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The Big Fix

Hope After Heroin

by Tracey Helton Mitchell

Hardcover, 254 pages, Pgw, List Price: $24 |


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Hope After Heroin
Tracey Helton Mitchell

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An Addict, Now Clean, Discusses Needle Exchanges And 'Hope After Heroin'

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Note: Book excerpts are provided by the publisher and may contain language some find offensive.

Excerpt: The Big Fix

Like many Americans, my long road to addiction started with a trip to a medical professional. At 17 years old, I got my first taste of opioids after the extraction of my wisdom teeth. As a talkative yet very shy teenager, my exposure to drugs had been limited to the closed world around me. Witnessing my older siblings in their drug experimentation phase had made me keenly aware of how silly a person could become on weed or alcohol. I had tried them both a few times. I found neither to be all that appealing. But those white pills, they seemed like magic. I remember all the troubles of the world slowly melting away into a pool of euphoria. Little did I know, I would spend eight years of my life chasing that feeling on a daily basis.

Fast forward a few years later. I had been imagining a way to have a return to that feeling. How could I get access to those magical pills? I wondered about acquiring some as I entered the hurried world of University life. It did not take long. My solution was easily obtained by friends. Their parents had pills on hand- from injuries, from surgeries, and from medical procedures that had healed long ago. They had forgotten about those bottles in their medicine cabinets. When you moved aside the cough medicine and the q-tips, what remained was these glorious substances.

The pills seemed the perfect enhancement to any night out. A few drinks, some pills, I was a happy woman. Sure, I lost some friends. That hardly mattered to me. I made new ones! I made better ones! I made friends that were not only accepting of my changing lifestyle, they encouraged it. They asked me if I wanted to try the needle. Injecting pills would be the best use of my limited resources, they told me. As I held out my arm, I barely felt a thing. The first time wasn’t much, nor the second. What was I missing? I tried a few other times, I began to see the appeal. Pins and needles in my extremities. A numbness in my core. My appetite only increased with time until, I graduated to lady H.