Fentanyl Overdose, Cocaine, Drug Addiction and Alcoholism at Just 22 Years Old
When I was 5 years old I never envisioned myself at 22 years old in fentanyl overdose using cocaine with drug addiction and alcoholism. In fact, I thought I would be a veterinarian because I liked animals. when I was using drugs in high school and drinking quite a bit, but I was still good student… well mediocre, I could’ve been a good student. My parents found weed in my room and alcohol in my car and took away my car keys for month. At the time I thought thank god it was just weed and alcohol – there could’ve been times they found so much more. When I look at this time in my life, it would be easy to write it off as experimenting with drugs and alcohol, but little did I know it was the beginning of addiction alcoholism.
The truth is, I didn’t feel like I fit in at school, I wanted to, but I had a hard time balancing doing the work for school and being accepted. I saw people being bullied for excelling and I didn’t want that to happen to me so I underperformed and then felt bad about myself. I was depressed, and didn’t feel like I had anyone to talk to about it. Statements like who cares what others think made sense, but didn’t seem to apply as an option to survive. I couldn’t understand how it seemed like it didn’t matter to some and somehow it mattered to me.
The Progression of Drug Addiction and Alcoholism to Cocaine and Fentanyl Overdose
My parents seemed desperate to just get me through high school with the hope of going to college which didn’t leave much room to resolve the internal struggle. They were also distracted. My grandmother had had a stroke and was living at our house. It was hard to say I was having a hard time when her health was declining and she eventually passed. So, I tried to stay out of the way, got high and hung out with my friends when I could.
I did graduate and went to college. It felt like the pressure was off – I had arrived, my parents seemed pleased with me, but I still had these feelings like I didn’t fit in, so I would party at night and on the weekend. I started to struggle keeping up in school and felt guilty and a lot of shame. I couldn’t name it then, but it was like I knew I was letting them down and letting myself down too.
Then one night we were out at a friend’s dorm drinking and doing drugs. On the way back to my dorm I was in a car accident and the driver, my friend, was badly injured in the accident and had to withdraw from college. I was distraught. My parents pulled out of school and brought me home to attend a community college, because it ALL just seemed too much. At this point I felt like a failure and was depressed about my friend and all of the things we could have done differently. I dropped out of college and worked at a local coffee shop and my alcoholism and addiction increased.
Late one afternoon, I called in sick at work and went over to a friend’s house to get drink and high. We had some cocaine. Next thing I remember was realizing I was at the hospital. My parents were there. I was confused. They – my parents and the medical people were telling me how I overdosed on Fentanyl. I didn’t understand, I never used fentanyl. They told me they had to revive me, I argued, “revive me from what?” I didn’t understand. My parents kept telling me, “please stop you don’t need to lie, we know.” Again, “I have never used fentanyl.” They were crying, I was crying.
At one point the doctor came in and my parents had been speaking with an addiction interventionist unbeknownst to me prior to this whole thing who also came in to the hospital room. I asked the doctor to please explain what was going on. She said my drug test was positive for cocaine and fentanyl and that I had overdose on fentanyl and the police were called and they used Narcan. Then I was brought to the hospital. She left the room, I was sobbing.
Detox and Drug Treatment From Fentanyl Overdose, Cocaine, Drug Addiction and Alcoholism
I told my parents I did use cocaine but I did not use fentanyl. My parents were still defensive but the addiction interventionist stepped in and said the cocaine could have had fentanyl in it. That it is common now for drug dealers to cut cocaine with fentanyl to enhance the effects and increase the addictive result, BUT it also increases the incident of overdose and fatalities. AND here I am a statistic. That was the only thing that made sense and at the same time completely terrified me. I died! I don’t want to die, I didn’t want to die, I just wanted to party I just wanted to get high.
The addiction interventionist started to talk about addiction, said I needed help, honesty I am not really sure what he said after that I just said ok. I was done, it was all too much, this had all just gone too far. I was scared. I didn’t know what was next, but I just knew I didn’t want to do this anymore in that moment.
They took me into treatment. After a few days in drug and alcohol detox my head start spinning and I really wasn’t sure I needed to be there. Outpatient seemed like enough. The staff really pushed back on me. They called my parents, and the interventionist who once again encouraged me to just give it some time. I started working with my therapist and counselor and so much started to come up for me. All the grief and loss that I had pushed down with using and drinking – with my drug addiction and alcoholism. I started to feel sad for me and relief, lost time, lost pieces of me, pieces I gave away and pieces I was regaining. I became willing to stay and see if something different was possible for me. I had some hope.
There was Hope: Life After Fentanyl Overdose, Cocaine, Drug Addiction and Alcoholism
I spent 90 days in treatment then 90 days in outpatient putting my life back together. In hindsight what a short period of time compared to the amount of time I and other spent in the wake of the destruction of my alcoholism and addiction – years of unworthiness, self-hatred, and living a half-life. I just finished my Bachelor’s degree, I feel good about myself, I found “my” place where I fit, my parents don’t live in constant fear. Sure it’s not perfect and every now and then I still wonder if I deserve this goodness and then I remember all the badness and do not want to give up what I have worked so hard for. I am worth it!