Dear A.A... Can Someone Use Heroin Without Getting Addicted?

Dear Aunt Agony...

Your blog is fascinating I can't wait to sit down and spend some time reading all of it! You've had an amazing life.

I guess my main question is: Can someone do heroin without getting addicted?

When my son was 17 he was snowballing, using coke then heroin. He did it a few times a week for several months. When I got him in the hospital to detox he said the coke was what he liked not the heroin. But then a few months later I found evidence that he was smoking it.

I don't know what to think of that, he says he's no longer using.

I know a lot about drugs/heroin. My true love chose heroin over me 20 years ago, and coincidently he just showed up in my life ago (as a friend only) a few weeks ago with 18 months clean. The longest he ever went clean was 4 years. you think my son can "use" without being an addict??? You're obviously an intelligent person and I'd love your opinion.

Thank you! Barbara of Seville

Aunt Agony says:

Hiya Barbara of Seville,

Firstly, the reason your son started using heroin after coke is because coke leaves the user very agitated when the effect is finished and an immediate way to get rid of this is heroin. Many people end up on heroin through cocaine. Why they finally abandon coke to heroin is normally economical - coke is 3 x the price of heroin. When funds are low it's better to buy two bags of heroin which will last all day rather than two bags of crack which will last an hour.

Heroin usage normally leads to addiction. I don't know anyone who used for a sustained period and kept it casual. I know people who used casually for a while and then stopped completely. If your son uses heroin daily for long enough he will pick up a habit. This has nothing to do with the person or willpower, it is science.

If you're wondering what you can do as a mother to stop him, I'm afraid there's nothing you can do. That sounds harsh, but again, I've never known anyone to backtrack from heroin for any other reason than themself (sick of the drug... sick of addiction, etc). Also, and this is very important: it's not your fault! And no matter what, you must know and believe that. Why someone turns to heroin (or any drug) is a multitude of differing and complex reasons.

I hope this reply is of some help and I wish the best for you and your son.

Auntie. x


The Pseudo-Impostor said...

The critical missing component with the question 'can someone use heroin without getting addicted?', as you imply in your response Shane, is 'for how long?'. I am sure Shane can think of his own examples, but I have know people who have been chippers (weekend users, dabblers) for as long as 10 to 15 years - THEN what usually happens is that life throws some painful shit at them (death, divorce, unemployment etc.) - and heroin abhors a mental vacuum. In other words, once you experience a certain critical level of physical and/or emotional pain, and/or you suddenly have a lot of free time on your hands, then you start to increase your frequency of heroin use, in order to cope. Daily use for between 3 and 6 weeks will inevitably result in physical addicition. In short, your naughty secret dabble becomes a daily demanding devil - welcome to the junkie club as a full member, your guest status just expired.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya heftman, in this case, no, I've never known anyone who has chipped away for that long without picking up a habit. I think the longest chipper I ever knew was 4 years or so. But still, the horse ran to the same form you state: going along at an even clip for years, taking small bracken fences in it's stride, then one day, without warning, it is picking itself up off the ground, stunned and broken, with mayhem and carnage strewn out to the horizon. That should be the end. And it would be... if it wasn't for heroin. And so, what for all those years was a drug which made the strangeness of sundays seem beautiful, now it's used to clear the rubble and make the unacceptable acceptable. The tragedy still exists... there is still mayhem on all sides, but now there is also a route through. And that's what heroin gives. It pushes all the shit of life to the sides and allows you to carry on unhindered.

BUT, the addiction didn't start with the fall. Its rooted much further back... back to when the body first ever realised that heroin cures pain. From that point on addiction was kinda sitting in suspended animation, waiting for this day.

The Total Impostor said...

As always, Shane, you say it right from the heart, and there are no more honorable truths. I agree that most chippers don't make it past the 5-year mark, but the example of 10+ years I gave is exceptional but genuine: because it was me. I wouldn't lie to you, your are too brutally honest. I dabbled from 1988 to 2000, and then existence threw an unbearable pain at me, and my knowledge of the cosmic analgesic effects of the drug I had used occasionaly for so long became useless against the desire to kill that pain daily, in order to continue. Beats suicide, that's for cowards. OK, I'm an exception, but I was a poly-drug user taking dozens of different drugs every week (still am), which helped put H in its place. But it grew bigger like the terrible existential monster it is, and gobbled me up. I've now been spat out at the other end. End of story (for now). Love ya words, man, keep it coming.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Russel, thanks man... sorry it's so brief I'm overwhelmed with mails and writing at the moment. Seems the world has a question or gives news in this time and I'm drowning in it... X

Gina said...

Both of your comments speak such truth but in an exceptional way with a brilliant choice of words.

The Total Impostor said...

she still calls to me
from a distant shore
"I was once your love
and you were once my whore

I am still the one
whom you must adore"
- but I just smile with my eyes
and close the door.

EndOrphan said...

But the Wolf huffed and he puffed, and he blew that fucking door down. Smile with your eyes now Motherfucker

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

EndOrphan... fuck off you prick! X

EndOrphan said...

Sorry Shane was acting the eegit I admit it.

Anonymous said...

Ahhh. I wrote a bloody essay on here, almost. Lost it, trying to prove I'm not a robot xx I'll try to write it again soon! Took a lot to admit to a few things xx Kate from Swansea

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey Kate.... yes, it's something anyone writing online learns quickly: don't write anything of any length directly into comment forms. They're always gobbling up words. I always write either on a word doc or using a new email (as it autosaves ever few seconds) and then copy and paste into the comment form. I can't remove the robot thing or the site gets swamped in spam mail and all the subscribers unsubscribe as every spam mail also goes to the subscribers email. X

Anonymous said...

I did enjoy selecting cakes and steak from the photos. Wondering what I'll be asked to do today to prove I'm not a robot! Anyway, after reading some of your blog yesterday and stories (one about you and your mum and Geoff and his painkillers with the eventual use of crack and smack), I got so engrossed that I didn't score! Again! I've got my meth script so don't need to use....but I get tempted. Haven't scored today either. Only looked in one place, and took some valium instead. I've been good on the whole though. What's happening with your move back to the UK? My 'essay' was a story about myself and my dabbling, going through different stages of 'addiction'. Times when,looking back, I thought my addiction was worse than it was. It was psychological first. The full addiction came on pretty quick! From weekend use to being emaciated from not eating food unless I was offered a meal, within under a year. Worked full time during this, like you. Also, dunno if anyone else is reading this bar Shane, but if a user tells you "they don't use much" or "I'm not addicted yet" or just talk about it for no reason, without subject being brought up...they're usually talking shit! People who haven't got problems usually don't speak of their problems! Kate xx

Anonymous said...

I managed to chip for about five years. My problem was that I thought at the beginning I'd been fed a pack of lies about how addictive it was. It didn't give me a comedown and actually made me feel better the next day. So that continued for quite some time. But the times in between became increasingly more difficult, depressing and all I could think of was heroin. Two weeks ago I had my first overdose from injecting. Before that I fell down the stairs and smashed my head off the wall. I'd say good servant bad master, but to be honest it's the kind of servant who would lie to you and steal all your money over a prolonged period. I lost the woman I truly love and have never been as depressed as I am now in my second week of withdrawal. I wish I'd never tried it.

Terrified mother said...

My daughter says she is not addicted however, she OD from injection 9/16 and recently her "boyfriend" said she did again.
I found another spoon in her bedroom just last week. I seriously doubt she could be a casually user ?

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