Thoughts of a Recovering Drug Addict

My name is Dan Abshear, and I am a recovering drug addict.

My substance abuse began with alcohol intake, in my early teens. My mother used to insist me and my older teen brother, also a young teenager, party with her, by getting drunk with her.

My mother would give alcohol to us, and my older brother’s many young teenage friends, often. This went on for years. My mother, by the way, should have gone to prison for this, as this is contributing to the delinquency of minors, which is a felony. But, thanks to lazy cops and apathetic neighbors, this never happened.

However,I blame myself for my alcohol addiction, and no other. Like many other recovering drug addicts, I have a very addictive personality. That personality contributed to my abuse of substances such as alcohol.

My drinking continued to be heavy until the age of 37 or so. It was then I broke my back, sleigh riding with my daughter. And it was then, a doctor prescribed me Vicodin.

Vicodin is known as an opioid analgesic. Opiates have been abused and used by many, for thousands of years. The effect Vicodin had on me was amazing.

Because, at least in my case, Vicodin not only takes care of physical pain, but emotional pain as well. The drug provided a much wanted and welcomed euphoria in my life.

For those of you who are familiar with the T.V. show, “House”. This is what Dr. House abuses, throughout the show.

So, while on Vicodin, I stopped drinking, and started exercising intensely. I was able to do this, because I was pain free on Vicodin. In fact, I got in the best shape of my life, while I continuously consumed more and more Vicodin.

But, within two years, I was a full blown opiate addict. My tolerance increased with that drug, rapidly, so it seemed. I was taking between 10 and 20 high dose tablets a day, at the height of my addiction to this drug.

And, the euphoria I initially experienced with Vicodin also faded to the point where it was unnoticeable. But, I kept taking Vicodin, because withdrawals were not welcome, when I did not have Vicodin in my system.

So, in the year of 2004 now, and I’m at a doctor convention with work. For many years, I did pharmaceutical sales, for very large pharmaceutical corporations. I’m at work with a younger guy, who noticed the tiredness and boredom of myself, and a couple of others, at this convention. This younger guy had some adderall on him, and offered a tablet to me, and a couple of others at this meeting.

Adderall is basically long acting amphetamines, used to treat ADD and narcolepsy. I had heard of the drug before, but never chose to take it. But, since I was a Vicodin addict at this point in my life, I thought I would give it a try, and took the Adderall pill at that doctor convention.

The effects of Adderall were amazing. That night, my mind was at maximum efficiency, I felt. I began to write, and I wrote all night. It was as if Adderall awakened these dormant neurons in my brain. I absolutely loved this drug.

It also initially increased my sex drive. While I had a high sex drive already, adderall initially intensified my orgasms. That combined with what I preceived to be maximum cognitive efficiency, I had found a new drug to love.

As with Vicodin, I began to increase my intake of Adderall as tolerance developed, while high on this drug. Also, with my Adderall use, I did not sleep. In time, I started to experience hallucinations.

So I went to my favorite doctor who had been prescribing Vicodin and Adderall to me, and asked him for some benzodiazapines, better known as tranquilizers.

Benzos, as they are called, work on the GABA inhibitors in the brain- the same area of the brain that is affected by alchohol intake. So while on benzos, not only did I sleep, but I felt like I was drunk on this drug, on this class of drugs, which I also ended up abusing aggressively, of course.

Memory loss was a problem at this point in my life, and benzos made my memory problems much worse.

I’d say, from the years 2006 to 2009, my life is a blur. I recall very little, during this period in my life. This is all do to my enormous drug intake, from these drugs in particular.

My lovely wife at the time wanted me high on drugs all the time. We had marital issues she did not want to address. While high on drugs, I did not address these rather significant issues in our marriage. Because while high on drugs, I stopped caring about anyone, or anything.

She wanted me that way, completely full of these drugs I ended up abusing so badly, so she would go to her own doctor, and get me these drugs I was addicted to quite badly. So, I was high all the time, the last 3 years of our marriage in particular. She finally ended our marriage, my wife at the time, in the year 2009, by falsely accusing me of violently abusing her.

The law was on her side, with her false accusations, because when she did falsely accuse me of violently abusing her, I was this unemployed drug addict. Little does the law know that when I was high on these drugs, I could barely move.

I became almost completely dysfuctional, as I existed with toxic levels of the drugs Vicodin, Adderal, and the benzodiazapine. So abusing anyone was almost impossible, due to my toxic state, with all of these drugs in my system, almost constantly.

I also became isolated. I did not socialize with live people often. I’d just hang out at my house all day, and pop pills. The last year of my drug addiction, I was not the father to my daughter, I had been the years before this one.

Of all the destruction that has happened in my life due to my drug addiction, failing my daughter as a father the last year I was with her, will pain me for the rest of my life.

When my drug addiction finally ended, I was abusing Vicodin, Adderall, and a benzodiazapine, washing those pills down with about a case of beer a day. I re-acquired my alcohol intake, when Vicodin stopped working for me. I was a complete train wreck, when I stopped abusing drugs, and I was also impotent, at times.

I entered drug rehab in the Spring of 2010, and I’ve never been compelled to use again. I was well aware I was a drug addict, when I was using these drugs Ive mentioned to you. But, I reached a point during my drug addiction where I was afraid I’d never be able to stop taking these drugs.

My addiction to them was that intense. I thought I’d be a full blown drug addict for the rest of my life. So once I stopped abusing these drugs, I never wanted to take them, ever again. And I don’t miss the high from these drugs, either. I get high from other things in life now, instead of poisoning myself.

My health is remarkably well, considering what I abused for so long. There is no physical damage, from these drugs I took. Any damage I did to my brain from these drugs has been repaired, I believe.

Adderall, Vicodin, alcohol, and whatever benzodiazapine I could get my hands on- I don’t miss you one bit. My experience with you was enjoyable and regrettable at the same time. You made me more aware, but you also almost killed me. You should not exist, but you do, and that saddens me, because that means you are harming many others now. It is my hope you are not used, by anyone, ever.

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Posted by on February 29, 2012. Filed under COMMENTARY/OPINION. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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11 Responses to Thoughts of a Recovering Drug Addict

  1. Ringo Reply

    February 29, 2012 at 12:13 am

    My hat goes off to you sir. It takes great courage to bare your soul to so many people. Perhaps you might save one life, and then it is all worth it. I wish you the best.

  2. Greenlight Reply

    February 29, 2012 at 1:39 am

    A truly touching story–thank you for sharing with the many others who may find hope and guidance in your words.

  3. Junction City Reply

    February 29, 2012 at 7:09 am

    You’r ehte man to emulate Dan, keep up the strength and never flag. You are one brave dude.

  4. Erin Nanasi Reply

    February 29, 2012 at 7:59 am

    Thank you for sharing your story. It’s important for other addicts to understand the cost of addiction and also to see that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

  5. AnAddictInSecret Reply

    February 29, 2012 at 9:08 am

    I’m currently an addict. Mine stwrted with Vics after I had 2 surgeries. Once the Vics stopped working, and I moved on to heroin. I’m still there today, just maintaining. The daily hustle that I go through just to not be sick, is fucking insane in itself. The withdrawals are unwelcomed to me right now. I hate this fucking drug, but I’m terrified as to what I’ll feel when I don’t have it. I wake up in the mornings, and the very first thing I grab is my pill and a spoon and my trusty needle. My eyes are watering, my nose is running, and I’m sweating like I.just ran a 10 mile marathon. Within 15 seconds of sticking that needle in my arm, I am well again, and the world once again has color. I don’t even get high off it anymore. I was doing up to 15 pills a day. I’m now down to 5. I went to rehab once and lasted 36 hours before I signed myself out. I should have quit when I was on the pills. I’ve quit Vics, I don’t know how many times. It’s way fucking easier than this. I wish I never would have found out about H. It’s fucking horrible. And no one knows I am struggling with this. I’ve been able to keep it secret now for months, but I dear that time is getting close if I don’t quit now. I’m praying to get the strength up to do it. I’m just so terrified of the sickness and that’s what keeps me addicted. Addiction is a bitch, and it can happen to anyone at any time. No one is immune.

  6. Bill Formby Reply

    February 29, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Dan, my congratulations on getting through the initial struggle to get clean. Please remember, you are still an addict and will be for the rest of your life. Several times you used the the past tense when referring to your condition. An addict is never more than a drink, a pill, a snort, or a shot away from being right back where they were. The insanity of the disease is that your brain will lie to you and you must be ever vigilant.
    Good sailing to you brother.

  7. Dan Abshear Reply

    February 29, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    Thank you all for your comments, so far. Presently, I’m unemployed and homeless, due to other traumas in my life, aside from my drug addiction. But I do remain clean.

    Last fall, I did on occasion go out and have a couple of beers, as I read a book, and nice restaurants in St. Louis, as I ate some great food, at these places.

    My dad died last year, and left me some money, and this allowed me to do this. Because I needed to relax, due to these traumas that have happened in my life.

    Because I was able to finally relax, I formed a relationship with a beautiful girl, who is now my fiancee. So it’s all good.

    But I don’t recommend drug addicts have this beer, like I did. I’m a bit different, in that I have no desire to get high again. And I have not drank anything now in months.

  8. Anonymous Reply

    March 1, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    There are many ways to relax besides drinking.You are foolish to drink again are you better than other recovering addicts? What makes you different than other addicts. If a person is recovering they don’t go out a have a couple of beers.

  9. Anonymous Reply

    March 1, 2012 at 1:39 pm


  10. Josiemae Reply

    March 1, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    I don’t recommend you drink again as there many other ways to relax. What makes you any better than other recovering addicts? If you’ve recovered why have a couple beers? You need to use your common sense and never drink again!

    • Shan Reply

      November 5, 2012 at 2:33 pm

      I so agree with Josiemae. I am a recovering addict that have almost a decade and a half clean time and then starting drinking a little wine. That lead to a full blown relapse with periodic periods of being clean. I had to change my thinking because every time I ever used it was preceded by alcohol. Since I am around the house more, I’ve decided to post some things to a facebook page so that another sick and suffering addict just may find some relief and resources there. It’s a new venture but service and doing positive things helped me in my first long term recovery. As AnAddictinSecret said. Addiction is a bitch!

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