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THE DRUG EFFECT

Local addicts detail their habbits

DRUG-addiction

Overdosing, to the typical addict, amounts to little more than a recreational hazard, according to two self-described heroin addicts currently lodged in the Logan County Jail.

Interviewed separately, they told similar tales of addiction, debilitating withdrawal symptoms and why the possibility of death isn't something either one of them considers when shooting up or popping pills.

"I never really think about overdosing when I'm getting high," said Trevor Drummond, 19, an admitted heroin user for almost three years now.

"I have overdosed before, and nearly died at the hospital," he went on, "and that scared me for a while, but not using feels just as bad as death."

The teen said he was with friends when he overdosed that time.

"They told me I went blue in the face and passed out," he said.

"I've overdosed myself and have been with people who have overdosed and I've known people who have died from overdosing," said a second inmate, a 21-year-old female who requested the Examiner not publish her name.

"We don't care about that at the time, though, we just want to get high."

The woman said her drug use began with marijuana in her early teens. She first tried heroin at the age of 16.

"I started with prescription pills," she said. "Those get too expensive, though.

"With heroin the high is the same, but it's cheaper."

Mr. Drummond said he tried heroin for the first time at the age of 17, introduced to the drug by a cousin who used. Before heroin, he drank alcohol and also used marijuana.

"(I) never had anything like heroin before," he said. "A couple weeks later I had the chance to try it again and I wanted to do it.

"Before you know it, it sucks you in."

At the height of their addiction, both addicts said they used upward of $100 worth of heroin per day. That translates to between six and eight heroin "berries" daily, depending on where they're purchased, Mr. Drummond said.

"In Dayton and Columbus, the heroin is cheaper there," Mr. Drummond said. "It costs more around here."

Both addicts acknowledged stealing money, pills and other items from family members and acquaintances in order to support their habit.

"After even just a day without heroin I start to withdraw," Mr. Drummond said, trying to explain his alleged theft offenses.

"You get sick and you don't want to be sick and you'll do whatever you can to support your habit."

The female inmate concurred.

"I get so sick — you don't care who you hurt," she said. "You know you have to shoot up."

She said she and her brother used to drive to Columbus every day to get heroin, noting that users who purchase their heroin locally from an unfamiliar dealer may actually be at greater risk of overdosing.

"Dealers around here also go to the bigger cities to buy heroin," she explained. "They buy it, bring it back here and cut it to make it go further."

"Cutting," a drug refers to mixing it with a foreign substance to make it seem like there's more of the drug than there actually is, the woman said; like mixing baking powder with crack cocaine, or oregano with a bag of marijuana.

Except when dealers cut heroin, they often add prescription drugs like Xanax, forming a potentially lethal cocktail.

"Those death records you saw where more than just heroin was listed — that person could've been using heroin and taking pills, but what probably happened is their heroin was cut with prescription medication," the inmate said.

Both inmates have been charged with felonies in Logan County Common Pleas Court, and each of them has been through counseling and family court.

"I spent some time at (the Logan County Juvenile Detention Facility) and got clean and after I was released I stayed clean for a month," Mr. Drummond said. "Then I ran into some people I know and started using again."

That was another time Mr. Drummond overdosed, he said.

"I tried to go right back to using as much heroin at one time as I had when I was using every day," Mr. Drummond said, acknowledging he'd sometimes consume as many as three heroin berries at a time.

"But my tolerance wasn't quite as high, and I overdosed."

Both addicts expressed a desire to kick their habit, but expressed a degree of pessimism about their chances.

"I've tried to quit. I want to get my life together," the female inmate said. "I don't want to do it anymore.

"So many people go to treatment and they don't get better," she went on. "They tell us in counseling that you'll be addicted your life and recovery comes down to you really wanting to change."

"I wish I could go back and not touch the stuff, because I wouldn't wish this heroin addiction on my worst enemy," Mr. Drummond agreed. "I know I've hurt a lot of people, but that's just not something you think about when you're shooting up."

 

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