Manual They Made Me An Addict : An American Tale

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You can be the smartest person in the world—the minute that chemical hits your bloodstream, you lose control of what it does in your body. Melissa: I lived in, um, crack-houses. Might be a, a piss-stained mattress, and God knows what else is on it. Um, there was actually a place in the city that we were at and, um, a lady had overdosed in the bathtub. She died.

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She was still in the bathtub. It became my full time job. The needle was my boss. A very demanding boss. Julia: Your whole day revolves around it. You go to sleep doing it; you wake up doing it.

Short Answers to Hard Questions About the Opioid Crisis

You know what I mean? You wake up, all you want to do is find out how you gonna get something. How you gonna get it. So, you know, in order to be high you got to at least be normal. Cory: Well, usually if I had stuff a day before, I would always save a bag for the morning times so when I wake up I could get well.

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You know, my head was always in my lap, ya know. I was ill. Like literally every four hours the chills started setting in. And, I would wake up and I would be, I woke up sick.

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Cory: I felt like after that first year of using it I caught, I actually got physically addicted to where I actually need it to even to wake up and get out of bed, start moving around, take a shower. Whatever money I had in my pocket was all going to it. You know what I mean. You know, you might not be addicted at that point in time. Melissa: At one point my husband said he would stop giving me, putting gas in the van, so I could drive the distance to the city to get my drugs.

I ran away from home. Katrina: You will be high and put yourself in situations that you will get hurt. Someone will take advantage of you. She stole my debit card. My daughter, who had, you know, everything handed to her, you know could have gone anywhere in the world, very book smart, you know, very motivated, worked at a strip club. My little girl degraded herself just to get that. Um, guys will steal. Julia: People get expletive raped. People, people get killed over stupid expletive , you know.

Agent Lenhart: Best thing that can happen to someone who is addicted to oxycodone is that they can be arrested. The best thing, that they can be arrested and go to jail. Everything other than that is worse. I would just think, you know, that they must have screwed over the wrong person, you know. Trish: She was pulled over.

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They searched the car, and she had a quantity of pills. At that point she was smoking them so there was some type of a pipe device, and so she was arrested, and she was a convicted felon at the age of Julia: I have four kids. My youngest son will be 1 this month. First time I came to jail, first time I got locked up this year, he was two weeks old, you know. Uh, my other three are in foster care right now. Never, I never thought any of this would ever happen to me. The only thing I care about is my kids. Like my kids are suffering.

I get through a expletive camera—a little camcorder.

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That sucks. Losing your freedom sucks. You have somebody tell you when to get up, when to shower, when you eat, what you eat. Katrina: I was supposed to go to court November , and the judge was supposed to let me go.

He gave me the maximum, which ended up being 23 months—two years—instead of the 10 months. And at the time I was so angry. Bassam: Every generation seems to have their drug of choice.

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Unfortunately this generation seems to have found prescription opiates as that drug of choice. Chemically and physiologically speaking there is very little difference between oxycodone, morphine, and heroin. And then, eventually that just got too expensive, you know. Trish: I can tell you this, that I think she was able to access heroin, more heroin easily than the pills.

When she was using one or she was using the other, she was the same horrible, difficult person. Sarah: I always said that I would never touch heroin ever in my life, and it was prescription drugs that led me to try heroin. Prescription drugs are the same thing. You can get four shots for the price of one pill. People can cut it with something that can kill you, you know. And it, they, they are using meat tenderizer as a cutting agent. But, yeah, so, it eats everything away underneath. Julia: Uh, in here expletive they shoot up meat expletive tenderizer, and they have like big, blue, black marks.

Melissa: At one point, I had an, um, abscess in my leg that was so bad, um, it, I had staph infection. My leg was like four times its normal size. Um, when the doctors cut my leg open to clean it out, um, I had maggots in my leg. They were eating the rot, the infection. Um, as I was admitted to the hospital, they gave me a pic line which is a, an IV line. Um, I had the dope dealer come into the hospital and shooting heroin into my IV line. Rain water on the side of the road and suck it up in the needle and shoot our dope.

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Just, I wanted what it, the feeling of it right then and there. Julia: Like you know how when your whole body hurts when you have the flu. Your mind is gonna give in. And, ah, that just the expletive way it is. That expletive withdrawal is a expletive. Just get me a little, so I can stop. You constantly sneeze.

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Your expletive whole body expletive aches. It expletive hurts. Expletive people are crapping on themselves.