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03-05-2018, 10:18   #1
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Now Ye're Talking - to a recovered heroin user

Our next guest is a former heroin addict who started using heroin after losing his job during the recession.

He spent a lot of this time homeless, staying in shelters or couchsurfing after losing his home. In this time he says he ended up doing some unsavoury things to get money for drugs and would have been what some people might think of as a stereotypical "druggie" type.

He has been clean now for the last four years and is happy to answer your questions about this time in his life.


We've had an AMA with a recovered drug user before which you can read here, however I think both of their experiences were sufficiently different to have a second one.
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03-05-2018, 10:21   #2
robarmstrong
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Fair play to you for coming on and volunteering your thoughts, feelings and experiences. Well done on being clean so long and I hope it continues for many years to come.

1. Was it only heroin you would take?

2. Is there anything you could or would like to change about the support system and care addicts receive?
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03-05-2018, 10:43   #3
 
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Yep hats off for doing this and for coming through the other side.

A couple of questions - which maybe show my ignorance on the topic

1. What got you started and why is it a lifestyle that some choose?


2. Was there some spark that made you say Fcuk this?
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03-05-2018, 10:49   #4
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Fair play to you for coming on and volunteering your thoughts, feelings and experiences. Well done on being clean so long and I hope it continues for many years to come.

1. Was it only heroin you would take?

2. Is there anything you could or would like to change about the support system and care addicts receive?
1. No, I've had lots of addiction problems in the past. Booze, cannabis, coke... Everything basically at one point or another.

During those years it was mainly heroin and sometimes crack when I could afford it.

2. Yep, I'd change a lot!

As a previous AMA poster mentioned, when I finally wanted to get clean and sign up for a methadone program, you are required to give 3 dirty samples each 2 days apart. So when you are at the end of it, begging for help, you are told you need to use for at least another week. On more than one occasion this caused me to say feck it after the first because I just got back into the 'swing' of things or missed the next appointments.

Most people who work in those services are very professional, but of course there are some who are judgemental and condescending and that doesn't help matters. Then there's some petty stuff like denying you the dose of methadone for being a few minutes late, or not having some letter etc
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03-05-2018, 10:51   #5
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Fair play. Just two questions really;

1. Looking back, would you have pegged yourself as someone who was likely to get hooked? Growing up would you have had an "addictive personality" in general, or was the heroin addiction something that came completely out of the blue?

2. Have you any thoughts on what are the most effective ways to help addicts? Presumably you'd agree that someone can only get off heroin when they want to (i.e. they can't be forced), but what things can society do to help addicts come to this realisation?
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03-05-2018, 10:54   #6
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Yep hats off for doing this and for coming through the other side.

A couple of questions - which maybe show my ignorance on the topic

1. What got you started and why is it a lifestyle that some choose?


2. Was there some spark that made you say Fcuk this?
When I started it was because I'd lost my job in the recession, this led to me losing my home and my relationship breaking up. I found myself surrounded by it, and as I said before I've always had problems with substances. It was just a 'f*ck it' kind of mentality for me. I thought I'd already lost everything.

For most I think it's a way to cope. Some people are homeless because they use, but lots of people use just because they are homeless. There is a lot of underlying or diagnosed mental illness in the homeless/addict community. I doubt it's the lifestyle that anybody truly wants.
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03-05-2018, 10:57   #7
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Congrats on kicking it man. Just the one question from me.

How did you initially start using heroin?

Speaking for myself but just seeing the side effects on people in town was enough for me to never even think of touching it.

Edit: Nevermind. You answered above.

Last edited by Rory28; 03-05-2018 at 10:58. Reason: You just answered it.
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03-05-2018, 11:01   #8
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Fair play. Just two questions really;

1. Looking back, would you have pegged yourself as someone who was likely to get hooked? Growing up would you have had an "addictive personality" in general, or was the heroin addiction something that came completely out of the blue?

2. Have you any thoughts on what are the most effective ways to help addicts? Presumably you'd agree that someone can only get off heroin when they want to (i.e. they can't be forced), but what things can society do to help addicts come to this realisation?
1. I never would have pegged myself as a homeless heroin addict!! But I doubt many people do!!

I've always had addiction/substance abuse issues, but I was young at the time and just thought I was a "party guy", it's only now that I can see that the writing was on the wall. It just took me being introduced/having it around me and then feeling like there was nothing more to lose.

2. You're right, if somebody doesn't want to change you can't help them. Gentle encouragement (and not shaming) is the best way, help them see their potential. If you give somebody a chance to feel worthwhile their self esteem will rise. If there's a way you can to contribute to society you will want to be a part of it. Of course I don't know how you would achieve this.
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03-05-2018, 11:04   #9
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Did you inject or smoke it first?

When you say surrounded by it, Could you elaborate? Were all your friends using or what do you mean?


How long did it take you to become addicted? Was it immediate?


In your time did you needle share? have you avoided any serious disease's?


Thanks for taking the time to read.
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03-05-2018, 11:10   #10
Foggy Jew
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I have no specific questions, I just wanted to say Well Done for turning yourself around. Fair play and all the best in the future.
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03-05-2018, 11:11   #11
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Did you inject or smoke it first?

When you say surrounded by it, Could you elaborate? Were all your friends using or what do you mean?


How long did it take you to become addicted? Was it immediate?


In your time did you needle share? have you avoided any serious disease's?


Thanks for taking the time to read.
I was surrounded by it in homeless shelters/people I met on the street. It was just everywhere. All my old friends started to fade away, were going to work or sided with my ex. So I was just around people in town.

I started smoking at first and it probably took 2 months before I started feeling sick, then I started using.

Never shared or anything so I avoided the diseases!
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03-05-2018, 11:13   #12
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I have no specific questions, I just wanted to say Well Done for turning yourself around. Fair play and all the best in the future.
Thank you.

It's not something I go talking about with people that I meet. Or even people who know.

So to hear it, even from a stranger means a lot!!
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03-05-2018, 11:16   #13
bullvine
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Well done!

A close friend has been on it for 20 years, got on the methadone program is now back working. Hes reasoning to start using it was his relationship broke up and that he was bored. He also liked it a lot, liked being on it. Have you met addicts similar?
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03-05-2018, 11:21   #14
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Fair play for getting off of it.

1) Have you got off the streets or are you still homeless?

2) If you're back working, have you found it hard to find work because of the tough times you found yourself in?

3) Have you ever been to jail? Just watched the documentary on Mountjoy and was saddened by the grip heroin had over a lot of the inmates, especially in the original footage from 20 or so years ago.

4) Do your family and friends know about it? If so, how have they reacted.
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03-05-2018, 11:23   #15
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Well done!

A close friend has been on it for 20 years, got on the methadone program is now back working. Hes reasoning to start using it was his relationship broke up and that he was bored. He also liked it a lot, liked being on it. Have you met addicts similar?
Yep, I was similar. In the long run it's absolute hell, but in the short time or at some times I liked it.

All you need to worry or think about is getting your next fix (but sometimes that can be hard) there's no responsibilities, no real emotions because you are always numb. You are basically condensing your life down to just be about one thing, which is kinda liberating in a way.

Horrible when you have to try to get everything back though, I'd imagine it's how people who have done a long stint in prison feel. It's hard to find work, talk to strangers or girls. Feel like I'm being watched or followed in shops! It's hard to readjust.
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