The High Cost of Getting High

People snorting cocaine at a party

Sooner or later, we all have to face life in a sober state. This was a hard reality for me to accept at first. I’d been experimenting with drugs since I was about 16, and never wanted the party to end. It was the perfect life: plenty of money, plenty of drugs and plenty of “friends” to do them with. My mortality never once entered my mind until I had entered my mid-twenties and was focusing exclusively on my cocaine habit. When I was 28, I came close to having a heart attack, and was sure that I was done with all drugs after that.

I did everything an addict does when they’re trying to fool themselves into thinking that they’ll never use again: I changed my diet, gave the last of my stash to my friends and went away to “clear my head.” I did everything accept get the necessary treatment to help me out of this. The fact was that getting clean was just too hard and getting high was just too easy. I’m not trying to make any excuses for myself, but when you’ve never encountered adversity in your life, you don’t exactly know how to cope with it when you’re pushing thirty.

I came home from my “journey of sobriety” and relapsed two days later. Some people I know were throwing a party and getting high was practically a requirement for being there, so I complied. This continued for about another year, until the reality of my situation became impossible to hide from any longer. My friend, one of the people at the party in fact, had overdosed and he didn’t have the luxury of a “close call” like I did. I know how selfish this sounds, but at his funeral, I just kept seeing myself in that casket.

My parents enrolled me in a luxury rehab program because they wanted to me get clean without worrying about whether or not I was being properly taken care of. This program was unlike any rehab facility I’d ever heard about. I knew from my second day there that I was being given a chance that most people in recovery only dream of. Detox was still difficult, but I was looked after every step of the way and given practically everything I asked for…everything short of cocaine. I was even allowed to stay in touch with my friends and parents during my recovery.

I don’t know if I could have made it in any other program. Eighteen months into my recovery, I still feel sorry for people who had to feel the sting of relapse because they chose the wrong treatment facility. Luxury rehab didn’t just mean a nice room, the best food and swimming pools; it meant the best doctors, the best nurses and a whole group of people that had a genuine interest in seeing me get better. I’ve been clean for 549 days, and for a person like me this, this is no accident—in fact I’d call it a miracle.

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