Does A Potential Overdose Scare Addicts?

Matt:                    What’s up, everybody? This is Matt and Greg from Project Unbroken, and today we wanted to talk a little bit about overdosing. We’ve got some questions, kind of along the lines of didn’t overdosing every kind of scare you away from using heroin, and, personally, it’s not really.

Greg:                    No.

Matt:                    I mean, not for me. You know, when Greg and I were using heroin, to my knowledge, it was the first time that fentanyl kind of came into the picture as a cutting agent for heroin. Now, 2018, fentanyl and carfentanyl, which is I think an even stronger substance to cut with, has been, I’d say, the leading factor in overdoses.

Greg:                    Yeah.

Matt:                    That’s been the biggest change. It’s just incredibly powerful stuff, and just a few micrograms, or whatever it is, will be too much. I mean, you see people that are handling the substance overdosing.

Greg:                    I saw a cop or something was handling it. He’d pulled someone over, he didn’t know it was in there, and he touched it. He was like falling over.

Matt:                    Yeah. It’s incredibly powerful, and it’s really scary. I remember … ‘Cause a lot of times, for those of you who don’t know, heroin bags will be branded. So, it’ll have a name on it. Pretty quickly, if there’s something “good” out there, word will spread that, you know, “Look for these bags,” or this. I remember even trying to keep our eye out for bags that we heard were more powerful, and you see that today. A lot of times, when there is bag going around, or a brand of heroin that’s going around that is supposed to have some of these cutting agents like fentanyl or carfentanil, they’re saying now not to warn people over social media, because people who are in their addiction will actually seek those bags out, trying to find a better high.

Greg:                    I think the people who aren’t addicts, like loved one of addicts, they’re like, “Doesn’t that scare you? I don’t get it. What’s going on-”

Matt:                    It should be common sense.

Greg:                    Yeah, like, “What’s going on there?” But, we want to kind of put you in the mind of an addict. I think you think it just won’t happen to you, and the addiction’s so strong, you’re just after the strongest high you can get. So, I mean, for people who aren’t addicts, you’ve got to understand, when you’re in the addiction especially, you just don’t think along those lines. It’s not like you might go and die, it’s like how high am I going to get? I’m not going to die. That’s not going to happen to me. I’m just going to get really high.

For us, I think, we were sniffing it, so even more so for us, we were like, “We’re just sniffing it, we’re not injecting, so that’s not going to happen to us.” So, for me, it was never really a super worry. It was never really something I thought about.

Matt:                    Yeah.

Greg:                    There was one night where I used too much, and I was … I used about three bundles that day. That’s like 39, 40, almost 40 bags of heroin. I remember I got in the shower, I was kind of like freaking out. I was really white, and I was like … My heart was beating really fast. I was like, “Am I overdosing? What is going on?” I jumped in the hot shower, and it shocked me. I jumped right back out, and I just went and laid in my bed, and my heart was pounding out of my chest. That’s really the only experience I ever had where maybe I was close to overdosing, I don’t know.

From that point, I might have thought about it a little bit, but, I mean, before then, it never even crossed my mind.

Matt:                    No. My experiences … I mean, Greg and I kind of went … Even when we were friends and using, we had kind of different patterns of use. I would do heroin and then I’d like to go out drinking. I didn’t know this until a little bit later, that that combination can be really dangerous. I mean, the combination of … A lot of times, there are several instances of people sniffing coke and then trying to come down with heroin, and that was a really bad mixture for obvious reasons.

Greg:                    Then you’ve got the people who use Xanax with opiates.

Matt:                    Xanax.

Greg:                    … ’cause it gives just that … The combo together just makes you feel so much better, I guess. Then people take Xanax, they forget how much heroin they’ve done, and that can be a really bad combo.

Matt:                    Yeah. It doesn’t take much, but, again, when you’re looking at the way an addict thinks, the thought of overdosing is rarely going … I’m probably never going to stop somebody from using.

Greg:                    No. ‘Cause, I mean, after that night that I was talking about earlier, I had to use the next morning, right away. I started not feeling that great, and what do I do? You go to what makes you feel better.

Matt:                    Yeah.

Greg:                    You’re at that low spot, you want to get back up, and that’s what you do. It’s always with your mind. You’re just kind of trying to stay ahead of feeling like crap, you’re not really thinking of overdosing.

Matt:                    Yeah. I mean, a lot of times, you see that people build a certain tolerance to heroin, or to the pills or whatever they’re doing. A lot of overdoses are coming off on a relapse.

Greg:                    Yeah.

Matt:                    So, if somebody’s off of heroin for a certain amount of time, I guess their … What’s the word?

Greg:                    Tolerance.

Matt:                    Yeah, their tolerance is just way down. So, they go back to using what they were using, and it’s just way too much for them.

Greg:                    Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Matt:                    I mean, the volume of substance that will get you high with heroin, it doesn’t take much. It’s a very little amount. It would be really hard to figure out what’s an appropriate dose.

Greg:                    Yeah.

Matt:                    I mean, to avoid an overdose.

Greg:                    Yeah, definitely. Yeah, so, I mean, that’s just … We just want to make people aware of how an addict thinks. Honestly, I don’t think overdoses really take many people away from the addiction. It’s more, “That’s not going to happen to me. I’m going to be fine.” That’s just the way, I think, most addicts think.

Matt:                    Yeah. I agree. It becomes just another part of the whole thing.

Greg:                    Definitely.

Matt:                    So, thanks for watching, guys. If you guys have any questions or topics that you would like us to cover, leave us a comment or check out our contact section on our website, We’d love to talk about anything that you guys are curious about.

Greg:                    All right. Talk to you all soon.

Matt:                    See ya.

In Category: Addiction

Greg Morrison

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