Do you have something more to surprise me?

As I told you in my last post, I got my first taste of illicit drugs when I was 12 years old. In middle school, I smoked pot for the first time. By 13, I had gotten blackout drunk. By high school, when I was 14, I had moved on to hallucinogens like mushrooms and LSD.

My pot-smoking friends and I eventually were smoking weed every day, before, during, and after school. It hardly seemed like a drug anymore and more like daily maintenance, like showering or eating breakfast. We got our hands on hallucinogens and spent days trip in the park, looking at the kaleidoscope of colors and patterns the drugs allowed us to see.

Hallucinogens were fun, I thought, but I wanted something different. I wanted to feel a high like the first time I smoked pot.

I don’t know what I was chasing exactly, or if I was running from something. I had a happy home life, a happy childhood. We weren’t rich, but we didn’t have money problems really. I think I was just bored and the drugs were there and I liked them. Plus, it gave me an identity outside of being an Italian guy from a big family. I had an edge; I was dark and mysterious, a party boy who did drugs. It became part of who I was.

At this point, my family still had no idea what was going on with me. My brothers probably smelled the pot on my clothes, but they were surrounded by it too and didn’t seem to think anything of it. For all I knew, they were smoking it, too.

Sophomore year of high school, I turned 16 and got my driver’s license (which is a joke in New York; nobody drives or has a car because there’s no space to drive or park anywhere). I also tried cocaine and ecstasy for the first time.

By 17 I was taking pain pills and smoking heroin. Heroin turned out to be my drug of choice, although I would have tried anything to get high. That time I felt like no drug left which I haven’t tried yet.

Once I got into heroin, drugs were no longer something I did just at parties or on weekends (except for pot, which was so mainstream I didn’t even think of it as a drug). Drugs became my whole life.

Keep reading to hear about when I hit rock bottom.