3 Things You Can Do to Help Someone with an Addiction

Although every addict is different and nobody can make an addict get better except for the addict themselves, this is a very well written 3 step guide to follow if you want to become more aware on the subject.


If you love someone who’s struggling with an addiction, then you’ve probably asked yourself, “What can I do to help?” While there’s no way to act on someone else’s behalf or to force anyone to change, I do advise three (3) things that you can do to help your loved one.

1.  Educate yourself about:

The way Addiction works. Addiction runs along a measurable and predictable path. Really. Even if other people say otherwise, the cold hard truth is that addiction develops. Really, once someone uses a substance for a specific purpose, that use is pretty indicative that full-blown Addiction is only a matter of time. Also, there are different types of Addiction (ingestive, process; psychological and physical); therefore, the more you can learn about the way substance use progress to abuse and towards Addiction, then the more likely you can look at your loved one as someone who is…

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Part Two: O.C. Way of Living

Supra ventricular tachycardia or SVT for short- is a condition which in my case is hereditary, that causes the heart to beat in an abnormally fast pace, leading to all kinds of issues. I had an ablation performed on July 10, 2001 at Massachusetts General Hospital. Upon my recovery, I was prescribed 40mg OxyContin, which I knew all about and had used it in previous years but because of so many of my friends who got addicted to it and all my visits seeing them in detox, I was that fond of it. But, the doctors made incisions to my arteries through my groin and I was in a great deal of discomfort, so I assured myself that because they are prescribed, I will be just fine. So I took them twice a day during my entire stay at the hospital.

One of my visitors, a girl who often hung out with the Crew happened to be in the room while a nurse came in with water and my medication, Oxys being one of them. Seeing the pill, she convinced me that we should crush it up and snort it, explaining that I will feel its side effects quicker and more powerfully. Also she wanted a bump(a line). She showed me how and it’s result was mind-blowing! I felt the best feeling I have ever felt in my life. I couldn’t think of anything on this planet that could produce such a euphoric feeling. I had energy and was instantly in a great mood. The pain going away was the least of the amount of pleasure I was receiving from this little pill. Nothing felt this good. Nothing! It was even better than sex.

i left with a refill of the pain-killer and within one week my entire 14 day supply was finished. I called my doctor and I was given another prescription of the drug because I claimed I was still feeling a lot of pain and discomfort from the procedure. But it didn’t stop there. Weekly I was calling the cardiologist to get more and he didn’t just kneel to my demands but he decided then to raise my dosage to 80mg, twice as much. I was ecstatic! I was making trips into Boston and just picking up my prescription at the receptionists desk. I didn’t even have to see the doctor. Needless to say, my cardiac surgeon became my first OxyContin drug dealer.

Little did I know that this was the beginning of a life of hell; torment and torture, self imprisonment, and I was already reconstructing who I was and the morals be stilled inside me. I could not stop getting high. Every morning I would wake up in bed, light myself a cigarette, and crush up an oxy, or shave it down into finer powder using a hose clamp or a Ped Egg. I could not start my day without my fix of this synthetic opiate made by Purdue Pharmaceutical. This little, circular, green pill with the number 80 stamped into its surface on one side and the initials OC stamped on the other had complete control of me. I could not get dressed without snorting one. I could not go back to work. I could not step out of my room and talk to my mother until I put its contents up my nose. But I didn’t realize this at first. At first I only felt like I was on top of the world. And then I ran out.

i will never forget the first time I got sick because of the withdrawal of opiates in my body, otherwise known as being Dope Sick. My doctor was actually killed and due to his death I no longer was prescribed OxyContin. I woke up like I did any other day but as time went bye, I began feeling almost anxious, started sweating although I had goosebumps from feeling cold, and my stomach started to ache. The longer I went the day without the drug, the sicker I felt. I could not stop yawning. The cold sweats were uncontrollable and my hips and knees became restless and uncomfortable. And there was this awful taste in my mouth. God awful taste.

But I was still ignorant to the addiction and I sincerely believed I was coming down with the flu, so I did what any mamas boy would do; I went home so my mom could take care of me. And though I lacked a fever, she pampered me like I was 10 years old again because she could see just how bad I was feeling. My mom fed me chicken noodle soup but I had no appetite. She rented movies for me while I layer on the couch but I couldn’t pay any attention to them because of how terrible I felt and not being able to get comfortable. And I got depressed. Not depression like I had growing up but a severe sadness I couldn’t shake.

One of my friends that I got high on Oxys with stopped by to see me. After hearing about how sick I was and that it was getting worse and worse, he enlightened me with what I now know as the opposite of that euphoric feeling I had experienced prior to this: I was dope sick. He surprised me with a bump, maybe a quarter of what I was so used to using, and within seconds…I not only began feeling better but I was up and on my feet ready to start my day.

That night I was back at my apartment. I remember this clear as day. I had a girl over, a girl I was dating but met because we had the same thing in common; Oxy’s. We were eating ice cream and talking about the couple of days before hand. She said it so simply, like it was no big deal, and what she said I didn’t think too much into at the time. I probably even shrugged my shoulders at the remark. She told me, “Honey, you’re an addict.”

Part One: The Beginning

Throughout my story, my family plays a major role. I believe most families play major roles in addicts lives but all families contributions to the addicts stories are different. My family stood on two total different sides of the spectrum: all the way to the left( growing up) and all the way to the right(during and at the end of my using). So growing up, my family was perfect. No arguing or fighting. No drama that I recall. My father never hit me and my mother was my best friend. And neither my parents nor any other family members brought drugs or alcohol into or around the house. We never even had beer in the refrigerator or alcohol stuffed in a cabinet. Nothing.

My parents never divorced, still going on dates until my mothers last days. They worked endlessly to provide for me and my brothers and by doing so we just made status as a middle class family. I was never spoiled but my parents never allowed us to grow up without having a great childhood, whether it be big birthdays and Christmas’ or annual vacations to Cape Cod and New Hampshire.

I grew up in the town of Wakefield, Ma. To this day I still think of it as the model town. Main St being a strip of stores that cover every basic need. Good schools. A giant lake that we can walk around or relax by, watching fireworks or enjoying the 4th of July Parade. Parks and playgrounds in every neighborhood. Woods to build forts in and hills to go sledding down. I loved growing up here.

I was always a wise ass, sarcastic, and angry. I’ve searched for answers to these defects and none have arisen. I was raised with unbelievable morals from unbelievable parents so that can’t be my excuse, nor can the place I grew up in. I was never a bully but I did at times pick on people but looking back I know it wasn’t because I had unresolved issues or anything. I just did it and at times thought it was fun. I did suffer from depression though. A lot of it. I was angry, sad, quiet. I remember most of it starting after a friend of mine who I grew up with was killed on the first day of summer vacation. I won’t say anything more than that experience of death was my first and it left an untreated wound in my heart and in my conscious that I didn’t accept or get over until almost a decade later.

My first time doing a drug was marijuana and I was excited to see what would happen. Everyone my age just graduated the D.A.R.E. Program and in all honesty, I liked what I heard of the effects weed produced. It just seemed interesting. So one Friday night at the age of fourteen, I hid behind these huge electric power breakers near my high school and smoked a joint for the first time with 3 other friends of mine. And it did nothing.

But the time after that it did. I loved everything about it. My vision seemed more 3D than usual. I couldn’t stop laughing. And music sounded better… So I thought.

For the next 4 yrs of high school I smoked weed on a daily basis. If you saw me inside or outside of school, I was stoned. But that isn’t the only thing I did. I also began hanging out with kids a grade or two older than me. The had cars so I found myself attending parties every weekend. Alcohol was the structure these parties seemed to build upon but after experiencing my first hangover, I told myself I’d never drink again. And so be it, to this day I’ve probably only been drunk 20 times. But other things were at these parties:ecstasy, cocaine, acid and mushrooms. And at times I would throw pills I didn’t even know about in my stomach like Valium, Klonopin, Xanax, Vicodin, and Percocet. Next thing I knew, my weekends disappeared friends telling me what we did because I didn’t remember. The Benzos weren’t exactly my favorite but I still couldn’t tell myself not to take them if the opportunity arose. But the psychedelics were my favorite by far. I had two groups of friends: the Jocks & the non-Jocks which a lot of people labeled us as “The Crew”. The Crew became my family. The Crew became my best friends. We were punks. Young teenage punks. All we wanted to do was have fun; party, get high, get drunk, fuck girls, sell drugs, get in fights, but most of all we were loyal and we set out to conquer the world. Or at least that’s what it seemed like at that time.

From the time I was 14 years old to 19 years old, that’s what my life consisted of. I barely passed high school although I knew I was one of the smarter people. I went to college but never took it serious, only attending because I wanted to continue playing baseball. Nothing in the world mattered except for having a fun time and getting high with my friends. Any money I earned went straight to drugs and concerts. I couldn’t hold a job and I begun this downward spiral in life from having my head on straight to becoming an irresponsible oxygen waster. But what did I care… I would tell myself I have the rest of my life to get serious but right now it’s time to have fun.

Well, fun I was having and fun is part of what led my heart to go into cardiac arrest on the baseball diamond at the age of 19.

Don’t Fear the Reaper; Respect the Reaper

I am a drug addict. Although I don’t enjoy lots of drugs- benzos, cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy, uppers, and alcohol- doesn’t mean I don’t fit nice and snug in the category of an addict. There are many kinds of drug addicts. Some like to do all the drugs on the market while others have only battled addiction towards a single substance. I, myself, along with plenty of others sustain from every drug that is out there, although we know that we wouldn’t use them if we had to. This is because, a drug is a drug is a drug! If I have a binge eating disorder and I have lived a life of consuming chocolate cake all day-everyday to the point that I have developed diabetes or became extremely unhealthy, this does not mean that as long as I stay away from the cake that I will do just fine. Substituting candy bars for cake will not do a single thing for my diabetes or weight problems. It goes the same with drugs.

Before I got sober this time around, I was injecting heroin into my veins and inhaling crack into my lungs on a day to day basis. I had not smoked weed for maybe 6 or 7 years and although crack is a form of cocaine, I preferred smoking over snorting or shooting it. I had not taken ecstasy since high school or any benzos since The evening I took one too many Xanax and wound up pulling a steak knife out on 4 police officers at my parents house and threatening I’d gut them like a fish. I do, in fact, love crystal meth but my connections to the gay underground world disappeared when a good friend of mine committed suicide due to drug psychosis. But heroin and crack… Now that’s my cup of tea!

I do not fear drugs. I respect them. Although I’ve had dozens and dozens of friends die from the disease of addiction (myself included) I still don’t find them scary. And though I was never raised to respect anything so bad or negative, I’ve come to realize that if I don’t look at my disease the way I do now, then I have a better chance of slipping up and traveling down this destructive path again. One of my many character defects is I’m stubborn. Millions if not billions of people are stubborn in this world but mixing addiction and a stubborn attitude has never quite worked for me or others. A personal defensive mechanism I have is when I’m scared of something, or in this case fear something, I tend to not take it serious enough and sometimes even laugh it off as it was just a joke, which I found isn’t the smartest way to go about addiction. Meanwhile, if I respect something- like if I respected a person- then I make sure to notice what it is I respect, learn from this person or what not, and take for granted the experiences I have with it. I respect drugs and I respect alcohol. I know what it can do to me and I know all to well what it can do to others. I keep it more then an arms length away but never further then where I can see it because, as of right now in my recovery, I need to know that if I let up or become complacent for only 1 second that it could be the beginning of the end for me and for everyone who loves and cares about me.

If You Build IT, They Will Come…

“This is just the beginning”, someone told me my first time at an AA meeting. And that is exactly what I am saying here. “This is just the beginning”.

I have dreamt millions and millions of things throughout my 32 years on this planet. Anywhere from what I wanted to be when I grew up to how I want to ask this pretty girl I’ve only just met out on a date. This here, thewakeupjournals, is one of those dreams, one of the only dreams that has happen thus far. Now, at the age of- let’s say eight- I wasn’t imagining that I’d one day be both happy and nervous about setting forth an idea I have based solely upon how awful and unmanageable my life has been, but a lot can change in time, especially when you only live your life, One Day at a Time.

Since getting clean, or sober as some of us call it, I have wanted to help other people like me. Other addicts and alcoholics. But bouts of self doubt and insecurities have always stopped me from completely opening up and talking about who I REALLY AM to someone other than a man or woman sitting in a chair with a cup of coffee or an energy drink in their hand and introducing themselves as… “Hi! My name is_____ and I’m an addict.” But like my dreams and the world around us, I have changed and now feel quite comfortable talking about whatever it is I feel like sharing about my life and either who I was or who I am. Let’s call it humility. Or just being humble. Whatever name we may give it, it is an act that for generations has helped one addict or alcoholic help another. And by doing this, people have saved countless peoples lives, families, jobs, relationships, and in the process have saved themselves. So in hindsight; I’m just returning the favor someone did for me.

So, without an education, without any professional certificate or degree, I am going to completely, honestly, and most importantly…humbly, open my life and all it’s losses and it’s wins, it’s feats and it’s failures, to you, the reader, the interested, and hopefully reach out in the process and help at least one human being away from continuing on a path of self destruction and imprisonment to the confines of addiction so they can simply wake up one day smiling. This I plan on doing as follows: sharing the stories from myself and other addicts/alcoholics in recovery of our experience, strength, and hope.

I can promise this; the stories are not going to be perceived always nicely. They will be horrifying, terrible, sometimes grotesque and illegal, but they happened. Some will be sad, some may make you mad, and some may be painfully close to the heart. See, addiction is everywhere around us though it only comes out into the limelight when something horrible goes on, and deservingly so because it’s a horrible disease. But it’s a factuality in everyday life to millions of people and if your reading this now, chances are you know someone who wakes up and fights this battle day on and day off. I know people who will read will respect me for my honesty and some won’t. Actually, some people will hate it so much that I will somehow get blamed as being a “type of person” who causes this or causes that, and that’s just fine with me. A large part of humanity ignoring this disease is plain and simple: ignorance. Most people are not raised to commit crimes and hurt others so obviously we were raised that anyone who does so is a “bad” person. And, a lot of times when your already convinced someone is bad then you think it’s best that you stay away from that person. So if you decide to stay away from somebody you don’t care much for then why on earth would u ever take time out of your own day to learn about why they are bad? And I don’t blame you cause I am ignorant towards a lot of stuff in life as well. But not with this, with addiction, and to those of you who are considering reading along or stopping by this site- I applaud you and ask one question: what took you so fucking long?

This is less of a post but more like a bio about what we are trying to accomplish here on thewakeupjournals but as the days, the months, hopefully even as the years go bye, this blog can get the attention of enough people who want to help another suffering person in this world, and even if it can aid the recovery of a single individual…well, then we’ve succeeded.

Because how can you consider yourself a part of humanity if you don’t have the decency to help it in every way it needs it?