Flash by Danny

My story begins early in my childhood. As a child, I never truly fit in anywhere. I was a wanderer, a moving force without a set direction. I often felt alone and empty, sad even, but I had no idea how to cope with what I was feeling. Around the time of early middle school, I succumbed to clinical depression and anxiety. My parents had no idea what to do, so they didn’t talk about it. I didn’t talk about it. Nobody talked about it. A man in a white coat wrote a prescription and that was that. At the time, I didn’t know much about drugs, I didn’t know what pills people were always taking in the commercials you see on TV, and I knew that drugs like meth and heroin were “bad” and that nobody does those drugs. To this day I wish I could go back to that innocent mindset.

In the early summer of 2014, my grandfather underwent intensive surgery on his spinal cord and was prescribed oxycodone and hydrocodone: pharmaceutical heroin. When I was over at their house I was looking at the bottles of oxycodone and hydrocodone and they peaked my curiosity. I googled “recreational use of oxycodone” and became familiar with the drug, and decided it couldn’t hurt to just try one, “just one time”. That was my first mistake. Around a half-hour later, the drug started working its magic. My entire body felt like a long heatwave was running through it, sparking a comfortable numbness I had never felt before. It felt like literal heaven. Every ache or worry or feeling of depression was completely eliminated and replaced with joy and happiness and love. All I could do was smile and relax; their couch had never felt so comfortable before. I wanted to talk and dance and sing and take in every ounce of opiate-goodness. That was the beginning of the hurricane.

Fast forward two months to August of 2014. Looking back on it, I can safely say now is the time where I am hooked on pills. Uppers, downers, opiates, everything. While opiates were my favorite, I did a lot of Ritalin and Vyvanse. I don’t remember much from around July 2014 to January 2015, it comes in flashes. I strongly remember being addicted to drugs and I strongly remember that addiction was scary. Addiction was so much different from what I thought it was. I truly had lost control.

Flash: snorting Ritalin off the sink at our family vacation cabin.

Flash: smoking oxycodone off of tinfoil at the bus stop on my way to school, tripping and slurring my words in the hallway once I got to school.

Flash: stealing pills wherever I could find them.

Flash: doing too much oxycodone, Ritalin, and Xanax, throwing up in the tub and laying on the bathroom floor (I got high again the next day).

Flash: taking Ritalin at a party, taking special note to how confident the drug made me.

Flash: feeling the most suicidal I have ever felt in my entire life.

Flash: snorting Ritalin and oxycodone off

of my chemistry textbook. Yet another day lost in the fog.

Flash: snorting a random line of white powder that made my face numb at a party. “Guys, is this cocaine?”

Flash: what day is it..?

Flash: getting told at a party “dude, you snorted that line like you’re trying to fill some sort of hole. What are you running from?”

Flash: getting called down to the office and searched by a school resource officer. This is where things started to turn around for me. The resource officer found marijuana rolling papers and a bag containing crushed up Ritalin and a straw. I was facing third degree felonies. The officer told me that if I go to treatment, get clean, do community service, and clean up my act, she would drop the charges.

February 13th, 2015 is the day I stopped using drugs. February 13th is the day that I had finally had enough. February 13th, to quote my treatment counselor, is the day where “the only thing that changes once you start recovery, is everything”. I am a much happier person now. I’m no longer chasing highs, wondering where I am and who I am. I’m no longer living as an addict, but as a recovery addict. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past 8 months, it’s that you have to keep choosing recovery. Even on the bad days. By Danny S – Woodbury MN

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The Know the Truth™ Prevention Program provides evidence-based prevention education tailored to the specific needs of each school. We inform the younger generation about the choices they have to fight against substance use, and to power through stereotypes and invest in their future. We promise to educate and empower youth, parents and educators to take a stand against substance use.


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