What is Addiction to me?
By: David Isaac Lopez AW7785
I became addicted to methamphetamines at around at around fourteen years old. At that early age, I didn’t really consider my drug use as a problem because I was under the false belief that what I was doing was entirely voluntary…and that I could stop at anytime. The first time I tried meth, I didn’t think with two older girls, and didn’t hesitate when one of them offered me some. I have already been using marijuana, so I didn’t think meth was much different. That was very naïve perspective because I wasn’t prepared for what that drug was about to do to my life.
My social circle began to gradually change, and school became nothing more than a place to meet girls and sell drugs. I was constantly being suspended for one thing or another, and I rarely attended classes unless I absolutely had to. Most of the people I hung around were using drugs on a regular basis. Drugs became my primary focus. I was raised by a single mother who worked most of the time, so I was largely unsupervised. I stayed out all night with other “tweakers,” breaking into cars, houses, and businesses, so it was no surprise when I started getting arrested incarcerated soon after. My time spent in juvenile facilities did nothing to address my addiction. I only hung around other troubled kids who had nothing better to do then continue there destructive habits and assist me with mine. We still found ways to get drugs into whatever juvenile facilities we were in… and our addictions grew along with us. Most of us from those days are serving life sentences, long sentences, or are dead.
After my release from the juvenile system, I didn’t even consider staying sober. I was a more seasoned criminal, willing to commit serious crimes in the name of my addiction. I still preferred methamphetamine as my drug of choice, but by that time in my life, I had been taking LSD (“acid”) and mushrooms on a regular basis as well. The drug-related crimes I was committing started to stack up and it wasn’t long before I was sent to prison and elevated my addiction to a level I didn’t expect. The first time I injected any drug was in a prison cell. Three things came out of that first experience: an introduction to needles; heroin; and hepatis-C. I shared needles with complete strangers, injecting heroin and meth on a regular basis. The fact that I didn’t end up with HIV is baffling to me, but the hepatitis began to work on my liver, and the drugs continued to destroy my life.
The years that followed my initial release from prison pretty much flew by in a blur of crime, violence, violation after violation, and hardcore drug use. I became consumed by my addiction and ended up shooting and killing someone in a drug deal gone bad.
I am now serving a life sentence because I failed to understand how lethal the cycle of addiction really was. It took years of victimization, personal loss, and destructive behavior until I decided that “enough was enough.” I chose to get clean, and I have been putting in the work ever since, in order to salvage what’s left of my life. At times, sobriety can be a challenge, but true change only came after I looked inward and discovered why I was using in the first place. To stay clean, I’ve had to remove all negative habits, thoughts, and influence from my life. Addiction is absolutely littered with death and destruction, but that’s not how my story is going to end. I encourage others to rewrite their stories as well.