Reading an article today, about the crisis surrounding Oxycontin in Ontario. Tens of thousands of addicts have been cut off their drug supply, and I know all too well how catastostrophic that can feel.
I think back to the old days, and I think back to dope sickness. I remember when the biggest dealer in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans got popped. Everyone I knew was sick for a couple of days. We joked around that we had "the Ninth Ward flu," because most of us lived in the Ninth Ward, and all of us were suffering from the intense "flu-like" symptoms of withdrawal.
Flu-like symptoms of withdrawal. That statement always made me laugh. The flu is bearable, The flu is tolerable. Maybe not ideal or desired, but I never thought I would die from the flu.
There were many times I did not think I would make it through withdrawal. I think back to the desperate plea of the sickness. The sweating and the cold shivers, the puking and the diarrhea, and the mental insanity that pervaded it all. I think back to the desperation I felt, calling one number after the other. I think back to pacing my house in desperation, moaning and groaning in agony. I would have done anything to make it all go away. Anything.
I think again about Ontario, and all the addicts, sick and in desperate withdrawal. I think back to myself again, and I know I would have done anything. And so will most of these people. When the sickness really sinks in, your mind is riddled with insanity and your bones are riddled with pain. Your muscles, your mind, your desperate insanity…
In a state like that, anything sounds better than the hell you are experiencing. Heroin? Will it take this pain away? Will it make my mind stop screaming all this insanity in my ear? Sure, I will take it. And I am feeling like shit, so pile it on. That is what I would have done.
I flash back to a darkened hotel room, dank and damp with sweat, sickness, and desperation. I think back to lying there, unable to sleep, unable to get comfortable, and unable to think about anything with any shred of rationality. I think back to that desperate puking yellow bile, coming back up drenched in a cold sweat, breathing heavy and tears on the edge of my eyes. I think back to all the days I spent waiting, in this bone-crushing desperation.
There was never a time where I thought in that desperation that maybe I should just quit. There was never a time where I thought about how hard this was all getting, how expensive, how draining, instead I only thought about ending the pain. I only thought about finding a way to make it all go away. In the grips of the sickness, there was never a thought to ride it out, and to move on with my life. Back then, it was all immediate, and I only knew the here and the now. And all I wanted was make the awful feeling of withdrawal dissipate. Instantly dissipate, just as instant as the high had always been. All I thought about was getting more. More is the only thing to make it all go away. I just wanted it all to go away. And now.
And that is what most of the addicts in Ontario must be thinking right now. They just want it all to go away, as the desperation deep in their veins screams out to take it all away. The street supply of Oxycontin is dwindling and the price is rising. Addicts in Ontario are probably bouncing between sick and well, as their supply gets smaller and smaller. Days of desperation, dispersed through days of relief. Slipping back and forth, bouncing all around. I know all too well exactly how this feels. They only think about a way to relieve this pain…and more is the only answer anyone really knows.
If you or someone you know is struggling with oxycontin addiction, please contact us.