|A Northern Kentucky Native, Amber, is outing the habits of a person addicted to heroin. She has made the brave decision to put her face on this epidemic ripping through our region. If it can happen to a normal girl like her, it can happen to anyone.|
Once my heroin addition took off, I became a completely different person. I didn't know who I was anymore, and neither did my friends and family. I, like any heroin addict, became a liar, a cheat, and a thief. My sole purpose became getting high as often as possible, even if that meant stealing and conning everyone in my life.
I stole money, jewelry, checks. I panhandled, and made friends and family feel sorry for me so they would give me money. I became a very creative liar also.
One night I was so high that I wrecked my car into a guardrail then walked home. When the police showed up I told them that while I was driving I sneezed, jerking the wheel, which caused me to wreck. And that I left the scene because I was scared. I was so convincing that the cops believed me. My mom on the other hand, saw right through my lie.
Basically the point of me sharing my story is to let people know that this addiction can happen to anyone. It does not discriminate. And also to reveal the secrets of an addict, signs to look for.
#1) First and foremost if your gut tells you something is just not right, then more then likely it isn't. But don't mistake your gut feeling and what your head may be telling you. Sometimes my head tells me I'm just paranoid, that person isn't using, but deep down my gut is saying that, yes, they are. Nine times out of ten my gut is right.
#2) When I was getting high I always came up with random reasons to stop by my grandparents’ house or my parents’ house. I would slip away to the restroom or to the kitchen to get a drink. But really I was looking for prescriptions or money or items to pawn. I even knew where to step in each room so that the floor wouldn't creek. If I couldn't find anything "good", I would make up a story about needing money for a bill or something. I even bought a receipt book so I could make fake receipts.
#3) Another secret is listen to their voice. It changes. My mom could tell if I was high by my laugh. I'm not really sure how, but she said it wasn't my same pure laugh I had always had. My family could tell by my diet. I didn't eat much but when I did it was all sugar. I would have a purse full of candy. They could also tell I was high if I had my red hat on. When I was high, I got lazy and never brushed my hair. I would just throw my hat on. Somehow my family took notice. To this day I still get "the look" if the red hat is brought up.
#4) I was never happy any more, and stopped doing the things I had always enjoyed. I stopped drawing and doing crafts. I stopped reading, and I stopped playing with my dog. I snapped at everyone, and stopped being friendly. I had a soulless look to me. My dad said that the sparkle had left my eyes.
#5) My family also took notice when I stopped being dependable. I wouldn't show up when I said I would, or I was always really late, or had to leave early. I always had some excuse, and it was always someone else's fault. I could never take responsibility for any thing. And if I didn't have an excuse my answer was always "I don't know".
These are just so small signs or habits to look for. But like I said, go with your gut, because it's probably right.