Citation: Nate. "All Roads Lead to the Same Dead End: An Experience with Heroin & Oxycodone (exp82799)". Erowid.org. Nov 11, 2011. erowid.org/exp/82799
I breathe in heavily, huuuuuuughhhh, and wake up covered in sweat. It’s 6am and I’m already sick and without money. There’s no way in hell I could sleep or even lie in bed for another second, I HAVE to go. I throw on some clothes, my stomach hurts and my skin screams. I look over to my roommate, fast asleep with a smile on his face, he looks so peaceful; oh how I wish I could just rid my brain of these fake endorphins without withdrawal, back to reality. I grab my keys and chew on a piece of bread before violently spitting it up.
Driving sucks but it’s better than walking. I end up at my bank and for the second time I game the ATM machine. The bank I use allows for deposits in ATM’s but the deposits are in envelopes meaning they don’t get checked until a couple days later and can only make $100 available today, fine with me. I grab an envelope, insert a blank check and tell the ATM it’s for $100. I learned this trick the other day and like any junkie, I won’t stop until this well is tapped out. In goes the blank check, out comes the $100, and down the drain goes my credit and bank account. Soon my account will be -$300 but who the fuck thinks about tomorrow? I sure don’t. Grabbing the 5 20’s I frantically make my way to my car and start the long hour and a half drive to San Francisco.
I swerve and veer around morning rush hour traffic, withdrawing I become frantic and drive like a maniac. An hour goes by, I pass familiar street signs and watch as the San Francisco sign goes from 76 miles to 43 to 22 to 13 and soon I see the big white letters on a hillside east of the 101 North that read “South San Francisco, The Industrial City”. Yes, I think to myself, only 10 more minutes. I get off, make a left, a right and another left. I park in an alley, get out of my car and quickly start walking. The familiar piss smell of the ghetto fills my nostrils as I pass lifeless bodies huddled and shaking on the ground, the collateral damage of the drug problems here. The sickness subsides a bit now knowing I’ll be well soon.
Since discovering this place I haven’t had to play the waiting game that every junkie hates. You know, waiting for your connect to call back who’s waiting on his connect who’s waiting on his guy as you spin yourself into withdrawal hell. Here you show up any time (though I would never come at night) and you’ll get served up anything you wish. Right now it’s almost 8am and I’m confident I’ll score. Lately I’ve been going for the 80mg Oxy’s which go for $30 a pop (sometimes $20 if you find the right person) and grams of tar for $20-$30 each. The tar is cheap, but not pure enough to effectively smoke; still a bargain though.
Copping is an ordeal in itself. If you’re white and you walk to the right block, men pass you by shouting “OC, OC?” and “cheeva, cheeva here” all you have to do is make the right eye contact and the deal goes down right there. I stopped at a 7 11 and got change, 10 $10 bills divided into $60 in one pocket and $40 in another (you can’t trust these guys to give you change, I’ve lost a bunch of money getting ripped off and by now after dozens of trips here, I’ve honed my skills at copping heroin and oxy. A man passes me by, “whatchya need buddy?” Nothing, I’m good I say; avoid the middle men who say they can get you anything you need as they always take a cut. I’m looking for the dealers. Soon I see one with a familiar look on his face.
“Cheeva?” he asks, “yes” I reply.
“How much you need?”
“Gimmie 3g’s for $60 straight up” I say.
“Man these g’s are $40 each” he thinks I am a new face, a white kid who doesn’t know the prices around here. If you walk up to a heroin dealer and ASK them how much a g is they’ll tell you $50. If you say nothing, the price is $40, but if you know how to play them, it drops fast.
“Fuck that man I know I can get g’s for $20, quit wasting my time” I say.
“Wait wait wait man, hold up; shit alright look here, I got 2 grams I sell you right now for $50”
“Nah, sorry man I’ll find someone else.”
“Okay” he says, “fine $40 for 2 gs”. I feel bad in a way, I know I’m taking bread off his table but fuck him I’m sick as a dog now. He puts the 2gs in my hand and before handing him the $40 I put one of the cellophane wrapped grams in my mouth looking for that vinegar taste (another mistake I made, not checking the heroin before buying as many people will sell you fake tar). He stands there, accepting what is going on, now knowing I’m not a newcomer. I nod to him, hand him the $40 and am off.
I walk back to my car, but not before passing “pill hill” and scoping out an oxy dealer. I nod, he sees me and runs across the street to walk with me.
“How many you need?”
“I got $60 here, give me 2 pills and we’ll call it a deal.” At this point I’m done fussing around, it isn’t worth the hassle to find $20 80’s as it is with heroin since the 80 dealers are rarer and work together. He hands me the two pills, I check both sides looking for OC and 80 to be sure and hand him my money.
At this point the sickness is in the back of my head as I walk with $100 worth of opiates in my pocket. I get back to my car, slam the door and begin cooking up. I prefer heroin over oxy for the first shot, I don’t know why but I just do. I grab my end of an aluminum can, place 1/2 of a gram of tar in there and 100 units of water, then another 40 units. I then begin cooking playing a sick game I always play guessing how much the final count will be in my 1 cc syringe when I’m done cooking; “75 units” I say and the heroin is ready. I throw in a cotton ball and suck up the poison. Flicking the syringe and plunging all the air out I laugh as the plunger stops at 75 units.
I glace down at my right arm, my favorite, and happily find that my master vein is showing nicely (digging for a vein while withdrawing is no fun). But since my master vein is presenting itself, I wait a second. I wait and just concentrate solely on my sickness causing it to radiate and grow in intensity. The sick junkie in me finds that by focusing on the sickness, the shot that’s about to come tastes all the sweeter. I close my eyes and focus all my energy on how I feel, pretending I’m back in bed; hundreds of miles and hundreds of dollars away from a good day. If I didn’t have a shot cooked up right now I would be in big trouble. It’s only 8:20 AM, about 8 hours since my last shot and already my soul aches and cries from the core to the tips of my hair. My skin looks like a cold turkey and my clothes feel like sandpaper against my flesh. My stomach is in knots and the thought of food almost makes me vomit. Okay, I think to myself, I’m ready.
I stick the half inch needle in, popping my vein. The solution is too dark to see any blood so I plunge just a little into my arm (if it burns you missed the vein, but if you feel nothing you’re golden). Nothing, I take a breath and plunge the remaining 70 units. I pull out the needle, cap it, recline my seat and close my eyes. A tear rolls down my face, of joy and of sadness.
Of joy as the sickness leaves me and is replaced with overwhelming pleasure and warmth in less than 10 seconds. It’s this rush that I chase. I could give a fuck about the remaining high, unlike the old days where every minute of a heroin high is fun; I chase that rush from feeling like death to floating on a cloud in an instant. As those fake endorphins latch on to my receptors I almost forget where I am. My eyes roll back deep into my skull and I find the golden nod.
Of sadness because I know reality will hit soon. This gear will only last me through tomorrow morning and then what? ATM trick again, pshh my bank account will be -$200 by then. I’ll have to worry about finding another scam, getting gas money, what to do about my midterm due tomorrow, how I will get food and all this other shit called life. But this thought only lasts for a moment and then is gone as euphoria overwhelms worry. Not even the inevitable fact that I’ll have to face the sickness and all this bullshit again fades the high, not now at least. I shake my head, rub my hands in my face, and make the long drive back arriving at home before my roommate even wakes up.
Morning comes again and I’m sick, but I wake up with a smile knowing I have 2 80’s to get me over the hump. It’s only 7am but I’m able to roll around in bed for another hour before cooking up. Again I focus on the sickness as I roll around, pretending to myself that I have no Oxy and that there’s no way I can get well right now. After an hour of this I’m ready. I roll out of bed, roommate fast asleep. I make my way to the living room with one of my 80’s and get ready to prep a shot.
Preparing Oxy for injection can be tricky. It’s not as easy as tar. First I suck the coating off, spitting the green slime into the trash. I break half the 80 off, place it in a folder dollar bill and begin hammering it with the end of a screw driver. I place this crushed pill on a plate and finish the preparation with a couple cards. The white powder slides from the plate to the spoon where it meets about 100-150 units of water. The solution is milky and inconsistent. I mix it up a little and turn the TV on while I give the solution 10 minutes to soak everything in. Oxycontin, though technically only contains oxycodone, has hundreds of binders and fillers in the pill causing it to become milky. After 10 minutes I begin to cook the solution up watching as the fillers and binders cling together leaving a clear watery solution, this clear water contains the oxycodone. I drop a cotton ball in, say to myself “70 units” and draw back my solution. Damn, 60 units.
Now I sit, watching TV, trying to make myself sick but it doesn’t work. Fuck it I say and look for a vein. My right master is tapped out thanks to a blown shot from the night before. I look, the big vein in the crock of my left elbow. Fuck, this one always hurts. I dig the needle in biting my lip.
The one sick joy I like shooting Oxy over heroin is getting to see the plume of blood acknowledging you’ve hit a vein. I pull back on the syringe with my index and middle finger, nothing only a small bubble of air. FUCK. I stab again, taking the pain, draw back, nothing… My heart begins to race, I jab one more time and pull back…
A dark cloud of crimson overwhelms the clear solution and my panic immediately dissipates. I drive the plunger home and cap the needle. Oxy shots, compared to heroin, is a purer high but lasts much shorter. Now for my favorite part of the day, the 20 or so minutes to enjoy the nod before the amazing journey back to my bed as I catch up on some zzz’s. I lie in bed, on a cloud of fake heaven and my eyes roll back into my skull and stay there for about 3 hours before waking up to the first signs of sickness again. I open my eyes, my roommate is in the living room. I reach under the bed and grab a piece of foil. I smoke some crumbs to help me get through normal tasks like putting on semi-clean clothes, showering and tying my shoes; tasks that otherwise would be the last thing on my mind if I were withdrawing. I grab the remaining half of my 80 and head for my car where I can cook in peace.
I look, my right master is ready, well sort of but it better get ready. Solution prepped, missing the guess by only a couple units I jam the needle home. No time to bother about the sickness as that only works for the first shot of the day. I drive the plunger in, feel the pre-sickness leave and go about with my life.
This was 4 weeks ago. I am 4 weeks clean and plan on staying at least 6 months clean. I would like to be clean for the rest of my life but I now know reality. Opiates can creep up on anyone. Ever since my obsession-like curiosity with Oxy fist took me down this road I now know addiction is blind. Promising myself before snorting my first ever line of 10mg Oxy that I would never make the mistake of smoking it like the poor saps I’ve heard about. Then before taking my first hoot off the foil I promised myself I’d never try heroin. After a dry spell of oxy and finding myself with a ball of tar and aluminum foil I promised myself I’d never touch the needle. I went from 0-60 in about 6 months, from snorting Oxy to shooting heroin.
If you’ve never tried opiates, or better yet if you’ve never shot opiates you’re ahead of the game. Get out now. All roads lead to the same dead end. A spiked up arm, a sickness that you wouldn’t wish upon your worst enemy, a negative bank account, severed relationships, a torn sense of self and that’s just the beginning.
I’m lucky, knock on wood. No permanent repercussions. No diseases, no run ins with the law or any dark clouds looming overhead. Now I work out, I’m building my bank account up again and living life. I wake up at 7am sometimes, go take a piss and go back to bed for a couple hours, peaceful. I’ll tell you this…
The feeling you get waking up and not having to face any sickness whatsoever is better than any rush.
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