IAmA former basement-dwelling heroin junkie that now works as director of admissions at a rehab facility. I’ve seen some things guys. AMA. You won’t be disappointed!
I lived for about a decade engaged in various, nonviolent criminal activity. What started as drunken debauches downtown quickly turned into a high speed police chase at 120mph. Then there was my face on the 5 o'clock news for a high-stakes poker bust.
My substance abuse really came to a head though after I almost killed someone in a car accident. Driving 55 mph, I hit the other car head-on. Luckily no one was seriously injured except me. About 1-2 minutes before the wreck, coming in and out of a consciousness at the wheel, something told me to put my seat belt on. I told my passenger to do the same. That's why I'm here today.
Afterwards, I got hooked on painkillers and eventually heroin. Being a basement-dwelling junkie isn't all it's cracked up to be. It was a full-time job with no benefits. My employer sucked. No chance of moving up in the world. I completely lost myself in the nirvana of heroin, marijuana and benzos.
I reached out for help, went to treatment and here I stand 2 years later. I work for a nonprofit organization. I have a house that's mine. A car that barely runs. And a girlfriend I love. My job is working with families and people with substance abuse disorders to ensure they get a chance to recover. I answer my phone 7 days a week, 365 days a year, from sun up to sundown. I make no commissions.
There are a lot of misconceptions about treatment, substance abuse and recovery out there. I'm here to dispel them all. I recently appeared on Huffington Post Live talking about the heroin epidemic (link below). There's even more stigmas associated with going to treatment. I can address that too.
My calls with family are tragic, funny, emotional and rewarding. What do you want to know?
EDIT: Time to stay sober and go to a meeting. Back this evening to answer anything. Overwhelmed at the response Reddit. You guys seriously rock!!
EDIT 2: By request, a plug for my nonprofit organization's website: http://www.discoveryplaceonline.org Will take it down if deemed inappropriate.
EDIT 3: In response to a user expressing concerns the advice in this thread could be mistaken for clinical advice, I am in no way a licensed medical professional. All I offered, which I felt I made apparent in this thread, is my experience in recovery and working with families and substance abusers on the phone and in person to get them into treatment.