Of course we used that night. We drove to East Chicago at around 9:00 at night. On Christmas Eve. We used no matter what. Holidays didn’t matter, hell they didn’t even exist. I have used on every single calendar holiday, that was not a rare occurrence, what was rare, was actually being present on a holiday. Speaking of present, we still had gifts to wrap for when our son woke up in the morning. I had to be sure to save some dope for the following day. Having my son back, and spending these special times with the two of them was a key factor in my drive to remain clean, and despite all the bullshit going on right now, my son was going to have a great Christmas. And believe it or not, he did. We spent the day together as a family, my boy played with all his new toys and we watched movies and ate food. For the time being, it seemed like everything was going to be alright, and it would be, but it first had to get a lot worse. I knew that I had to do something to get clean, I wasn’t going to get clean on my own. I never did. I needed help, plus, I thought it would be in my favor- look good in the court’s eyes if I took some initiative and sought help on my own. Never mind the fact that I had just fled from a problem solving court’s jurisdiction, I had to try and make myself look good. More manipulation. So, starting on Christmas Day, 2014, I called detox treatment centers. Everyday. Like 5 times a day.
Nothing. It is so hard for an addict to get clean on their own. It really is. My county, last I checked, is number 3 in the country, per capita for heroin related deaths. Our Sheriff calls our heroin problem an epidemic. And it is. People are dropping dead left and right. We’ve lost somewhere around 25 this year- 2016 alone. Only Detroit and Baltimore rank higher in this unfortunate category, and guess how many detox centers we have? ZERO! Not a single one. Nothing. It is actually easier to keep using than it is to get clean. “If only someone would do something!” I know, right?
But anyways, so I finally got a hit on a treatment center in Chicago, after 4 days of calling them every 3 hours like instructed, they agreed to take me. I had 3 hours to get there or they were going to give my bed away. I had to pack quickly and hurry to Chicago. And of course, use once more. It’s always one more, and it’s the one more that kills us, constantly. You would think that knowing this would keep me from using right? Well, head knowledge means nothing to an active addict. The only things that matter to an active addict are: money, dope, a cell phone, a good connection, transportation, and the hustle to get more of all of this. It consumes every single fiber of my being all the time. My thoughts, my emotions, my life style. It dictates who my friends are and where i go. If I don’t have dope, I’m not doing anything but trying to get more dope. It’s all consuming. I never lost anything to heroin, I willingly gave it all away. And it was not enough. It always demands more. And more. And more. One is too many and a thousand is never enough.
So after a brief stop in east Chicago, we made our way to downtown Chicago. I had to check myself in, I needed to get some help. Of course I was late, by like 4 hours because I just couldn’t possibly not do all the dope I had- it had to be all in my system before I checked in. After arguing with them, they let me in anyways. After I called drug court, my family, sponsor, attorney, and counselor to let them know where I was, I was escorted back to be checked in. The next days were a complete blur of suboxone, Trazadone, cigarettes, doctors, shitty sandwiches, and orange juice. This place was like a warehouse concentration camp. One massive room, about half the size of a basketball court, and side by side, maybe an arm’s reach from each other- side to side and head to toe were some twin size beds. All occupied by broken, hollowed out men. This was indeed the bottom, for many of them, not for me- I still had a lot of pain to feel before I hit another bottom. But it was coming. These men were so beside themselves. Junkies. Everywhere. Broken, distraught, skinny and sunken in, dirty, forgotten and alone. Hopeless. This is where hell can actually be felt. And the aftermath of the truest downward spirals can be seen, and touched.
I was about 2 days into my detox, feeling like absolute shit- on very little suboxone and covered in sweat and goosebumps when the staff called me up to the desk. ” Mr. Herbert, we just got a call from a- Drug Court?- in valparasio Indiana, and they informed us that you have an outstanding felony warrant for them, you are a wanted fugitive out of Indiana, so we are no longer going to be able to treat you, we have to discharge you, right now, go pack up.”