DIARY OF AN ADDICT
I took off my shirt hurriedly, sitting on the cold, bare floor in Luke’s apartment while he watched, I unwrapped the first paper with the powder in it and sniffed deeply….. He soon joined too. I’d sniff wraps upon wraps and was never satisfied, my friend impressed at my intake like he’d never seen watched in amazement and kept hailing, with each wrap I sniffed, I yearned for more and more, I’d been starved for too long. I was happy too, This was my chance of provin how strong and manly I could be, not the kid they taught I was.
” Correct guy! You be baba for the thing!! Boss I loyal, I dey twale for you! King of charlie!!” he’d rain all sorts of praises on me. After sniffing close to five wraps, I grabbed another yet, the one with the dried herb-like substance, what we called “Igbo”. I rolled it up in a paper, lit it sharply and began smoking. I was still high on Charlie but i wanted something more stimulating since it couldn’t satisfy me. I smoked, letting smoke out from my nostrils and mouth, my insides felt warm, high but not as high as I wanted, my senses hadn’t reached climax yet. I smoked desperately and hungrily in the music of Luke’s praises. After a while I felt better a bit, my eyes had become a flurry of red now. I stood up, stretched as I felt exhausted again, then I yawned. I sat down for a bit, still not okay I stretched on my feet a second time, I felt really stressed out than ever.
After a while sweatdrops pervade my skin slowly, my heartbeat speeds up, I breathe in and breath out then it’s restored. My freind still watched in amazement thinking I was in the spirit of “high”. It was not my first time sniffing charlie or smoking igbo so i didn’t have to feel any different besides. My heartrate speeds up again, my breathing slows, I begin to feel claustrophobic, gasping for breath. My head, my brain aches. I feel the pressure on my breath, its like my lungs were shut! It was like some painful acupuncture was taking place in my heart and abdomen.My legs wobble, I open my mouth for free flow of air no improvement. I start motioning to my friend for help but Luke keeps laughing like I was putting up a puppet show. My feet wobble and slowly I feel dem dissolve to the ground as my sight, senses dissolved too and my body, all of me drops to the ground.
* * *
Waking up from his unconscious state, Steve became different, something far from weird. As much as confused Luke tried to figure out what had happened to his freind, he couldn’t tell what it actually was. The same person he’d just conversed and had fun with only a while ago was first…unconscious and now insane? No way… Two strange scenaros in barely an hour ….perharps this was a dream.
” Steve listen…its me, Luke..your freind..” All Steve would do was stare back at him, say absurd, weird things , laugh and try to storm out of the room. Soon he was becoming violent. With every attempt to calm him down his weirdness was triggered. Unable to withstand him, Luke let him go with hopes he’d return to normal after a while.
Days past, no one heard from Him or knew his whereabouts. Victoria, at first thought her son had left home as always again, to somewhere in the streets probably drinking or smoking herbs. When she hadn’t heard from him for two weeks she got worried, searching round town until a few people attested seeing her son on the streets, in a mentally destabilized state. With their help, she was able to find him, getting him to the hospital was tasking as he tried to hurt whoever got close. Eventually he was taken to a health centre where he got tranquilise upon arrival to prevent further display of violence in his state.
I open my eyes to an unfarmiliar room filled with the unpleasant smell of antiseptic I found irritating to perceive, and a bedside monitor. hospital?? Oh no! Why is she sitting by me? A strange woman. I feel her hands on mine as her eyes meet mine. She seemed clouded with relief the moment her gaze met me awake and she races out of the room. My head aches again, I can’t remember why or how I got here. Everything seems strange.She comes back in with a man in a white coat, the kind they use in laboratories with something hung around his neck, i dont know who they are or why they stare at me. He removes the mask and tube from my nose and speaks to her about me. He asks some questions, She explains my greatest nemesis, addiction to him and I hear him talk about his suspicion that my body was toxicated and i’d taken a big risk combining cannabis a depressant with cocaine a stimulant. He said it was nothing spiritual as she earlier thought. that depressants slowed the body systems while stimulants made them speed up and combining them meant sending mixed messages (speeding things up and slowing them down) to my vital organs which led to an elevated heart rate, increased blood pressure and even breathing problems plus a stress on my brain as the effects compouond. I’d narrowly escaped death being on the verge of a cardiac arrest or a heart attack.
I remained in the hospital for days receiving series of treatment and medications. The man in white said my lungs and other internal organs suffered from continuous intake of drugs and substance which were toxic, i had temperal memory loss and psychosis.The pain in my abdomen wasn’t helping, My insides felt sore I couldn’t remember anything and wouldn’t say a word. I was never happy, i needed something to give me that extreme mood elevation I always got. Often times I tried to run away from that medical dungeon, I couldn’t. I was being watched closely like a prisoner. I hated them, I hate everyone, even my self. I’d scream endlessly at whoever was coming to render medications and even try to harm them sometimes. That woman, she kept saying she was my mum, explaining weird things I couldn’t remember.
Weeks past, I was transfered to another prison, they said it was a “Rehabilitation center” and there I would meet people who would help me overcome all of this and I’d receive psychotherapy. At first I felt worse, lonely, dejected. days, weeks, months past , I remained here. They made me narrate my experiences to psychologist. I was told people develop tolerance from constant use of drugs and they may also loose this tolerance if they havent used drugs for a while, just like the horrible experiences i had in my bid to quit drugs, something called “withdrawal syndrome” and if not taken to a rehab centre or given medical attention after the break from drugs they may relapse, going back to drugs again like i’d done. And when people take their usual amount of drugs after a break from using it could become too much for the body to cope with, leading to an overdose. This can even go worse when the drug is combined, like in my case. Here, they understood how I felt It was like they were watching all my experiences, they had answers to all my unanswered questions, the voices in my head, the ill feelings and everything. i was still sad but gradually i felt better knowing they were people who understood my weirdness, my craziness, who made me understand I could be better again and people who felt the same way as me, other addicts. Gradually, I began to fight substance abuse and dependence, i regained my memory bit by bit though my heart and lungs still put me in deep pains I was given frequent medications, encouragement and therapy. My cravings for substance, depressions, anxiety and agitation died slowly. I learnt Luke was arrested during my stay here and was later sent to jail as well rasheed.
It’s been five months now and as I leave this place, better than I’d always wished I know and realise I’ve made mistakes, endangered my life, wasted a big part of my youth, i’ve hard scars and unpleasant memories to forever live with yet I’ve learnt from my mistakes, I’ve learnt I could live again at my worst, I’ve learnt that just like the pauper never wishes to be born a pauper Nobody wants to be a slave to substance, an addict, it was never a choice. Everyday in Nigeria, an alarming incident of drug abuse by people, youths especially is recorded. The use of hard drugs has become a social menace. The fate of that insane man holding his ciggarate so dear in the street could not have resulted from voodoo/juju as we’d always imagine in this dark continent but from hard drug abuse. People die of substance abuse, careers die too, their future is hidden even before it is born. Don’t get entangled in the web yet don’t judge the addicted, they also yearn for a shoulder to cry on sometimes, they yearn for ears to listen, hearts to understand, depression, pain ,hate is what they feel. Its never a choice yet it shouldn’t be an option. Spread the word, save a life, save our future. Don’t say “just for today” today could turn into days, weeks, months, years, or eternity. Don’t say “only a bit”.
” One is too many and a thousand is never enough” SAY NO TO DRUGS!
The end (pls do comment to help us)
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