guys I looked up to were partying almost every day. They were smoking pot and drinking down by the river. Even better, the chicks were hanging out with them. I never had a true girlfriend. I wanted one. I wanted to smoke pot so I’d be “COOL.”
I then realized the guy in my class I looked up to, the jock, the best athlete the town ever had, all state wrestler, football player, and track and field guy was smoking pot! Heck I need to hang out with this guy. Then I’d be COOL.
For weeks I was talking to him, admiring him when he came to school stoned laughing with everyone, hanging with the school’s coolest kids. Then one day I asked him if I could smoke pot with him. He said sure. I went to his house and we walked to the park, smoked a bunch of pot and went back to house and gorged ourselves with junk food and video games. His mom served us the food and had no idea we were high. I was finally cool and authority didn’t even recognize I was high.
From that moment my life would fall to rock bottom over the course of the next 8 years. What started out as simply getting stoned turned into something I would never imagine. The pain I caused others and the time I wasted is something I can never take back.
By the time I was 17, a senior in high school, I was smoking pot. I was the man! Everyone loved me. I had a date to the prom, my first girlfriend, a fast car, and a bunch of so called friends. My life was enjoyable. Then I wanted more! I wanted to be big and strong like some of the other guys I hung out with. Steroids! My cousin’s boyfriend was juicing and could get whatever I wanted. I was injecting the town’s best athlete with roids weekly. I wanted more! I bought my first cycle of dianabol and man I was on cloud nine. I was working my tail off, popping the pills, but I wasn’t getting bigger or cooler. What a mistake I made but wouldn’t realize until years later. The first step towards my depression. The rest of my senior year I was getting stoned, drunk, and doing every other type of drug. I missed out on so much stuff. But I was cool.
I graduated High School and I wanted to be a Cop. A stoner, wanting to be a cop. HA! Before the semester started I found something way better then what I was doing. My pot smoking made me break up with my girlfriend. I didn’t want nagging, I didn’t want to hear “You better stop smoking pot” I was hooked, I blew her off and hung out with my buddies. Buddies who I replaced my old friends with. Friends that would have never let me get like this.
I found cocaine. Or cocaine found me. This was the first day of the worst 6 years off my life. Never would I realize it. I started snorting coke in the summer before college but not every day. Well that would soon change so quickly. I met new people from starting college and starting work and I gravitated towards the stoners. We were living the high life. Selling pot to support our drug habits, dodging police every day, ruining our lives every step. A few of these people are now dead.
I started hanging out with a guy I thought was my best friend. We had so much in common. We both liked snorting coke. That’s it. Hanging out with him made me meet new people, get more drugs, and destroy my life. They called me a narc because I wanted to be a cop. But wait, don’t hate me! I want to be cool. I quit school on the spot. Stopped going cold turkey and wasted that money. I never went back to school. I am a degreeless man.
Quitting school and becoming addicted to cocaine is the worst thing that ever happened to me. I went loose and no one could stop me. I was stealing checks, writing bad checks, working a ton, stealing from family, asking my old poor grandmother for cash so I could cop drugs and waste my life away. The whole time I could see myself becoming a loser. I had shut out so many of the friends I had in high school and growing up. I was stealing from my mother! I stole these coins from my mom that her father gave her. Who knows what these coins were worth? I wanted to get high. I had no money for drugs or cigarettes. I traded the coins to this guy for cigarettes. CIGARETTES! I used them to get cigarettes so the money I made from working could be spent on cocaine. I wish I could go back in time and beat myself up.
During this time my parents divorced and it silently led me deeper into depression that was being treated by drugs. My brother was in Rutgers University with his own apartment. I never went! WOW, how could you never go see your brother’s apartment, friends, and party in a drug capital? I could only imagine the parties they had, the girls that were there. But it didn’t even faze me. I was hooked in my only little world, getting high. Then my best childhood friend was murdered in a hospital. I was devastated. How? Why? Tears ran for days. Drugs called me again. I never fully released the pain and agony of losing my buddy because I covered it up with drugs. I didn’t want to think about it. I still to this day can cry for days about this. I hated everyone and everything. I lost jobs here and there and was a criminal supporting my drug habit. I had nice cars that I let breakdown on me because I spent my money on drugs. I was ticketed almost monthly for driving with no insurance or failure to register a vehicle. That money went to drugs. I had to beg family to pay my tickets. I started shaving my head with a dog groomer that was in the house so I didn’t have to pay for a haircut. I was wearing the same clothes for years. I was cool! Everyone loved to hang out with me.
No, I wasn’t cool. I was a loser. People only hung out with me because I had drugs, I could find drugs, I sold drugs, drugs found me every day. Never a day went by without some coke, pot, booze, pain pills.. you name it.
Then my drug buddy died from an overdose. I hung out with this guy almost daily. We snorted coke until the sun came up. We went to the ghetto buying drugs and trading for drugs from guys who carried Uzi’s. We were in the worst place I could ever imagine. A place people are afraid to go to. Not me I wanted my drugs. I never went to this guy’s funeral. Something I think about every once in awhile. Why? I was getting my drugs, getting high, wasting my life away.
My family started eventually catching onto what I was doing. I shrugged it off and told them I was gambling and I was stopping. There was nothing wrong with me, I was fine. I’m cool! I’m going places.
Then my dog died. Man I was so upset I couldn’t even go to the vet to be with him when my parents put him down. I couldn’t see my best friend wither away quietly. Nope, I was getting high. I think about it now and it hurts me to say that I avoided this because it took time away from getting high.
Eventually I started smoking coke and that was rock bottom, well not yet, a few years after though. Getting coke started to get harder because I was losing jobs, people were getting busted, and the towns were getting dry. Then I met “the guy”. If I ever saw this guy today I wouldn’t even know what he looks like. But with the amount of money that he got out of my pockets could have bought him a house. I think he bought cars with it, a new Cadillac or Benz every month. I never really met this guy; it was my buddy who called me a narc who found him. I couldn’t see him but he said he’d get me whatever.
You remember what it was like waking up on Christmas or even the night before? How excited you were to open presents? That’s how I felt everyday when we waited for this guy. Every day at 5 o’clock two hundred and ten bucks in hand. Did he call? Where is he? Is he even around today? Maybe he got busted? Maybe he is sick? The snow is going to stop him from coming. RING RING! Oh man YES!!! Yes for what, to get a fix for a few hours and then sleep it off until the next evening? Yup and I was a cool dude.
I lost jobs during these years from stealing money, looking like a homeless man, calling in sick because I partied until 8 in the morning, still too high to work.. I had a good job where I sold millions of dollars worth of lights a year. I worked hard to make that sale. I did this and hoped the customer would pay with cash. If they did, I deleted the sale and stashed the money, had the guy called and was anxious to get high. I even went to the extreme to go back to the store when it was closed to open the safe, grab the dough, and go to the ghetto to get my fix. I was caught. I didn’t care; I worked there for years everyone in the country will now be supporting my habit. I collected unemployment and stole some more.
My parents, stepparents, and relatives all found me out by now. I was out in Newark or Irvington, NJ at 2 in the morning copping drugs from gangsters while my mother was home crying and crying because her boy was a loser. The pain I caused her was so extreme she was getting sick. I was making my mother sick, probably almost cost her a career, and a second marriage. I was kicked out of my house on numerous occasions. I lived on the streets under a bridge for a week here a week there, crashed at friends, man people were starting to get sick of me. I was dying slowly and didn’t even realize it. I was even forced to go get help in order to stay at home. I did, and I lied about everything the whole time. I was high sitting in a circle of losers; man I thought to myself “these guys are scum.” But they were a mirror image of me. I faked months of rehab.
The end started when my grandmother fell and she lived alone. I thought “Yes a place to stay and an old lady who would never know I was getting high all night upstairs.” I didn’t care about helping her. I told my dad I would stay until she got better. I was unemployed and hooked; I had nowhere else to go. Then my buddy who meets the guy told me his cousin died. He OD’d from heroin and his dad found him in the morning. He bled out. NO WAY! This guy was so cool, he had the life, he had an awesome set up in his house, he had cool jobs, he was going to school, the hot chicks gravitated towards him, he was going to be a successful person, he was younger and I admired him, and now he was dead. We decided that’s it, we are done. We are never calling the guy again. Yeah right, we called him 3 hours later and got high for days straight. Even after his cousin’s funeral. What a loser. My grandmother then got better and the house went on the market. She was moving to a nursing home. I stayed in that house until the last day possible. No heat and no electricity. Closing day, the house sold. I had nowhere else to go. I also had a warrant, was arrested, lied through my teeth to the judge. He bought my story and released me. I had another court date but didn’t go. I was a fugitive. I was neck deep in drugs with the walls closing in. Everything was being destroyed. How can I make this work? I had no idea. I was stealing checks from my grandmother and had a tax return and that was it. I was homeless. I crashed at my best friend’s house, a guy who did coke with me every night. His parents were pissed. I didn’t care. They were finding him out and one day our world blew up, I ran out of there. I left my car that my mom was nice enough to buy me, parked two blocks away from his house with all my stuff. My shoes, clothes, personal paperwork and I never went back; I still don’t know what happened to that car. Where was I going to go? I was wondering the streets a fugitive dodging the police until the evening when I would get my fix from The Guy, safe in my buddies 8 foot by ten foot bedroom.
One day I don’t remember how it happened but my aunt brought me in. I lied to her; I told her I was clean. I was doing coke every night still. The warrant continued to linger. I was starting to understand now that I was a loser, I wasn’t cool. I wanted to get clean. I bounced to Delaware. I crashed at my friend’s house, jobless, broke, and hungry for drugs. He didn’t have a coke connect. He had pot though and a lot of booze. We drank beer and smoked pot everyday when he got home from work. Man I was still cool, I’m down by the beach, meeting new people, they love me, and I am still getting high. I thought this was even better. Then I had to get a job. I still had a warrant; I was hiding in a tiny development going nowhere, doing nothing. Wasting the best years of my life away. I did some odd ball landscaping jobs to buy me cigarettes and beer and some pot. I was fishing in one of the best places ever. I was still a loser. I would wake up at noon and not leave the house until 4. I would walk to the garage, crack a beer, take a hit of pot and that was it. I tried getting a job but the place found out I was wanted and never got that job, a great one also. My friend’s girl had enough; she was going to leave him if I didn’t leave. I had nowhere to go. Then my aunt and uncle came down for a weekend and I asked if I could go back. I did. That night I got back to town, I went to friend’s, we called the guy. Starting right back where I left off.
When was it going to end, I’d ask myself, but I never asked for help. Coke was slowly being replaced by fire and beer. Then one day my best friend came and knocked on my aunt’s door.. I was a 25 year old loser with a warrant hiding from the police. Not doing anything, not working, no future planning, I was a total bum, worthless to the good of society. He said to me, and I will never forget the words he told me, ” , the cops know everything. They are watching house, they know the guy’s car, and they know when we meet him. They are going to bust us.” My whole world came crashing down. The last 8 years, the years that are supposed to be the best of your life flashed before my eyes and I realized for the first time I was a total scumbag loser. That was it, I was done. I am never going back to that house; I am never going to buy coke again. I told myself that a hundred times before because I knew I was doing wrong, but this time it stuck. I looked back at all the events in my life that I ruined because I didn’t care I wanted to get high. That was the first day of the rest of my life. I have been clean since.
I went from an average American teenager wanting to be cool, to a 25 year old drug addict loser with nothing to his name. I had nothing. I had some clothes, but that was it. I was a complete loser. How did all this happen? It happened because I wanted to fit in. It happened because I thought drugs were harmless and I had no self control. I was never taught how to control urges or that drugs could be so harmful to you. I never thought a harmless amount of coke would turn into over $250,000 worth of drugs in 8 years. No wonder people loved me, they were making a living off of my misery and I wasn’t their only client. I was just a loser.
I started the first day of the rest of my life with nothing. No money, a warrant, no clothes, no talents or skills for a career. I was street smart, savvy, and I had the will to get better. I needed to move on, but where do I start? I asked my mother for help one more time, the last time I would ask a favor, this time I meant it. I asked her for a job. I started my life over. She gave me a job and things started falling in place. I knew there was good out there for me. I missed out of a million social events and possible friends by hiding in a bedroom with drugs and an Xbox. I wanted to fix it, but I didn’t know how. I asked god for forgiveness and the next day my mom told me out of the blue that I have to forgive myself for what I did before life gets better. I went home that night and forgave myself. I sat by a fire outside watching the stars and listening to the world around me. I was getting better. Then I asked for forgiveness from God, my parents, my family, my friends and prayed for a woman. I knew I wanted to have a woman, someone who I could love and give all my good to.
My sister in law’s brother was moving to Florida and we had a going away party, wait a party, without drugs? How can I do this? I will, it’ll be fine. I met my wife that night. I didn’t look, I just happened to find her. We hit it off. We both weren’t expecting this. We went with it. It was amazing. God answered my prayers. That night I knew I was going to marry her. So now after 4 years from that shocking moment my best friend told me I am clean, I am married, and we own a house. We have a puppy and I am trying to make up for the years of pain, agony, and destruction.
My point of all this, is you that need to realize what drugs can do. My story is being lived by millions of people throughout the world. Some people get clean, some people die, and some people just have no hope. Intervention on TV is a good example. Every story on that show does not come close to the life I lived. I threw away so many wonderful things because the drugs took control over my body. I was hiding pain and hiding my fears. Thinking that one night of partying can be harmless is where I started. Ask yourself, have you ever thought that? Ask yourself, do I want to be cool? Others are doing it and they are cool, bullshit! They are asking for trouble. Sure drugs make you feel good but they ruin lives. They end up costing you more than just money. I had friends die; friends go to jail, ignored women, and ignored family and social events, even worse I ignored society and what was going on in the world, what this world was becoming. I threw my life away just to get high. It sucks, it hurts, and it can never be taken back. People who I probably never noticed or cared to notice were looking at me saying I was a loser, a scumbag, a drug addict, I couldn’t be trusted anywhere. These people are the people who love me the most.
I see some people who I got high with in high school that have great jobs, families, houses, nice cars, enjoy hobbies and I sit here trying to start over. When I met my wife I had nothing. I moved into her house with two bags of dirty clothes. Now, after I realize and understand how devastating drugs can be, I have a house, an awesome truck, a puppy, and a beautiful wife who loves me dearly. I sometimes wonder were my life would be today if I became a cop, if I never spent tens of thousands of dollars on drugs. I’d have a house paid off, an amazing salary, and a family. I had to pull myself from rock bottom. A rock bottom I hit when drugs pushed me off the cliff.
Next time you’re at a party and you want to feel cool and see a friend or three smoking a joint, blowing a line, popping a pain pill, think of me. Think of what happened to me. I went from feeling like the coolest guy in town to be the lowest scum on earth, a guy afraid to show his face in public. I would go food shopping at 3 o’clock in the morning just so maybe people I knew wouldn’t see what I’ve become. And it has taken years to start over.
And my best friend lied through his teeth. When my world came crashing down it was him who saved my life. No cops ever knew a thing. But it helped 4 people addicted to cocaine get clean.
So what do you dream of?
Where do you want to be in 5 years?
Do you want to make good money?
Do you feel the need to be cool? If so, how do you think that happens?
Would it be fun to get high tonight and laugh your butt off with your friends? Where might that take you?
Would you like to live in my shoes? Would you? Not knowing where you’re going to sleep that night, not knowing if jail is in the future, not knowing if the next hit will be the lest hit.
How many of you honestly have smoked pot? How did it make you feel? Cool? Did you ever try something else different another time? Were you cool? Nope, you’re not cool, you are a loser.
Would you like to be a successful person that people look up to, that people admire, having fun in life?
Will drugs get you there?
Thank you very much, have a great day and remember being cool doesn’t have to end up in drug addiction, but it can and does happen.