Greg: All right. What’s up, everyone? It is Greg and Matt here from Project Unbroken. As many of you know, we’re former drug and heroin addicts. Matt’s been off drugs about 7 years, heroin 10. Me, I’ve been off meth for 5 years, heroin about 7. We’re trying to get the word out there about drug addiction, trying to get people to live healthier lives and show them our way through addiction. Make sure you subscribe below. We got plenty more videos coming.
Greg: Today, we’re going to be talking about, how did we get into heroin? How did we get into heroin and the harder drugs? How did this happen? How did it happen? Because, actually, what’s funny is I remember sitting in class in high school. It was, like, ninth grade. And one of our teachers … It was a health class. He was talking about … There was a video on heroin.
Greg: I remember sitting there thinking exactly, “Who the fuck does heroin? What kind of idiot would be dumb enough to go and try heroin, knowing what it does?” So actually a pretty cool conversation for me because I specifically remember thinking I would never do that shit, ever.
Matt: Yeah. I don’t even … I mean, I vaguely remember thinking about heroin through high school. Again, it wasn’t that big of a deal. We had an assembly one time-
Greg: I remember that. For that girl that died?
Matt: Yeah. Yeah, and this was, I don’t know, ’99, 2000, when-
Greg: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. Freshmen or sophomore.
Matt: We’re dating ourselves a little bit here. And there was a girl from a local area high school that overdosed on heroin, and we had a big assembly about it. This was, I would say, right before … I don’t know, maybe a couple of years before the epidemic started really coming around. And same thing. This girl’s poor mother was up there, and she was just saying, “You got to watch for this. You got to watch for that.”
Matt: I was in the audience, and I was like, “What? How … I’m not going to run into this,” because it was my experience that heroin was just like a real needle in the arm, inner city … I don’t know. It just had this-
Greg: People living on the street and …
Matt: Yeah, this perception where I was like, “Where would I even find it?” It was probably a little less than five years later that I found myself using heroin. Again, that’s why anybody who’s been through this road, you know you can’t judge anybody for anything ever again because you just find yourself in those situations. I understand. Obviously, I didn’t plan on using heroin. It’s just like all of a sudden, you take these wrong steps, and the next thing you know it’s right in front of you.
Matt: What … Christ. I don’t know. Where do you think it started kind of going down that road?
Greg: I remember for me. In high school, I drank and smoke a little, but I was mainly into sports and that kind of kept me out of the party. I would go to parties and drink and all that. When I got out of high school, we moved to Philly. When we were living in Philly, someone brought up oxys to our apartment. I specifically remember he brought an 80 and cut it in fours.
Greg: Four of us took it, and I sniffed a 20 milligram oxy. I remember laying there thinking, “Oh my God.” It felt so good. For me, that’s where opiates started. That first high was just so good for me. From there, I did pills, I don’t know, an average of once a week for the next year, maybe. I would just kind of get them for the weekends and stuff.
Greg: For opiates, that’s pretty … I controlled it decently for a while. At least I thought I was controlling it. But I think if I went a week without doing it, I would be like, “Oh,” like I would really miss it. Over time, the pills kind of picked up, and it was over two years I was starting to do them a couple times a week. And then, eventually, they came around more and more, and I was doing them almost every day.
Greg: But, still, we had a friend that was into heroin at that time, and I was like, “I’m not doing that. No. I’m not taking it that far. I’m already doing the pills. That’s bad enough.” But one night, I was drinking and I couldn’t get pills. I was withdrawing a little bit, and I was with a girl that I was talking to at the time. She brought out heroin and she was like, “Do you want to try some?” I was like, “Uh …” She was like, “Well, just half a bag.” And that, I did half a bag. From that point, it was like, “Well …”
Matt: “I already did it.”
Greg: “I already did it.” Exactly. It was only half a bag. At the time, I’m thinking, “Well, all right. It’s just half a bag. I’ll do it this once. That’s it.” But then the next time pills weren’t around, guess what. “Well, I already did it once. Let me just do it one more time.”
Matt: “It wasn’t that bad.”
Greg: No, I mean, then I’ll go back to the pills. And from there, pretty quickly, the heroin just took a hold of me. It’s cheaper. It’s easier to get. Or at the time, it was cheaper; it was easier to get. That’s how my heroin addiction started, where it kind of took me by storm and took me off guard and fucked me up, really punched me in the face quite a few times, kicked me when I was down.
Matt: Yeah, yeah. That’s a similar story. I’ll be honest. I don’t remember the first time that I tried pills or whatever. I don’t even remember. Chances are I was hammered. But I do remember the first time that I noticed withdrawing from pills, and I remember, soon after that point, every time that we were out, we’re doing anything, I was like, “Let’s try to find something. Let’s try to find something.”
Matt: By this point, I was addicted. And then … Oh God. I can’t remember exactly the first time I did heroin. I …
Greg: You don’t? You know what’s funny is we actually each did heroin separately.
Matt: Yeah. I know who I was with.
Greg: Yeah. But we did it separately around … It was the same day, almost.
Matt: Because the next time, we were both with the same person. We couldn’t find any pills.
Matt: And it was like …
Greg: I think you said first … You’re like, “All right. I did it once.” I was like, “Me, too.” And then from there … That was actually bad that I had such a good friend that had also done it. That’s probably another thing that made it worse, is I had a good friend that was in it with me. So I was like, “All right. I got someone to roll with.”
Matt: Yeah. That was kind of the beginning of the end, so to speak. But, yeah, it was so gradual, and it felt very innocent for most of the way.
Greg: Yeah because, with pills, I felt like I was controlling it. I’m not doing it every day. I’m controlling it. I’m just doing it on the weekends and stuff. And then, just, it caught me off guard. I did it … It was maybe a few days in a row. I’m like, “Fuck. Well, one more day,” and it just kind of spirals.
Matt: Yeah. Then you just feel like shit. Then I started to notice we would buy more and more and more pills at a time. I remember we would buy five each or whatever it is, which would last me a day or two days. But as soon as I got them and I would start thinking of, like, “Okay, I can take two now and then two tonight and then two tomorrow …” As soon as I bought them, I’d be like, “Fuck. I wish I had more,” already.
Matt: And then I remember, one time, Greg bought a fucking bag of pills. It was like a trash bag full of pills. I don’t even know if you remember this.
Greg: Probably not. I don’t remember.
Matt: It was when we were living in Philly. You got them from some woman that you worked with.
Greg: Oh yeah. The gas station.
Matt: Yeah, and it was … Even then, I don’t even know how many pills you had. It was probably 500+, and I was like, “I wish we had some more.” That’s when I started to realize this is becoming a problem because it’s never, ever enough. The first time that I withdrawed off those pills, I was back home. I wasn’t with Greg or anybody who really messed around with that stuff, and I was out with my buddy just grabbing a beer.
Matt: It was in the middle of summer, and I remember drinking a beer with him and I had the cold sweats. I was like, “Is it cold in here?” And this kid was like, “What the fuck are you talking about?” I was like, “Oh no. I’m starting to have a physical dependency to these pills.” At the time, the idea wasn’t get out now while you still can. It was go find some fucking pills.
Greg: Yeah. Do you remember the first time you ever did cocaine or anything like that, you know, the harder-
Greg: You do?
Greg: How did that happen? How did that progression happen? Obviously, you had already drank. You had already smoked. Was that before pills, after pills?
Matt: It was before pills.
Greg: Was it?
Matt: Yeah. We had some friends that just started selling coke, and it was … I think it was my 18th birthday.
Greg: Oh, was it?
Greg: So when it started, it was like a celebration, maybe, you would say?
Matt: Yeah. Well, it was a celebration, and then, looking back on it, it was my friends trying to get me fucking addicted to something that I would buy off of them. That’s what it was. It was like, “Hey, here’s the good shit. Enjoy.” But I’ll say right now, for me, cocaine never had the same addictive qualities as heroin did. Coke, the idea was just the immediate crash after. I was like, “I don’t want to [inaudible 00:09:01].”
Greg: Well, we talk about this a lot. It depends on the person. For me, that was always the thing that drew me away from cocaine, was the coming down. But there’s people who don’t come down as hard that I think it’s very addicting for them. So we’re not saying cocaine’s not addictive in any way.
Matt: Just personally.
Greg: For us. It was never really addictive for me because I never wanted to come down because it sucked so bad.
Matt: Yeah. No, I mean, heroin was just a little bit different, or opiates in general, where I felt at home. There was never … I would typically just fall asleep. I would never come down and get super fucking depressed. I would just kind of fall asleep, wake up the next day, and be like, “Man, I want some more of that.” It was never as dramatic, but it did … It just grips … It’s like a python, just grips you up slow. And you don’t really notice, but just every breath you take, it’s like …
Greg: Till it has you.
Matt: Tightens up.
Greg: I think people are always saying, well … Like people who talk about addicts, they’re like, “Fucking dumbasses. They do it to themselves.” A lot of them don’t realize it kind of creeps up on you.
Matt: It creeps up. Yeah. A lot of it, you just rationalize with yourself. You’re sick and you’re like, “All right, this is a problem. Let me get through today, and then I have the weekend and I don’t have to work. So I can just be sick then.” But then you get to the weekend. You don’t want … Nobody ever wants to be fucking dope sick.
Greg: Right. Then you feel the sickness, and you’re like, “Fuck this. Maybe I’ll just start tomorrow.”
Matt: It’s a phone call away, and it’s just easy to get to. But as far as us getting into it or anybody getting into it, I don’t think … Nobody ever deliberately is like, “I want to start doing heroin.” From the stories we hear-
Greg: Or any drug, really, right?
Matt: Yeah. Well, I’ll say, from the stories we hear … Maybe not any drug because, every once in a while, I think some people might be like, “Hey, I want to get stoned. I want to smoke some weed.” I think that’s more common. I don’t think anybody sets out immediately to just try heroin.
Matt: I feel like, again, from our experience and the people that we hear from the most, it’s more of just like it either came from a medical situation where they had a surgery, they’re taking these pills for 30 days, now they’re addicted, and they want to … You’re just trying not to be sick. Or, recreationally, you’re taking pills.
Matt: I’ll say, for most people that we hear from, finding heroin stems from pill abuse.
Greg: Oh yeah, 100%. I think 80% of heroin addicts come from pills. Some stat like that.
Matt: Yeah. It’s a major fucking gateway to heroin because the with … I think the withdrawal facts are so … or the symptoms are so serious that you don’t care. You’re like, “Yeah, whatever. It’s heroin. I just don’t want to feel this way anymore.”
Greg: I think two major factors of getting into that drug … The question of today is, how do you get into the harder drugs? I think two of the main contributing factors are who you’re hanging around, so if they’re bringing it around, and then, once you try it once, it’s like you’ve already tried it.
Greg: So that’s two things you got to be careful of, is even trying a drug once, because who knows? You might love that drug, and the more you like something, the more you’re likely to do it more and more, and the more likely you’ll be addicted to it. If you never try it, you never know, and you can never say, “Well, I already did it once,” kind of like I did with heroin.
Greg: And then who you’re hanging around. If you’re not hanging around people who have drugs on them, you’re not likely to drive to the block to look for heroin if you’ve never done heroin before. Right?
Greg: So those are two big things to be careful of, is never trying it in the first place, and then just who you’re hanging around.
Matt: Yeah. Once you cross that threshold of trying it, it’s just the way our brains work. It’s like, “Well, it’s not that big of a deal.”
Greg: “I’ll just do it one more time.”
Matt: It’s a big deal. Yeah. It’s a big deal.
Greg: Yep. Yep. That’s it for tonight. I hope you all enjoyed this video. Make sure you subscribe below. We’ll have a new video coming out soon, so make sure you catch that, and we’ll talk to you all later.
Matt: See you guys.