I entered addiction treatment about a year after I started abusing cocaine. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make; but when it got to the point of life and death, I knew I had to do something. I started doing coke once or twice a month as an escape. It was something to do, it made me feel incredible, and I always made sure I knew who I was buying from. My friends could all seem to turn their coke use on and off, like a faucet, but I just wasn’t able to give it up.
Eventually my friends started to worry about me, and after seeing that I was more or less a lost cause, just shut me out of their lives altogether. It only took a year for coke to completely turn things upside-down. I was going to work high and pretty soon all of my colleagues started to suspect it. I was incredibly high up in my company for a person of my age, and couldn’t risk my co-workers finding out that I had a drug problem, so I tried to hide it as best I could. It never got to the point in which I was doing lines in the men’s room or anything, but pretty soon everything in my life became about coke.
After a while I contemplated getting help for my coke habit, but didn’t think I could handle the detox process. I kept looking for quick fixes, like a place where they could knock me out for a few days and I’d wake up with no withdrawal symptoms. Eventually I had to face facts and realize that there was no substitute for just going through the process. I entered a luxury detox facility in Florida and was incredibly surprised with how well I was treated and how smoothly my detox went; I had heard that residential detox was one of the most frightening things a person could experience.
My doctors and nurses were very supportive and did everything they could to keep me comfortable. There were times when it felt like I was going to crawl out of my skin or that my nose was going to fall off, but it was only a fraction as dreadful as I thought it was going to be. I thought the term “luxury” was more or less window-dressing, but I’d never felt more taken care of than I did when I was in treatment. When I got clean, I entered a rehab program and started seeing a therapist—it’s helped me process a lot of what I did to myself and the people I care about.
I’m grateful beyond measure that I only lost a year of my life to addiction and that I was able to get myself back on track. There’s no telling where I would have wound up if I didn’t recognize my problem and seek the proper care. I still experience urges, but every time I think about using again, I think back to what I almost lost and what I almost became. That is usually enough of a different to keep me going. If you don’t think treatment works, or that you’re doomed to a life of permanent addiction, take it from me, there’s a way out.