Interview: Heroin
Interviewee would like to remain anonymous
February 12, 2016

When did you start using heroin?
When I was sixteen.

How old are you currently?
I’m twenty.

Why did you start using?
I was struggling in high school, I had just moved to Harrisburg from California so that was a big change for me. My parents split, I was stressed. A close friend, or I thought he was a close friend at the time, offered me some and I didn’t even think about it, to be honest. I just stared at him and he showed me how to do it.

Were you scared?
Oh hell yeah. The first time, you really have no idea what’s going on. I remember I was sweating so much and my heart was beating out of my chest, and then I felt like my arms were burning and then I felt so cold. It’s like something else just comes in and completely invades your body. It’s unreal.

Had you taken or done other drugs before?
Oh, yeah. Pot and ecstasy, mostly. A little coke, here and there.

Did you have an overall good experience with that?
For the most part. I was just smoking so much that it kind of just numbed me out so I stopped. I got bored, basically.

How easy was it for you to get drugs?
Too easy. You just have to know the right people, you know?

Have you ever thought that your drug use was a problem?
In the beginning, no. I thought I could manage it, but then I started doing some stuff for money to get more. I was missing school, failing, cutting people off. Then I got pregnant.

Have you ever lost friends to heroin?
Yes. Three. Colton, Justin and Samantha.

Have you ever been to rehab?
Five times.

Why did you keep going back?
I kept lying to myself; I wasn’t honest with my progress. And I didn’t have good support systems. The first time I came back, I relapsed two days later.

But then you had Jesse. How did that affect you?
He changed my entire world. When he was born, I realized that I had to stop f*cking up, because here was this human being lying in my arms, that I’m responsible for, you know? So, I went back to rehab while my dad watched Jesse. I’ve been clean for two years now.

What advice would you say to people who are tempted or considering using heroin?
Heroin is ugly. It will rob you of all your money, friends, your body, your house, everything. I don’t mean to sound dramatic, but I’ve OD’d twice and I don’t know why I’m still here. Find help. There is nothing wrong with asking for help and that’s something I wish I could have realized years ago.