“He was 13 when he tried his first sip of booze. To his enormous relief, he found it made that tense feeling disappear. “I always describe it as my first ‘spiritual experience,’ ” he says. “It just made sense to me. Suddenly, I had a freedom from thinking, from uncomfortability. I felt OK in my skin — and I hadn’t really felt that before. I thought, ‘Oh! This is how you do life!’””
Nick Stahl on Addiction That Nearly Killed Him: “I Never Had a Brake Pedal”
“Heroin could magically take away whatever was bothering me, even if I didn’t know it was bothering me. It felt like a warm blanket, and I thought, Thank you, warm blanket. It protected me from my father’s rage, my grandfather’s rage, and then my own. But pretty soon that warm blanket started strangling me.”
Trejo: My Life of Crime, Redemption, and Hollywood
Danny Trejo, Donal Logue
“If you’re ever driving down the freeway and it’s pouring rain, and the rain is beating on the top of your car and it’s so loud and so heavy and so chaotic, and then you go under a bridge and for a moment, it’s quiet, that’s what heroin was to my traumatized heart. Immediately, for the first time, I did not feel all the why’s and what’s of what happened in my life. And I fell in love with that.”
Handcuffed and Unhoused
As homelessness rises, unhoused people often get entangled in a criminal justice cycle that leads back to the streets – or worse.
“He always enters the house as though he were entering it with the intention of tearing it down from inside. That is how he always enters it except when it’s after midnight and liquor has put out the fire in his nerves. Then he enters the house in a strikingly different manner, almost guiltily, coughing a little, sighing louder than he coughs, and sometimes talking to himself as someone talks to someone after a long, fierce argument has exhausted the anger between them but not settled the problem.”
The Man in the Overstuffed Chair
“I had told myself that I’d never try heroin because it sounded too perfect. It’s like “warm, buttery love,” a friend told me.
When I did yield to temptation — in a fit of rage over a boyfriend’s infidelity in the mid-1980s — that’s what I experienced. It wasn’t euphoria that hooked me. It was relief from my dread and anxiety, and a soothing sense that I was safe, nurtured and unconditionally loved.
Science now shows that this comparison is more than a metaphor. Opioids mimic the neurotransmitters that are responsible for making social connection comforting — tying parent to child, lover to beloved.”
Opioids Feel Like Love. That’s Why They’re Deadly in Tough Times.
Ms. Szalavitz writes about addiction and public policy.
“The crackling sound from the torched rock in its receptacle and the sight of the glass tube filling up with smoke that smelled both sweet and acidic was mesmerizing. I inhaled. The high I experienced from that first hit of crack was one of the most euphoric sixty seconds I had ever felt. My senses sharpened and I felt stronger than fucking Atlas. I found myself horny. I was filled with a powerful feeling that I could accomplish anything.
The resultant crash was just as extreme. It seized my whole body in an acute and all-encompassing craving.
“Hey, Phillipe! Set me up again, okay?”
He gave me a sizable rock and I dove headfirst into another hit. Ahhhhh, I thought, this shit is good!
Crack accentuated everything in a good way. The features of the girl’s drab, cookie-cutter apartment suddenly became beautiful. The Formica-topped island that separated the kitchen from the living room suddenly took on architectural perfection, a use of space so logical and brilliant its beauty blew me away. What had at first glance looked like an ugly orange shag carpet was now as magnificent as a priceless Persian masterpiece in the window of an expensive Beverly Hills rug shop. The traffic I could hear outside on Hollywood Boulevard transformed from a noisy nuisance to a source of enchantment: I wondered where these people might be headed. Maybe some of them were on crack, too, and as happy and elated as I was!”
It’s So Easy: and other lies
see also: Drunk as Mystical State – William James