ARE YOU A DRUG ADDICT? 

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MY NAME IS DANNY, AND THIS IS MY STORY.

About 3 years ago whilst in Goa  partying with a mate, And on my 3rd day without sleep, I received a phone call from my girlfriend, I was barely able to walk let alone hear what she had to say next. She was pregnant! 

For me this was a massive deal, I always wanted to have kids but because of a accident where a nightclub bouncer jumped on my testicles after he knocked me out, the doctor said that I will probably never be able to have kids. So anyway back to
Goa.  I was “3 days old” and just found out the best news of my life, obviously this was no time for sleep, my mate ran down to the pharmacy and grabbed us some daytime flu tablets so we could party on and celebrate the news… 

They we’re not cold and flue tablets, they we’re actually roofies, mixed with a pile of pseudoephedrine tablets. Well they didn’t go down too well, we ended up catching ping pong balls with our mouths from a girl’s  butt. Then tried to stand over a Russian strip club owner because one of he’s strippers robbed us. We rode our cars  through the streets , rode full speed dodging  whilst being chased by the  cops. 

Then after hiding in a coffee shop for about 2 hours made it back to the hotel, but of course we couldn’t sleep, it was 4am and I said screw it let’s find a 24hour pharmacy and get some xanax as we had been awake for 4 days now. So we hailed down a took took taxi and told him to take us to the chemist, meanwhile were both still so twisted from this cocktail of death, so we get to the pharmacy and got some xanax, but then I saw eggs, who the hell sells eggs in a chemist, 4 days old obviously I bought them to throw at the Russians as we drove past in our little tooktook.

I told my friend no matter what don’t hit a local, we were in a little traffic jam at the time and I guess he thought he could speed things up by pegging an egg up the front of the jam… Turns out a local lady came off her scooter and it hit her square in the head as she was trying to get up, this did not go down well it was out the front of a massive local nightclub and no word of a lie about 25 men started running towards our tooktook with knuckle dusters and some even had knifes. They bashed my friends head in and I had to jump over he’s body and take the punches and what not, they tried dragging us out but I threw $350  out on the ground and who I assumed was the driver got us out of there.

We were both bleeding badly but were honestly laughing at the fact that we survived. What was strange was we were driving out into the mountains when I clearly told the man where to go, then I seen a SUV start tailgating us, I told the driver to lose him, he then said you boys will not be going home. I said what the f&ck mate, then I realized that it wasn’t our driver, one of the thugs stole it and was taking us to be killed. 

He wouldn’t stop and was going about 60kph I seen an abandon building site up ahead, I told my mate we’re jumping out there or we’re dead. I had a kid that I just found out I was having, death was no choice. We jumped out, at about 45kmph. It wasn’t as easy as it looked on the movies, I sprained my ankle but had to run, the men in the SUV ran in after us with knives.  Remember this is a TRUE story I swear on my life. 

They looked for a good hour but we were hiding in a vent so they couldn’t see us, I was so scared but couldn’t have made a noise. If I sneezed, they would have killed us. But we made it, we got back to the unit still out of our minds, then my friend said we can’t let them get away with this (the chemist that mixed us roofies into our pills) so we went there after being awake for 5 days now. 

My friend told the little Goan  man what he had done he said sucked in, I was hoping you guys would get raped, then it got crazy, my mate faked having a gone and told the man to give him all he’s money, he laughed and said you do know who owns this chemist don’t you,  I said who the f@ck are they the tax department? He continued laughing and said take all you want there’s a number on both your heads. 

We thought screw it and grabbed about 1000 strips of tremadol, 500 xanax, 500 valium plus 2 of them funny hats they have at the entrance. We ran home and uncapped the tremadol and had a few lines then decided to go for a moped ride, you know the real steep hills and they have an up ramp for failing truck brakes, well I rode up one of them then off the end, which was a cliff. 

Some how I survived but got a disease off the branches when falling down called cellulitis, I somehow rode back to my motel and they rushed me to hospital. They told me I’d be there for 2 weeks, I grabbed the my blood tests sheet and got my mate to carry me out of the hospital, I went to the nearest pharmacy and self medicated myself back to life, but my legs had to be elevated because of the blood pressure. 

Day 6 still no sleep, my friend had emptied 1000 tremadol caps onto the table constantly line after line, I went to have a few and he got extremely angry, “I got them, I robbed them there mine”. We were both having serious psychosis issues, we heard the fridge tick and thought it was kids knocking and running. I was looking out the front door hole at a palm tree in a pot and thought it was a army man. Then the tick, I kicked the door open and chased this kid threw the whole motel until I cornered him on the roof. Then I locked him up there and went and got security, they watched the footage, I was chasing nothing… All in my head. 

We then had 24 hour security at our front door, 6th night my friend was pacing up and down the room, I asked him why they’re after us, who, them. He made no sense but to me it did. He said your having a kid, I have to look after you, I told him he’s not doing any good walking around our room with an umbrella and a spoon… I told him to find them and take care of them, “6 days old” I didn’t even know who that them or even he was but I couldn’t stand him pacing around the room. 

Little did I know he went down the front of the hotel and punched a security guard for no reason, I heard screaming from my room and went down, the police arrived Andy friend was off he’s head (big deal in Goa ). I bribed the cop with one condition, 1000 Rupees and he can kick my mate. I said go for it, the copper lined up my mate went for the boot, but  for some stupid reason my mate dodged the kick and kick hit the policeman. He was then brutally bashed and dragged to a truck and went straight to jail, then the motel manager whispered to me run, clean room, clean room. 

I forgot about the half a kilo of tremadol which is illegal and could easily be mistaken for cocaine, I ran as fast as i could, got to the pent house but my key didn’t work I tried again and again, then just broke down crying, I had that bad head mash that I actually thought I owned the penthouse, the manager seen me on security footage and quickly came up and took me to my room. 

It was like someone had a talcum powder party there was stuff everywhere, then I gathered all the money I could get to get my mate out of jail. It was too late. The mafia boss had came and brutally beaten him, if you put a phone book over a face before you punch it, it isn’t the best for the brain. He didn’t recognize me and claimed he had never met me before, he said he’d rather stay in jail with an Indian scum than come home with a stranger… He hasn’t been the same since. 

I’m sorry for the long story but I’m trying to explain how I got addicted to pain killers and what not, there is more to be told but I’m really tired if anyone wants me to continue please let me know, trust me it gets a lot better.

There are several reasons why drug usage soon gets changed to drug abuse. At a very basic level this happens because the person concerned feels a desperate need to deal with stress, to get a momentary high or to just ‘fit in’ with his or her peers, as happens in the case of youngsters. It soon reaches a stage where this need becomes much more than other needs in life and the person begins to believe their survival depends on those drugs.
One of the major reasons for drug abuse – and this is specially applicable for youngsters doing drugs – is its presence, and at times glorification, in popular media such as television series and films. Quite often it so happens that doing drugs is romanticized and some fictional positive aspects of the same are shown. Thus it becomes a thrilling and seductive affair for youngsters who can be misguided easily because of their relative lack of experience in life. At times, the knowledge of risk factors related to drug abuse can also lure people into using these harmful substances. In certain instances people gain this knowledge from their own families or immediate surroundings and are obviously driven – due to some reason or the other – to give it a try and before they know it, it becomes an addiction.

Effects of drug abuse

The most major impact of drug abuse is on the brain, which consequentially affects every other aspect of life of the person addicted to drugs. Drugs are primarily chemicals that affect the communication system of the human brain. They disturb the ways in which nerve cells send, process and receive information. There are a couple of ways in which drugs achieve this – they copy the natural chemical messengers of the human brain and they overstimulate the brain’s reward circuit. Drugs such as heroin and marijuana are structured in the same way as chemical messengers known as neurotransmitters.

These neurotransmitters are produced naturally by the human brain. As a result of this similarity, the drugs can fool the receptors of human brain and activate the nerve cells in such a way that they send some abnormal messages. In case of drugs like methamphetamine and cocaine, the nerve cells get activated and they release extraordinarily large volumes of neurotransmitters. They are also capable of preventing the brain from recycling these chemicals in a normal manner. A normal level of production is necessary in order to end the signal between neurons.

This disruption leads to a message that is highly amplified and this in turn disrupts the normal ways in which the brain communicates. Almost all the drugs use dopamine in order to target the reward system of the brain. Dopamine can be defined as a neurotransmitter that can be found in the areas of brain that control phenomena such as movement, motivation, emotion and various feelings such as pleasure. A most famous example of eating disorder owing to drug abuse is that of Diego Maradona, who had gained weight before the 1994 World Cup because of his drug abuse. He was weighing in the region of 94 kilos but soon reduced it to 77 kilos through hard work and determination and played an important role in the team’s qualification for the tournament proper.

Drug abuse manifests itself in euphoric behaviour by the user – and at most times unnaturally so. This leads to a sequence where the users keep on repeating the same action of drug abuse. When this pattern continues the brain tries to adapt to the usage by reducing its own dopamine production as well as dopamine receptors. The user tries to adapt to this through drug abuse so that his or her dopamine production level can be brought back to a level that seems normal to him or her.

Solution to drug abuse

Prevention is one of the ways in which drug abuse can be dealt with. In fact it is one affliction that can be easily prevented according to medical experts and practitioners. Prevention programmes involving entities such as families, schools and the immediate communities are important in this regard. Media – especially the entertainment segment – also needs to understand its role in this context and play a positive role by resisting the urge to earn millions by romanticizing and glorifying drug abuse. It needs to highlight the damning consequences of drug abuse. It is important that the youth are made to feel that drug usage itself is harmful in every conceivable way and only then will they stop using them and prevent others in their peer group from doing the same.

Sustained treatment is the only option for people who have already gone down the road of drug abuse and are highly into it. The treatment for a drug abuser normally depends on the kind of drug that the person has been using. It is said that the best treatments normally emphasize on phenomena related to the individual’s life. This includes areas such as medical, psychological and work-related needs as well as issues in relationships with other people in the person’s life. The treatment sessions combine medication and behavioural therapy so that the victim of drug abuse gradually stops feeling the urge to do drugs. These treatment programmes also impart the skills and capability required in order to say no to drugs in the future, which is highly critical for a complete cure to drug abuse.

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