The Athlete

Drug Abuse

I COULDN'T STOP!.

a personal story of recovery from crack addiction - written by a recovering crack cocaine addict

.....crack cocaine is the most addictive, most deadly, most destructive and perhaps the strongest street drug you'll ever face. If you're addicted to crack cocaine, or have a cocaine addicted family member.....Read on - there is hope for recovery from crack cocaine addiction. I know, I've beat crack cocaine addiction for 6 years and so can you.

There is Hope – You can kick crack – Recovery from crack cocaine addiction is possible.

In the..Early Years -- I was turned on to crack in 1986 by a girl I met. I watched her take a hit, and asked what it was;"cocaine she said". I asked her to let me try smoking it and she repeatedly asked me if I was really sure... read on to hear about my 12 year strugggle to find recovery.

Don't ever try smoking crack cocaine -- for any reason. Crack cocaine is the most addictive substance imaginable. Crack cocaine will take your soul, crack cocaine will take your morals and crack cocaine will take your life. Read the stories of others who have found out the hard way. Crack cocaine is incredibly addictive.

Smoking crack provides such an immediate and intense rush that the body and mind become almost immediately addicted -- believe it.

Crack addiction will rule your thoughts and crack cocaine will control your waking hours - crack will rule you. Stop! - Run as fast as you can -- if you're ever offered crack. I know first hand where crack cocaine will take you.

Please read on.....

My Story

My name is Steve L. I am a recovering cocaine addict and I have been clean and sober for over 5 years. Getting clean and staying clean have been the hardest thing I've ever done. It's also been the best thing I've done for myself and family -- no regrets!
I'm happy to share any thing from my experience that might help another find recovery -

Clean for 5 years -

Drank hard for 25 years

I discovered crack at age 39 - and used hard for 3 years and tried to clean up for 10 years.

I Have finally found the strength to stay away from all substances for the last three years.

At 39 I thought I was invincible, there was nothing I couldn't control or do. I was successful in terms of money - all the outward appearances of success.

Owned my own business , nice house, wife, great kids - yet empty - although I didn't understand that feeling.

At 39 I was turned on or turned out as the case may be to crack. Liked it. LIKED IT A LOT. Soon I was trying to get more.

I was a middle age white guy learning to buy dope in the ghetto. (LOL). What a sight I must have been. Being resourceful, I learned to cop almost anywhere. And my addiction was going strong.

The short version is - I went from smoking weekends - to smoking almost 24 -7 with people who were as sick or sicker than I was.

My business was suffering and

I decided to stop smoking crack --

I COULDN'T STOP!.

I was without hope

Four recovery homes later (recovery by checkbook) and I still was relapsing - although the seed for recovery had been planted. By this time I lost (sold cheaply) my business, was unemployed and broke, my wife divorced me and my kids were not too happy either. It was hopeless -

I felt that I would die behind crack -- and by the way,

I had my first run in with the law at age 42 for drugs.

The solution

-- for me it was the 12 steps of Narcotics Anonymous-

putting my huge ego aside and surrendering -

finally a glimmer of hope although it has taken me twelve years to get 5 years.

There is hope - for the hopeless.

Today - my kids are in my life, my legal issues have been dismissed, I again work in a job that I never felt I could obtain again and most of the time I have serenity.

Yes, I had to hit bottom before my recovery could begin. It was only at that time that I became willing to change.

So, my message is

that there is hope for the hopeless, recovery is possible.

Thanks

Hardcore Story

This site is dedicated to those seeking recovery from crack addiction and cocaine addiction and offers hope of recovery to those still suffering from their addiction.

Here's a more graphic, harder core version of my Story

Early Years --I was turned on to crack in 1986 by a street hooker I met. I watched her take a hit, and asked what it was;"cocaine she said". I asked her to let me try smoking it and she repeatedly asked me if I was really sure I wanted to try it. Yes, was my foolish reply. I gave her a $20 Bill and parked off the main drug area of Pittsburg, CA while she copped. "Don't let anyone in the car and don't talk with anyone", she said.

She was soon back, and we drove to a spot in the area that was relatively quiet and un-patrolled. I really didn't know it was crack -- I was that naive. The rock got melted, she flipped the pipe, told me to take several deep breaths to load up on oxygen and she put the pipe in my mouth and told me to inhale slowly while she held the matches (it always had to be two matches). There was a sweet smell/taste and then I exhaled - KaBoom! my heart raced, I was dizzy, could hardly talk. It was like an atom bomb of pleasure had gone off in my head.

"Motel" she said -- great idea I said. By then I could hardly drive, but we made it and got a room and immediately went for more dope -- We smoked all night that first night.

WOW, I thought - where has this been all my life -- it was great, quick & potent without the hangover of alcohol.

I have chased that first high for 15 years -- never again did I get a rush like the first hit. I was hooked but didn't know it yet.

As you can tell. I remember that evening as vividly as if it were yesterday.

Just out of curiosity and in case someone out there has an answer, I was always amazed that from 1986 to 1990 when I moved from the Pittsburg area you could find dope and hookers at all hours of the day or night in Pittsburg. (Its changed today). Open dope deals, and girls in and out of cars were the rule, not the exception. Where were the police? You rarely saw them in the parts of town where the action was. Being busted was not a big concern

Later-- I began to get cravings for the rock about 2 weeks after the first event. I was an easy mark. I can't tell you haw many times I got burned with bad dope -- they could easily spot me. Usually I'd pick up a gal to cop and we'd smoke -- but that got to be a drag since I was splitting my dope. Selfish addict that I was, I wanted it all for myself.

So I learned to cop. Anywhere (almost) and anytime.

Smoking went from a weekend activity to a daily activity -- even during work. I remember trying to talk to customers after I had used their bathroom for a hit. Pretty pathetic. Pretty sick.

It was during this time that I realized - I couldn't stop.

Much Later
Smoking went from a semi social thing I did on weekends to a solitary activity I did by myself in cars, hotel rooms, airplane restrooms, any restroom in fact with an open stall and a door which would close.

A funny thing began happening - I was smoking more and enjoying it less. I could easily smoke $300/day buying from street level dealers and often spent $500 or more. I had money at the time. What I didn't have was a good dope connection -- I bought all mine off the street -- never any large quantities (thank God - or I'd be dead).

The pleasure was turning quickly to PARANOIA.

Now when I took a hit, I skipped the pleasure and almost immediately went to paranoid. One hit and I knew "they" were out there watching me through the blinds, or a crack in the door, from the closet. "They" were always watching me. The more I smoked the worse it became. Crazy? No, just the effect of smoking a lot of crack cocaine.

I once cut the headboard out of a new Jetta looking for dope I new they hid it there. I also stopped a cop and asked him to check out my trunk because - they were living in it. I don't know how I avoided arrest that night.

Yet, I continued to smoke rock. It consumed every thought I had 24 hours - 7 days a week.

I was definitely hooked.

During this time I was rarely home, and was spending large amounts of cash that should have gone into my business or to my family. Didn't care.

I did a lot of things that were shameful - but the one that stands out is ignoring the pleas of my then 4 year old daughter who adored me, and whom I adored as she begged me not to out one night. "It's OK, honey, I'll be back later" I said. Knowing that she wouldn't see me for days or weeks - if ever. I left her sobbing to go buy rock. The drug is truly a scourge --

Out of dope?? well maybe you dropped some (not a chance) but I could spend hours looking for crumbs in the carpet or on the floor of the car.

The road to recovery

I could tell hundreds of stories that would make you laugh at the using experiences I had. The truth is there is NOTHING funny about crack or addiction.

I have spent the last 12 years trying to get off crack. I've had success the last five years. There is not a day that goes buy that I don't have an urge to use. I know however, that I'm just one hit away from living and sleeping in my truck trying to hustle another hit.

I really didn't want to quit. I wanted to smoke it without consequences. Not possible.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Here's a simple thing to remember (I found it on a web site of a fellow addict and the site is now gone) --another victim perhaps. Here's his quote "God Good - Crack Bad!"

The solution

I finally got tired of the consequences, the misery, the paranoia, the depression - it hurt to the point I was willing to listen to others and to try and make changes in my life.

For me it was the 12 steps of Narcotics Anonymous-
putting my huge ego aside and surrendering -
finally a glimmer of hope although it has taken me ten years to get 3 years.
There is hope - for the hopeless.
Today - my kids are in my life, my legal issues have been dismissed, I again work in a job that I never felt I could obtain again and most of the time I have serenity.
Yes, I had to hit bottom before my recovery could begin. It was only at that time that I became willing to change.
So, my message is
that there is hope for the hopeless, recovery is possible.

Thanks

Help for Loved Ones
So Your Loved One (Husband, wife, son, daughter, brother) is an addict!
When I was using and my addiction was running wild -- no amount of pleading from concerned friends or relatives had any impact.

My advice to you is simple and is based on my behavior when I was "out of control" in my addiction.

Suggestions...

• Love the Addict - Hate the disease
• Not all addicts are bad people, although some bad people are addicts
• Don't try to reason with an addict - when they are loaded or using - it won't work
• Don't assist your addict in their using by giving them money or by bailing them out of their various jams.
• The sooner an addict feels the results of his or her behavior, the sooner they may be willing to change
• Learn about the disease of addiction - I recommend Naranon or Alanon as a place to find support and individuals facing similar problems.

• Intervention - although I voluntarily went to a residential treatment center - others won't. I can only say that when you are using drugs, you don't necessarily think clearly.

Treatment centers can at least help you clean up for thirty days or so. It was essential for me. I can't speak to the success rate for intevention - but I do know that until you quit using, even for a little while, you can't begin to recover.

• Finally, don't lose hope or faith. Recovery is possible and although it may not seem like it, your addict needs your love and well placed support - don't give up.

Links...
I have found that there are good resources available to those in need who may not be able to afford a residential recovery program.

Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous for the addicted, and Co-Anon and Naranon for those family members seeking to understand and to help a loved one

More Drug Abuse Stories

- The Athlete.org

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