That was a headline from the BBC website. My first reaction to reading it was "No shit, Sherlock". I was hooked on that stuff long enough to know the effects all too well. I was hooked on several different drugs, all dangerous, and all way too much fun to get rid of.
Except I had to, for my body and sanity. And it happened on 31st August 2004. My brain broke. Or, as one friend described it, "Pulled out the patch cables and rearranged them". It had had enough of my behaviour and decided to show me by landing me in hospital. Not fun and not pleasant. I never thought I'd be able to break that cycle but, in a way of saving itself, my body showed me how to do it. Several weeks laid up at home meant that I couldn't go out to find drugs. Sure, the dealers tried to contact me (I was a good customer with a well paying job. They couldn't afford to lose me) but, somehow, they never got to the house. Somehow I survived those first few weeks, after which I left the area forever and moved home.
I'll never forget the people who helped me through that period. The people who went to the mental hospital with me, who brought me food, or went for coffee with me. They were the steps towards becoming normal again. Yet, somewhere in the wiring in my brain, some things still haven't quite fixed themselves. For example, I don't hold a driver's license because I find it difficult to judge speeds and distances. On top of that, the medication I currently take makes me weary and unable to focus in the mornings. I'm bad enough on two legs at the moment. Can you imagine me with four wheels and an engine?! One day I'll get there, I'm sure.
But the whole experience made me realise that we don't live forever. That our bodies are fragile and damage easily. And that they can tell us when they've had enough.
31st August will be nine years since I broke my addictions. I'm going to go and bake cake. Give me a shout if you want some!