Back home in Poland heroin use isn’t the craze like it is in the United States. I try to be very open about my past, so when I meet people and make friends, and we start talking about it, I mention my stint with addiction.
They are always so impressed right away. Yeah, impressed. Mostly that means that they are surprised and curious and want to ask me questions, but I guess they also can’t believe I did something so “American”,
That doesn’t mean we think Americans all smoke heroin, just that the opioid epidemic hasn’t really struck Poland in that way. Stereotypes and all that.
So of course as soon as people find out I used to be addicted to heroin they ask all sorts of questions. They usually follow the same train of course. Here are some of the common questions:
What Does It Feel Like?
I can’t be brutally honest and say it was the best thing I’d ever felt, because I don’t want them intrigued by the drug. On the contrary, I definitely wanted them to be repelled by it. So it took a while for me to find the right kind of answers to give.
A heroin high is a beautiful feeling thing, but it is 100 percent fake. So I tell them it feels good while it’s doing terrible things. Heroin is first and foremost a dirty liar.
It tricks your brain into a nice little euphoric haze where you just want to lay there and let it wash over you. Time passes, and you don’t even notice, life goes by. There’s a bit of a buzz after, but it is soon washed away in the struggle of fatigue and depression that crashes into you after.
That’s how the heroin traps you. It makes you feel so good then rips it away, so you feel you need more heroin to get rid of the fatigue, forgetting that it’s just a crash and will fade soon enough. The short term effects of heroin are high, the long term effects are everything in your life it helps you ruin.
It is also a pain reliever, so you feel invincible while taking it. Nothing hurts. That’s dangerous because what if you decide to cook some eggs and burn your hand? You might even notice even if you burn it badly.
What Is Heroin Withdrawal Like?
Most commonly I do get asked about withdrawal. In fact, people often want to know can you die from heroin withdrawal? Technically, you can. Withdrawal can cause lots of unpleasant feelings like shaking and vomiting and super intense cravings for the drug.
If you aren’t monitored by a doctor while going through withdrawal, then you run the risk of a relapse, which means you go out and find some heroin to take. It can be way too easy to take too much heroin and cause an overdose. A heroin overdose can lead to death.
Your body just isn’t equipped to really handle this drug. It’s a much cruder form of morphine, an opioid medication used for pain relief, and is very dangerous.
I try always to emphasize that in my conversations. That it lures you in with a promise then traps you and sucks the life out of you.