Mental Health

I Almost Died Mixing Weed, Valium, Klonopin and Ambien – Samuel

I typically wake up from my uneasy slumber around 6 a.m., by the sound of my dad preparing for work acting as my reluctant alarm. My first ritual of the day was a visit to the bathroom, where I would often retch into the toilet. On the rare occasions when I vomited or wet the bed, I’d hastily stash a garbage bag in my room to conceal the evidence for later cleanup. These incidents became more frequent, though still infrequent enough to keep them from becoming a defining feature of my mornings. The vomit itself was a vile, dark black substance—thick, goopy, and painfully acidic. Later, I’d come to learn that it contained traces of blood, a horrifying testament to the damage I was inflicting upon myself.

I maintained a steady supply of Tums, a crutch I leaned on to counteract the corrosive effects of my addiction. Following the stomach-churning ordeal, I’d gulp down a bottle of water, take a hit from the bong to quell the nausea, and pop some Valium to steady my trembling hands. After this initial morning ordeal, I’d drift back to sleep, my body succumbing to the numbing embrace of the drugs. I’d usually awaken around noon, shaky and in need of more Valium to regain some semblance of control.

My post-midday hours were often spent in a drug-induced haze. I’d ingest shots of Captain Morgan to perpetuate the ever-present body high. Depending on my stash of weed and Valium, I’d make calls to secure more substances. My days were meticulously planned because I craved the complete intoxication that would consume me by 11 pm. This desire for an unrelenting high led me to scour my mother’s medication stash in the early evening, searching for Klonopin and Ambien to consume later. My addiction thrived on secrecy and denial, twisting my perceptions until I couldn’t distinguish the lies from reality.

If I wasn’t out with friends in the evening, I’d be glued to my computer or in the company of my girlfriend, both of us drowning in intoxication. Each Valium pill contained 10mg of sedative bliss, and I’d swallow around 20 of them daily. Nausea would often set in, either because I’d forgotten to eat or had simply taken too much, prompting me to smoke weed and consume more Tums for relief. If I didn’t want to stop drinking, I’d deliberately induce vomiting to empty my stomach, allowing me to continue the cycle of intoxication. As the night waned, I’d ingest up to 40mg of Ambien, convincing myself that it was for sleep, even though I’d stay awake, chasing an elusive body high and a surreal, psychedelic experience. Most nights ended with me alone at the computer, tears streaming down my face from 2 am to 5 am, occasionally consoled by my father when he awoke or my girlfriend when she stirred from her slumber. They, along with my substances, were my only sources of solace.

This grueling routine persisted for three long years until I reached the age of 22. The only lingering reminder of that dark chapter in my life is a bald spot of cement on my bedroom floor, where my black vomit had destroyed the carpet, necessitating its removal. When new carpeting was installed, they left that patch of exposed floor as a haunting reminder. Every morning, my feet touch that cold, unforgiving reality, serving as a poignant reminder of my past and a testament to my gratitude for being alive today. I apologize for the lengthy narrative, but this reflection comes at a crucial time, as I recently experienced a hiccup in my two-year-long journey of sobriety. Writing this has offered me a sense of catharsis and healing.

Many people, like myself, suffer the dire consequences of mixing drugs, often underestimating the dangers and the havoc it can wreak on their lives. The cocktail of substances I routinely ingested was a dangerous game of Russian roulette, a daily dance on the edge of disaster.

One of the most insidious aspects of polydrug abuse is that it intensifies the risks associated with each individual substance. When I combined heroin with meth, coke, Valium, and alcohol, it was like juggling sticks of dynamite while blindfolded. These substances can interact in unpredictable ways, amplifying their effects and magnifying the potential for overdose, accidents, or severe health complications.

The physical toll of this reckless behavior was evident in the dark, goopy vomit that I expelled each morning—blood-soaked evidence of the damage occurring inside my body. Mixing drugs not only exacerbated the harmful physical effects but also deepened the psychological and emotional turmoil I was already grappling with. It was a vicious cycle: the more I abused these substances, the more I needed them to stave off withdrawal and emotional pain. This self-destructive cycle only served to drive me further into the abyss of addiction.

Moreover, the clandestine world of addiction is a breeding ground for deceit and manipulation. I scavenged my surroundings for pills, resorting to pilfering my own mother’s medications. This behavior not only betrayed the trust of loved ones but also put their health and well-being at risk. Denial, an insidious force that thrives in the shadow of addiction, made it all too easy to rationalize my actions and distance myself from the reality of the harm I was causing.

While my story ultimately took a turn toward recovery, countless others continue to grapple with the dangerous consequences of mixing drugs. It’s a stark reminder that addiction knows no boundaries and can affect anyone, regardless of age, background, or circumstances. Recognizing the dangers of polydrug abuse and seeking help and support are crucial steps toward breaking free from the chains of addiction and reclaiming a life of health and happiness.


Dr. Oche Otorkpa PG Cert, MPH, PhD

Dr. Oche is a seasoned Public Health specialist who holds a post graduate certificate in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, an MPH, and a PhD both from Texila American University. He is a member of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK. He authored two books: "The Unseen Terrorist," published by AuthorHouse UK, and "The Night Before I Killed Addiction."
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