It makes your life a hell on Earth eventually. Painkillers are derived from opium. They’re
used for medical purposes. They’re a manufactured substance. They’re like a synthetic heroin. It’s basically as powerful as heroin, and it
will affect your nervous system in the same way. It’s a pharmaceutical.
It’s sold over the counter as a painkiller. It’s mostly given to cancer patients and stuff,
and like people who have back surgeries. Mainly used for people who are terminally ill,
to block off your pain receptors. Normally you get them through a doctor.
You can also buy them on the streets. It comes in either liquid, like
the cough medicine, in tablets or capsules. With the fentanyl,
those actually come in a box, what we call the lollipops, because they
actually look kind of like lollipops, with a little thing at the end of a stick —
it looks like you’re just eating a lollipop. Some of the painkillers are oxycodone,
hydrocodone, Lortabs, Percocets, Vicodin. There’s different milligram forms. It starts
out, I think you can get 10-milligram pills, 20s, 40s, 80s, and then there’s 160s,
that are hard to come by. — I just took it in pill form.
— You can take it orally. — Just get a straw and snort it.
— I used to crush it up and snort it. I progressed to breaking it down
into liquid form, using a syringe, tying my arms up
and shooting myself up with it. — When I first tried it, I was 16 years old.
— I was probably 18. — I was 21.
— I started painkillers at about 28. It was hydrocodone,
a prescription painkiller. I had first gotten it prescribed to me
from a doctor. I was on prescription pain medication from
my doctor and therapist for a long time, and then I just bought it
off the street after that. — I took the pain pills from a car accident.
— I had some medical issues that developed because of playing sports,
and he prescribed me Lortabs and Somas. I took it for a leg injury. I thought that it was experimental
and I thought it would be cool to try. It was in the 9th grade, in class —
my buddy gave me an oxycodone. A group of friends in high school.
It was the cool thing to do at the time. A friend of mine told me about pain pills
and how they made you feel. And I knew they were in the medicine cabinet.
So, that’s when I went looking. And then I tried to stop,
but it was way too addictive. And I got really sick when I stopped,
so I just kept going with it. One thing led to another,
and before you know it, you’re hooked. I had no idea they were addictive,
till the morning. I woke up and I was freaking out
because I didn’t have anything. It clicked in my head then: “Oh my gosh.
This is the physical addiction to it. I’m going through drug withdraw.” It’s a pain medication, it takes away your pain.
But yet, when the medication is gone, you just get all that pain back, whether it be emotionally
or physically. It all comes back tenfold. You start to crave it,
you start to need more. Within a week or two I was taking them morning, afternoon and night,
and needed them to function. All of a sudden, after you look at it, you’re spending 300 or some odd dollars
a day just to get by. You start feeling these awful withdrawal symptoms,
where you get terribly sick, hot and cold sweats. I would vomit and vomit and vomit
for days on end. Don’t want to eat — forcing myself to eat
’cause I knew I had to. It feels like something is coming out of the bones
of your body and trying to break out of your skin. I felt like someone
was shoving knives into my bones. It’s the most horrible thing that you’d ever
experience. Just feeling like you just got beat up. In your mind you’re completely panicked,
you’re freaked out. You can’t hold a train of thought at all.
You can’t function. I wasn’t even looking for the high anymore. I was just looking to get that feeling gone.
It was… I felt like dying. All you’re doing is taking it
just so that you’re not sick. You feel like you’ll do anything to get it.
9 times out of 10, you will. I had a choice to walk out a door and leave
my life and my house and my wife, or stay and try and make things work
and quit drugs. I walked out that door. I just packed up my things,
and I left my kids with my parents. I left my family — I didn’t tell them where I was
going. And I went and stayed with a friend in this run-down hotel
full of drug dealers and prostitutes. I was kicked out of my house 3 separate times.
I couldn’t believe that it had happened to me — for me to be homeless,
sweaty, hungry, smelly. I was filling out fake prescriptions.
We actually forged the doctor’s signature. The next thing you know, a few months later,
I was being arrested for fraud and forgery. At 20, I was in federal prison
for 20 months. And federal prison is no place
for anybody to be at 20 years old. I ran into the back of two cars. I pulled out
of a parking lot not looking — a car hit me. Then I pulled into a parking lot
in my apartment complex and just totally crashed into another car.
I didn’t even see it when I pulled into it. I wasn’t worrying about where I was going to
go the next day, where I was going to sleep — it was just all about getting high.
And that was where my focus was. So I didn’t have to face reality,
so I didn’t have to like look around me and see needles and spoons
and blood all over me, from shooting up. My daughter had seen me passed
out on the floor, and not being able to wake me up,
thinking that I was dead. Woke up three days later,
covered in my own feces and vomit, till my parents rushed me to the hospital. I OD’d. I woke up on the floor with some
huge man — I didn’t even know who he was — standing on top of me, hitting me
on the chest, telling me to breathe. I woke up in the hospital with a tube down my
throat. I was handcuffed to the bed. And I’m thinking to myself,
“What am I doing here?” My dad had come to visit me.
It’s the first time I ever saw him cry. And that’s when it really hit me: not only what am
I doing to myself — what am I doing to my family? It destroyed my family. They love me and
they’re family and blood is thicker than water, but they can only take so much. It ripped my parents up. Some nights I’d stay
out, not call — they didn’t know where I was at. I wouldn’t accept their phone calls. I wouldn’t go to Christmas, I wouldn’t go to
birthdays, I wouldn’t go to family dinners. And I turned into someone who had no emotion
– almost seemed like they’re dead all the time. At first it’s like, “It’s okay to do.
It’s from a doctor, it’s safe.” No one told me that it was really addictive,
no one told me about the side effects, no one told me anything.
They just said, “This will take away your pain.” They’re little, small, round, colorful pills that look harmless, when really,
it’s just a death sentence. It sucks. When you’re doing it,
sometimes it feels good, ’cause you got a couple of laughs with
some close friends. But those laughs turn to tears very quickly. You lose track of your dreams and your goals.
Things that you wanted to accomplish and you want to do in your life.
The only thing that’s important is the drug. And then before you know it,
you wake up 10 years later and you see all the time that you have wasted. It’s definitely not worth it. It’s only going
to take you down. It’s never going to take you up.