In my mind stabbing at vein with a needle is a part of a normal life. Its what I’ve wanted since I learned that my idols were Heroin addicts. That’s when I was in seventh grade. Since then I strived to become a junky. Living in Green Bay Wisconsin a relatively small town, proved finding Heroin a difficulty. Opiate pain pills on the other hand just fell into my lap. At nineteen my father was prescribed Percocets and a few months later they switched the prescription to Oxycontin. I soon began snorting the Oxycontin on a daily basis. This went on for a year and a half. I always had a supply so I never had to go through withdrawal.
At 21 I moved to Appleton Wisconsin, were I met drug dealing brothers. The sold Dilauded 8mgs and Heroin. I had finally found Heroin. The brothers showed me how to inject the Heroin into my veins. At which time I became a daily IV drug user. The brothers were addicts themselves, and the Heroin and Diluaded would always run out before the end of the month. This is when I first got dope sick. I was hooked. I began to Doctor shop when my drug dealers were out of drugs. Always for Dilauded. I’d sell a story of being a AIDS patient with a CD four count of some low count such as thirty one, and a viral load of 5,000. I would complain of pain in my legs from a neuropathy. The jig worked most of the time. As a junky I looked like death warmed over, and the Doctor took pity on me and what he thought was my emanate death from AIDS.
After a few months of Doctor shopping the Doctors began to get suspicious. They stop writing the prescription and made me for an addict. Soon no Doctor would write me a script. I would travel all around Wisconsin to go to Doctors. One day I ended up at a Doctor I used to go to when I was in high school. I gave him my speal of AIDS, and low CD four counts with high viral loads. He wouldn’t write me out Dilauded, but he was going to write me out Vicoden. He ended up leaving the Prescription pad in the room alone with me. I tore off a page, and wrote out my own script to Diluaded.
After getting the prescription filled, I drove to Florida. I knew I was in trouble. I stayed there for a month. I found a Heroin connection there, and decided to move down to Florida. I just had to dive back to Wisconsin to get my things. When I got back to Wisconsin I got pulled over by the Police and was arrested for Prescription fraud. I was sent to jail straight away. I was released the next day on a signature bond, and on advice of my lawyer I was in rehab the next morning.
25 days into a 28 day stay in rehab I was kicked out for taking Benadryl to sleep. I needed to be in a treatment facility to stay out of jail. As I was looking at three years in prison for my crime. So I enrolled myself in the local Methadone program. Which is where my story starts.
I’ve been on a binge, shooting and smoking cocaine for 24 hours straight. People have wandered in and out of my apartment all night, the stain of their presence is noticeable everywhere I look. My apartment lies in shambles. Everything I own is strewn on the living room floor. The TV drones on in the background. I can hear Elliot Smith’s melancholy voice wafting on the airwaves from a cd player on the floor.
The room is dimly lit by a few candles, outside the sun is just peaking over the horizon on a beautiful spring morning. I can hear the streets full of cars buzzing full of the citizens of this country on their way to work. Then there is me. High, pacing back and forth watching as streets lights change from red to green, to yellow, and back to red from the windows in my living room and kitchen. I have no job.
My hair is in knots, eyeliner is running down my face, I have blood smeared on my t-shirt and arms, from the holes I have poked into my hands and arms with needles full of coke. I look like I recently committed a gruesome murder. I feel some what panicked and I decide to look around my apartment for an Ambien. I hide them on myself. If I didn’t I would take them even though I don’t need to. Ambien is a sleeping pill, I take them to bring me down from the Cocaine. It keeps me from getting the trademark coke crash and helps me to get some sleep.
After searching for an hour, I finally give up looking for the Ambien. I turn my attention to an end table. There sits a baggie of white powdered Cocaine, and a box of baking soda. A few 1cc syringes are scattered about. A spoon and lighter are sitting on the end table as if they are waiting for me. I pour a good amount of coke into the spoon, fill a syringe with some water, and push the water into the spoon with the coke, using the cap of the syringe, I stir the mixture, and I drop my cotton in the spoon and suck the concoction into my syringe. I tie off my already swollen hand with a shoe lace, and my veins reveal themselves.
Before I start to mutilate my hand with this needle full of coke I hesitate, and think about what I am doing. I really hate this drug, all it does is make me anxious and nervous, and I am anxious and nervous naturally. What I really need is heroin, my drug of choice for the past two years, that is until I got strung out, committed a felony, went to rehab, got kicked out of rehab, and found the local methadone clinic which I am still on. So now I guess, I am a methadone addict, and since methadone has a long half life and my dose is high it keeps me from getting high on Heroin or any other Opiate such as Dilauded. Here I am and I need to get high off something. Coke was available, I had a connection and I went on a binge.
It costs sixteen dollars a day for the methadone treatment, which I don’t have right now. Spent it all on this binge. This waste of a binge. So I come to the conclusion that this one hit of coke won’t hurt anything, in fact it might help give me the push I need to figure out how to scrounge the sixteen bucks up. So I start stabbing at my hand and the blood finally blossoms into the syringe, and I push the coke home into my vein.
A bursts of energy comes into me, and I feel like wonder women, I try to enjoy the high, but it is fleeting. The first hit of coke is always the best, after that you’re just chasing that high, you can never get enough of the drug. I have been using too long. Now it’s just a matter of trying to keep myself numb of all emotions.
On my couch lies a naked man who is sleeping. He has been my partner in crime the past 24 hours. His name is Corey. I met him while I was in rehab last winter. As I watch him slumber, he looks so peaceful, and I feel a sudden pang of jealousy rising in me. How come he can sleep so peaceful and I am wide awake with the worst case of anxiety I have ever had?
I really need to go to the Methadone clinic and get my dose, but I don’t have the sixteen dollars it costs. I gave it all to Corey for this Coke, and he spent it buying more coke.
Usually, when I am not on a binge, I go to the methadone clinic every morning and get my dose. The methadone really helps me it keeps me from being so anxious all the fucking time, and I don’t feel like a strung out junky when I take my methadone regularly. I feel like whole person again.
Most mornings when I get home from the methadone clinic, it’s the best part of the day. I love being alone in my apartment in the morning, when it’s just me and Eleanor, my little dog. I become so relaxed when the methadone kicks in, and Eleanor and I go for walks or watch morning T.V.
This morning is not one of those mornings. This morning all I want is the money to get my methadone and to get Corey‘s naked ass off my couch, but unfortunately, I can’t make him leave, he’s the one who bought all this coke, and I owe him 300 bucks. So I am stuck with a naked man on my couch sleeping off a coke binge.
Just then I remember the counterfeit fifty dollar bill some guy gave me last nigh when I sold him some coke. At the time I was livid that I got ripped off, but now, maybe I can use it to rip someone else off. I grab the fake money out of my dresser drawer, and put it in my purse. I am pleased with myself and my new idea.
Then I look over at Eleanor my dog, and am filled with an overwhelming sense of guilt. How could I put her through this shit? She hasn’t gotten much sleep tonight either, and now that the house has quieted down, she is finally getting a little shut eye.
God, I hate myself, but when I really think about my life, and the people in it, Elle is the only thing I truly care about. I have to stop this, if not for me then for her, and I make a resolve to myself that this is it, no more dope. I know I can do it; I have done it before I was clean for 90 days, until I fucked up.
Since I have the fake fifty, I decide my best chance of cashing it is if I try to buy something with it, and then use the real money I get back to pay for my methadone. I grab my keys and purse. Elle, hears my keys jingle and runs into her bag that I use to carry her around, she has been carried in a bag since she was a little baby. I toss on a sweatshirt to cover my bloody t-shirt and try to make my face look a little less scary.
Elle is excited to be leaving she wags her little tail. I run out to where my car is parked and before I get in I let Elle out to go potty. The fresh air fills my lungs and my resolve to stop using gets even stronger. When I am finished with all this shit I have to do to get my methadone, I am coming home and making Corey leave, I’ll call the police if I have to. Then I am done, no more illegal activates for me.
Elle and I hop in the car and drive down the road, a little ways to the gas station. I am already anxious from the coke, but knowing I am going to try to pass fake money, that puts me way past anxious, I am about to have a heart attack as I walk in the door.
The cashier is man in his fifties, with white hair pulled into a long pony tail in back. He looks like an old hippie. There is no one else is in the store, it’s too early for the usual transients that hang outside the front of this place. This is the store all the hoodlums loiter in front of, and that’s the reason I picked this place.
I take a deep breath and ask for a pack of Basic Full Flavors. He grabs the smokes and rings them up. I hand him the money and he quickly glances at it, turns it over, and then puts it into the cash register.
I just got away with a federal offence, I can’t believe it. I turn around and leave. I am elated I got away with it and now I can get my methadone. I jump in the car, put it in drive, and step on the gas, squealing my tires as I pull out. I want my methadone now!
As I am driving my mind starts to wonder. Here I am high as a kite, just committed a federal offence, and I’m on probation for the prescription fraud that I committed last year. Last summer I was out of heroin and getting sick so I went to my doctor and asked him to write me a script to Hydromorphone, a prescription narcotic, often called hospital heroin; he wouldn’t. Just when I though I was screwed the doctor made the mistake of leaving me alone in the room with his prescription pad. So I ripped off one of the prescription papers and stuffed it in my purse. As soon as I was out of there I wrote out my own Hydromorphone prescription and filled it at a Walgreens.
I got caught a few months later. I was unaware that they send all scripts back to the doctor’s office for verification purposes; and well, he knew he never wrote me any opiates. Busted! That’s how I ended up in rehab and met Corey.
After getting kicked out of rehab I went to the methadone clinic. At the time I had to be in some sort of treatment to avoid jail. It worked and I ended up on probation for a year, instead of jail for a year.
I pull into the methadone clinic parking lot, Elle’s barking like she always dose in morning when we come here. She hates being left in the car, but I do it because it only takes a few minutes to dose, she’s fine in the car alone for a minute or two.
I run into the clinic, and thankfully no-one is line today, and I go straight to the dosing window. Pat the nurse gives me a look, like she knows I am high. She hands me little cup to pee in. “You have a urine analysis today”.
I think to myself fuck, I am totally screwed, my urine is definitely dirty with coke and god knows what else. Who knows what will happen when the results come back? I go into the bathroom and quickly pee. While in the bathroom I’m shaking with anxiety. After I am finished I go back to the window and hand her my warm cup of urine.
“Here you go”, I say as calmly as possible, trying not to let he see that I know am screwed when the results come back positive for every drug known to man.
“After you dose Kay would like to talk to you”, she says, as she fills my Dixie cup with the methadone.
“Okay”, I say taking the cup and slamming the methadone. At the moment I am just great full to be ingesting the methadone, this means, soon, my heart and mind will stop racing, and I can rest.
I walk down the hall, from the dosing window to Kay’s office. Kay is my drug counselor at the methadone clinic; we usually meet once a month to asses how I am progressing. We already met this month, so I have a feeling this is not going to be a good meeting. I knock on her door. “Come in, it’s open”.
I walk in and say, “Hi Kay, what’s up.”? I am still trying hard to hide my fear.
“Have a seat Anna, we need to talk”. She says this, and immediately I can tell I am fucked. “Do you remember calling me yesterday afternoon”?
Shit, I do remember: I called her with a needle in my arm literally, and asked her for help. “Kay I am using again and I need to stop. I don‘t want to use anymore! Can you help me”?
She sort of brushed me off and told me to call someone from NA. I hung up and forgot about it. , and now its coming back to bite me in the ass.
“Well, Anna I had to call your probation officer and tell him what you said. You do know that relapsing is grounds to revoke your probation”.
I immediately start to sob. I had a feeling something bad was going to happen, but I didn’t predict anything this terrible. She grabs the phone and seconds later she’s on speaker phone with to my PO.
“She’s here, what do you want me to do.” My probation office addresses me.
“Anna I am revoking your probation, for your own safety. There will be a police officer at the clinic soon”.
Through sobs I tell him that, “Elle is in the car, and I have no-one to pick her up”.
He pauses and thinks about what to do. Then he comes back. “Well, Anna I will allow you to go home and find someone to take care of your dog, but you have to be at my office at 10am. Anna Don’t even think of taking off, you will just make things worse”.
I calm down a little after he says this. I tell him, “I will be there at 10am sharp”.
It is 7:30am now; I have plenty of time to get things in order. Kay hangs up the phone, and says, “I am sorry, I had to do this, It’s just I am really worried about you. I hope this will keep you form hurting yourself any more”.
I just walk out I don’t even bother acknowledging her. I am so pissed; maybe I need help, but not punishment. So now I am going to have to withdrawal from 140 milligrams of methadone in jail. There is no worse place to go through opiate withdrawal than jail. That fucking bitch!
I jump in my car and speed away, hysterically crying. I should have seen this coming I say to myself. I never get away with anything. This is God punishing me for passing fake money.
I look at Elle, and she looks so innocent. She has no idea what’s happening, how bad things are. Maybe she does? She is licking my fingers like she is trying to make me feel better. I give her a kiss on top of her head, as I pull into my parking space at home.
I get into my apartment and start making calls. First on the list, is to my ex boyfriend Pete, Elle’s daddy. I ask him if he can pick up Elle by 10am, and I tell him why. He says, “Sure I’ll be there around 9:45am”.
Next call is my dad, who lives four hours away in upper Michigan. I tell him the news, and he is upset. He thought I had been doing so well with the methadone treatment. He asks, “How long will you be in jail”?
“I don’t know dad, probably not too long. I didn’t do anything that bad. I just relapsed, it happens to every addict at some point”. He says, “I will call your mom for you”, and we say our good byes.
Then I call my aunt Debbie who has been helping me out since my mom moved to Hawaii, a year ago for her traveling nurse job. Deb has been my surrogate mom since then. Taking me to all my court dates, bringing me cigarettes in rehab. Giving me money for the methadone when my mom forgets to western union me the money in time.
Deb is at work, when I call, and her long time boyfriend answers the phone, I give him the low down. He assures me he will have her call me back in a minute. So I hang up and start to get ready for a shower while I wait for her to call back.
Two minutes later my phone buzzes and sure enough it is Debbie, crying, worried about me. I try to calm her down and tell her I’m sorry.
“I haven’t been using you all this time for money or anything like that, I just started using drugs again at the end of February, a month ago”. I want her to know not everything was a lie.
She’s worried about Elle, Elle really likes Deb. Deb has no children, and really loves dogs. I ask her if she would check up on Elle while she is with Pete. Pete lives with his dad behind a bar; Deb only lives about a mile away.
She says she would be happy to check in on Elle and make sure she is taken care of. She asks me to let her know what’s going on, when I know more and, can use the phone in jail. I tell her I will, and we say our goodbyes.
My last call is to my drug dealer. I need some valium to help me through the withdrawals that are ahead. He answers and I tell him the condensed version of events, and ask him to bring me 10 of his Valium. He says, “Sure be there in 10 minutes.
Corey is still lying on the couch naked so I shake him and try t to get him up and make him leave, but he is dead to the world, and doesn’t even acknowledge. I give up and write a note and tape it too his chest.
Then I clean up the apartment and get rid of all drugs and paraphnailia. All the while I chain smoke and stop to pet Elle every few minutes. I keep trying not to think about how much I will miss and worry about her.
Then, there is a knock at the door. It is my dealer, he shows me the pills, and I give him the money I have left over from my previous crime that morning. Then he’s gone I’m sure he is off to his next sale. I take one valium and head to the shower.
In the bathroom I look in the mirror, and see how nasty I look. My skin is pale, with a grayish hue. My eyes have big black circles around them. The blue part of my eyes looks foggy, and the white part is red with blood shot. I have to look away I am so disgusted. I strip off my clothes that I have been wearing for a week. They are getting too big on me.
Since I started using coke I have gone from my normal weight of 150lbs to 130lbs. Which is really the only good thing about coke, the weight loss, but that’s not even worth going to jail for.
I jump in the shower; the water feels good on my dirty body. I wet my hair and shampoo. I can feel all the snarls, my hair is really long, thick and wavy, and I hate brushing it when there isn’t any snarls, now that it is a rats nests, I don’t want even want to get out of the shower much less brush my hair. I wash my body and condition my hair.
When I jump out Elle starts licking my toes as she always does. I grab my towels, wrap my hair and dry off. Then I pull out my brush and start tearing out my hair, which takes 15 minutes.
I glance at the clock 8:30am, tick tock tick tock Tick tock tick tock, soon I will be in cell doubled over in pain from withdrawal. I am thankful that I got my dose today; this means I will have about 48 hours until I get really dope sick.
Now that I am freshly showered, I put on some comfy clothes. Pair of black sweats, and clean white t-shirt. I sit down on the chair next to the couch and pull up the atmen. I light myself another smoke and turn on the TV. To watch the Today show.
I eat a few ho ho’s, and let myself relax. Elle jumps up on my lap and I cuddle her. I start to get sleepy, finally, now that my methadone and valium have started to kick in. Every few minutes I have to pull myself out of a light sleep to check the clock.
The idea to leave and not turn myself in crosses my mind. If I did run I would go to my dad’s house out of state, but I would have to drive my own car all the way up there, and my tags are expired. Plus I am sure that my PO will put out APB for me and my car.
With my luck, I would probably end up getting pulled over with Elle in my car, way out in the middle of nowhere, with no cell phone reception. Elle would have to go to some pound, and I would end up in jail. If I could hide out somewhere until my dad drove down to get me, but where would I hide?
My PO is not stupid he knows most places I would go. Then I still wouldn’t have my methadone. There is no methadone clinic in Upper Michigan. My dad has a prescription for 30mgs of Morphine, but he keeps it locked up in a safe when I am around. I figure if I just turn myself in, I should be able to get back on methadone sooner. I decide against running.
My phone rings, it’s Pete, he is outside the apartment building, and needs me to open the door. I run to let him in. First thing out of his mouth is, “Jesus Christ Anna, can’t you stay out of trouble for one year”?
I give a little laugh, “I know I fucked up again, thank you so much for helping me out in a pinch”.
He gives me a look of pity and says, “Eleanor is my dog too, so it is my obligation to take care of her when you fuck up and go to jail”.
Eleanor runs up to Pete, excited to see him. I start to cry again, realizing I have messed up my life good this time. Pete was such a caring boyfriend, and I was whoring around, getting high, and stealing his money. He even took me back after every one of my infidelities. Pete is the one who bought me Elle, two years ago, after I begged and begged.
I start to pack up Elle’s things, while Pete cuddles her. Pete looks at Corey lying on the couch, and rolls his eyes. I can tell he feels uncomfortable after he sees him. I look at the clock and tell Pete its time to go.
Elle jumps in her bag, and all three of us head out to Pete’s car. My PO’s office is close to my apartment, so I light my last cigarette, and take a deep breath. I am surprisingly calm considering my predicament. Thanks to my methadone dose and the valium I popped earlier.
Before I go to turn myself in I have to hide these 9 valium pills, I bought. I wrap them in my cigarette cellophane, burn the top so the pills are sealed in, then I pull down my sweat pants.
Pete is astonished by my actions, “what the fuck! Well I should not be too surprised, you are crazy”, he says.
As I am shoving the little stash up my glorious vagina, I say matter of factly, “I am going to need these in there”.
I pull up my sweats up, kiss Elle good bye, and look at Pete and say, “I am sorry for everything, you deserve better.”, and I am off.
I hate being separated form Eleanor, leaving her literally breaks my heart. Going thru withdrawals, and worrying about my baby girl, this is going to be brutal.