My Friend Harry
by Will
Citation:   Will. "My Friend Harry: An Experience with Heroin (exp2481)". Sep 11, 2000.

As with most people who end up trying either of these drugs, The 'Basics' came first, or the type of drug got harder as time went on, or as I'd tried all the others, or something. I must say, though, that I'd wanted to try all drugs, even Heroin and Coke, when I was about 15. Not right then, but at some time in my life. The only anomaly in the 'normal' dope, acid, speed, coke, smack line came when I stole some morphine and pethidine from my mum at 15. She is a doctor, and a friend and I had some at my then girlfriend's house(!) She broke up with me the next day, and I was so upset that I smashed all the rest of the ampoules, and didn't really think about it much until I was 18. I had a bad trip at 18 which nearly killed me. I had taked about 50-60 trips before this, but on this night had been drinking, taking speed and smoking pot, then had 1/2 a tab. I flipped out and ended up breaking into a gun store in an attempt to commit suicide, and was hauled out by 2 armed, guns drawn police officers, after pointing the shotgun I was wielding at one and telling him 'You're fucking dead'.

After hospital, where my Dad is still a prominant doctor, and I was hauled screaming at the top of my lungs through casualty, I was at a bit of a loss. I wanted to take drugs, with my friends, and be 'cool', but certainly wasn't keen for more psychedelics. The answer arrived in the form of morphine. Where I live, there isn't much heroin (restricted to an older hardcore, and v. small individual shipments (a few g's - an oz), so the most commonly abused opiod is morphine tablets, mixed up and whacked up.

Anyway, my friend, who was dealing a lot of pot, gave me this morph, and I loved it - though there was the answer to the 'coolness' problem too. I never got a habit on morph, but by the time next year came around, I had used a fair bit. Then off to Sydney for Uni. I had heard that you could buy Heroin off the street there, and within about a fortnight, I was off to cabramatta, to buy my first 'cap of many. I tried it, loved it, and for the next few months, went out to score a few caps of the vietnamese every fortnight or so.

I really wanted to find a local dealer though. It was a 2-3 hr train ride out to cabra and back, and I knew that the nearby suburbs were packed with smack if you knew where to find it. Finally I did, in the form of an old punk couple, who lived in a flat at the back of a barely functional store in a basically silent road, in a quiet area. I felt a lot better going there to score that the harshness of doing deals on the street in Cabra, even if the value was a little less. By the end of that year, when I went home for the holidays, I hadn't really had a habit, but now had a serious girlfriend, and was doing well at Uni.

It's amazing in retrospect how long it took me to really fuck up my life. I survived second year, although by the end of the year, I'd had plenty of habits, and was really in the 'binge and crash' cycle. I'd survived a few serious OD's, been revived by Narcain and Ambulance once, and my parent's knew I was using smack, as one night, I had scored a quarter oz ($2100) for a friend, and made a gram or so for myself, which was a lot, at the time. After taking heaps, I woke up after basically passing out and had a bit of trouble breathing. I drank some water, then started coughing, went to the sink, and coughed up some blood. then some more blood, then vomited heaps of digested blood, and coughed up more blood. So I called the ambulance, and spent a week or so there. They are not really sure why it happened, it could have been cardiopulmonary oedema (fluid on the lungs), or aspiration pneumonia (breathing in my own vomit).

I left college after second year, which was really the honeymoon period with smack. I didn't rip people off, I even made money by doing the occasional big deal, and didn't use enough to have to stop my Science degree, and I was totally in love with my girlfriend, who used occasionally, but was a bit wary of the path I was taking.

Third year the shit started to happen. I lived with two of my best friends for the first 9 months. I was starting to scam my parents and friends, sell or hock my stuff, borrow and steal to get dope, and I basically got hooked. I moved back to college with my girlfriend in about september, and stayed there, I moved in having been 'given' my old dealers business, after he was busted. He asked if I wanted to take it on. Of course I did, and I knew my flatmates wouldn't stand me dealing, so I worked it so I was dealing there for 1 day when I moved back to college, with about 20 regular customers! I must have been totally crazy to think I'd get away with that, as college is a VERY close community. I only lasted about three weeks dealing, as I just used too much of my stock myself. So I wnt from a $100 a day to a $500 a day habit, with no other gain, except a warning from the head of college that I was a suspected dealer and user.

I somehow struggled through a month or so until the end of year party, when my friend Tom came over. I had been best friends with Tom since I was about 7. In the past 2 years, he'd moved to Sydney and go work in the Computer industry. He and I had used drugs together since each of us started taking anything, and as he earned $40-60,000 a year, he came round on fridays and bout enough smack for both of us. Well this friday, I'd already had 2 $50 caps, and was just feeling OK enough to go to the party. Tom called me, so I told him to come over. These parties involve the drinking of heaps of kegs of beer and basic running amok of the whole college, so we started drinking, then hooked up with the man (by now I had delivery connections) and bought a quarter (gram). We had also dropped, then shot up, a few valium each, and drunk a shitload, after having a hit of some of the smack.

A lot later, drinking continously in the meantime, we stopped by to have the rest of the smack. Feeling fine, partying on, and as usual, talking the sort of crap to each other that only a 15 year friendship brings. We had the dope, and I nodded off. I woke up and Tom was dead. i knew as soon as I saw his grey face that this was true, but I'd revived him in the past, so tried to now. It didn't work. The ambulance confirmed it. I remember giving him mouth-to-mouth and hearing a gurgling in his lungs. He'd been sitting on the bed, leaning against the wall, and had spewedbeer and breathed it in, drowning from an OD of Smack. We used to joke about Harry Scagnetti, a fictional mafia dealer, who sold the 'killer' smack. It seemed Tom finally met him.

The death of my best friend fucked me up, but it's not an excuse for what happened, I was already going down the path, Tom dying probably just pushed me further and faster down it. After that, I used as much and as often as possible to block it out, which worked at first. After a few months, I had lived in, and been kicked out of two houses I roomed in, with complete strangers, after stealing their money and posessions to buy smack. My friends were wary, and my girlfriend, who I still respect and care for, even if she doesn't speak to me, broke up with me after her family took me in to stay there after I had no-where else, and after ODing at 3am on a wednesday night, and waking the house up being revived, I stole from them too. Her mother's jewelry and her brother and father's camera's (a favourite of mine, the police asked me later whether eight (the number of different ones I'd pawned) cameras was a lot to own!). I finally ended up in a flat by myself, but at least by now I had really good dealers, who delivered, and sold the strongest and biggest caps I'd ever seen.

To this point, Harry had cost me tens of thousands of dollars (around $100 - $150 000 to my count), the trust of my friends and some friendships, the trust of my parents, a relationship which I cared for uncountably much, and the life of my best friend. A pretty bad brother by any definition.
I just kept on using though. My parents had been so good to me, they'd put me through four hospital detoxes and a ten thousand dollar six week detox in Melbourne. I'd forged checks worth about ten thousand, and had even rung their bank manager and convinced him to transfer thousands to my account, pretending to be my father. Being doctors, they were on the ball with medical knowledge too, although my Dad put it well when he said he now knew more about heroin than he ever wanted to! They took me home again, in a third attempt to get me started on naltrexone, the opiod antagonist/blocker, which had emerged as a 'wonder cure' again. Take it, and you can't get high (true, it feel like you're shooting water, VERY frustrating). The trouble is, it lowers your tolerence back to how you were before you'd ever tried smack.

They sent me back to Syndey after 1 week, of my 'easter break', although I hadn't been to Uni for months. I scored on the way back from the airport, but about a week later, I'd taken some serapax to help me sleep while on the naltrexone, as it gave me jitters (horrible stuff, really), and had a hit of smack. I woke up on the floor, where I'd slid from the bed 3-6 hours earlier, but I couldn't move my left leg. I thought it was just pins and needles, but I really couldn't move it. It really started to hurt, and I had to get the ambulance men to bring the police and knock the door open to get me. I had been lying kneeling/leaning against the bed, with my right knee pressing all my weight on my left leg, for 3-6 hours, and the muscles had started to die, my kidneys to fail, and in less than another hour I would have had a heart attack and died. After six weeks in hospital, most of which was just a haze of pain, I could walk again.

5 years later I'm home and on methadone, but almost ready to get off. I've left out the six months of smack and coke use that came after hospital, where they convinced me to get on the methadone program. Shooting coke cut through methadone, but in six months, I was worse into the coke than five years of smack, and got myself a six month suspended sentence and three year probation as well, but that's another story.

Why I'm still alive, I don't know, or only God knows, if you prefer. I can't say I would never take those drugs, if I had the time again, but I would do anything to bring Tom back, only I can't. I'm now addicted to methadone, and about 30kg overweight, with no girlfriend and no best friend. I have councelling with my Doctor, who in the 30 or so people I saw in legitimate attempts to end my drug addiction, is the best, every week. I finished my science degree, and I'm still alive, but it has been a big price for the time I spent with Harry.

Exp Year: 2000ExpID: 2481
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: Not Given
Published: Sep 11, 2000Views: 249,813
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Heroin (27) : Various (28), Addiction & Habituation (10), Retrospective / Summary (11)

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