Does your friend have a drug problem?

By Author's name withheld
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The first time I smoked pot, I was 14. I was hanging out with some people and sitting on their front porch, when someone asked, "Do you want to smoke some herb?"

There was no pressure to do it, just an offer. But I was curious. I wanted to know what it felt like. So I said, "Yeah, I’ll do it."

A joint was lit and passed around. I watched how everybody smoked it. When it was my turn, I inhaled and held the puff of smoke in my mouth for about 10-15 seconds. Holding it in makes you get the feel of it even more, so you get the full effect of the herb.

After a while, I started to feel funny and everything seemed to be a big joke, including my life. When you smoke herb and get high, it numbs your senses to the point where you can’t feel any pain—until it wears off. But at that time, all I could do was laugh. I found myself laughing out loud and uncontrollably for no reason at all.

We walked around for a while and came to a bus stop. It felt like everyone there was staring at me and I couldn’t figure out why. "Why are you looking at me? Is there something on my face?" I wondered.

We went back to my friend’s house. After a while, I got tired and felt real draggy. So I laid down on the bedroom floor and fell asleep until 10 a.m. the next day. All I was thinking about was how much fun this was. I never thought I might have a problem with it.

The next day, my friend asked me, "When did you start smoking herb?" I told her that was my first time. A little while later, she got on the phone and told a friend all about our night. Little did she know, but her mother was on another phone extension and listened in. She made me call my mother and tell her what happened.

I was scared to make that call. But I had no choice. "Why would you do that?" my mom asked. Then she said, "It’s your life and if you want to mess it up, then go right ahead." She was disappointed in me, but didn’t say that directly. I could hear it in her voice.

Pot slowly took over my life

A couple of days later, I was out with my friends. We did it again and even got drunk. It was so stupid of me. It was really stupid.

After that scene, I stopped smoking for a couple of weeks. Then I went to this birthday party at a hotel. There were no parents and no supervision. Some of my friends were there drinking, smoking and of course, there was some chronic herb. I couldn’t stop myself. I’ll never forget that day, simply for the fact that I got faded like I never had before. Being faded means you get to the point where you can’t move, because you’re so high. You just post yourself in one place, otherwise you’ll fall down or the room will spin. I stayed on the bed for a few hours, until someone drove me home. I didn’t get home till 5 a.m. and then went straight to bed.

After that party, I didn’t touch a blunt again for almost six months. Then I started smoking chronic with my brother. There once was a time when he wouldn’t even let me touch the stuff, because he didn’t want to be the one to get me started. But he finally gave in and let me take a puff. That’s when I started back again.

This smoking thing started to get more frequent. I started to crave it more. It seemed like every hour of every day—even when I was in school—I’d crave it. It wouldn’t hit me when I first woke up, but just seconds later I’d want it badly. It got to the point where I couldn’t think of anything else, no matter how hard I tried.

I was already lazy, but smoking herb made my laziness even worse. I couldn’t even concentrate on my work in school. The teacher would say something and I was like, "Whatever." All I wanted was to get faded, so I wouldn’t have to worry about anything.

But smoking pot had a weird effect on me. It made it hard to control the way I spoke. Like if anyone said anything to me that I didn’t like, I’d literally curse them out without realizing it. Day by day my faults got worse and my positive side faded fast. I didn’t know the person I was becoming. I had to stop and think about why I was smoking so much, because it was destroying my life. I used to be the type of person who let things roll off my back. But instead of walking away, I blasted people out. I didn’t like the person who I was becoming.

Pot became a crutch to deal with life

One day I woke up sick. My mother made me go to school anyway. My eyes hurt and there was a lot of pressure behind them. I couldn’t stop rubbing them. I guess I kept doing that throughout the day at school.

It pissed off one of my teachers in class. We were writing in our journals and my teacher asked me, "What are you doing?" I told her that my eyes hurt and I had a headache.

Then she said, "You didn’t seem like you were sick when you were outside with your friends laughing. Why did you come to school if you didn’t feel good?"

Her attitude reminded me of a lion out looking for its prey. I opened my eyes and looked right at her. The expression on her face looked like she was disgusted with me.

At that moment, I wanted to get out of the classroom and smoke something – anything that would take my mind off of her for the rest of the day. If I was high, then her attitude and whatever else she had to say to me would have never bothered me. See, when you’re high, you just don’t care. Mean words sound like jibber-jabber. When you’re high, you’re protected from feeling angry and acting on your anger. What I really wanted to do was take a heavy book and bash her upside the head with it.

Of course I didn’t do that. I just sat in the class and was so mad that I didn’t say another word for the rest of the period.

Who was I becoming? I had to pull myself away from whatever or whomever it was that was making me like this. Really though, I knew what the problem was. I had to get control of myself and my actions, which wasn’t really easy to do since I was so deep into this. I felt that if I didn’t do something fast that I would drown in my own trouble, my own madness and my own guilt. See, I felt like the world was against me and trying to hurt me, when it was really nothing but myself running away from my own problems instead of trying to fix them.

I wanted to talk to someone about it. My mom knew I did it that one time. But I never told her that I did it again, because she’d be even more disappointed in me. It would have been hard to deal with that. I thought it would be better if I didn’t tell her.

I had to regain control

But my life was so messed up! I was behind in school. I had to get my life straight, go off to a four-year college and get a writing career. Those were the things that mattered to me.

I had a talk with my friends. I said that I needed help, and that my brother, who was getting worse, also needed help. He was getting too far into it. My friends said they’d help me and pray for my brother. We all knew smoking herb wasn’t any good and that it was wrong. We all decided to quit, and I haven’t touched it since then.

My brother still does it. He’s asked me if I want some, but I say no. It’s hard to say no, but I know better. Sometimes, he’d give me some of his alcohol mixed with orange juice. But I told him not to give that to me anymore. Whenever anyone else offers it to me, I shudder and say, "No." I know if I try it again, I’ll get sucked back in.

A lot of people don’t realize how this destroys their lives and the lives of those around them. Your family doesn’t want to see you do that, because they want to see you succeed in things. They don’t want to see you down.

When you smoke weed, there comes a time when it doesn’t fit your needs anymore. It leads you to other drugs, because you can’t feel that high from pot anymore. One friend has been doing this for a long time. I don’t hear from him until his money runs out, or he needs a place to stay.

That scares me. I don’t want to end up like him. I want a successful life. I want to get a job and help my mom out. I want to start this early. It’s easier that way. The older I get, the harder it will be to break those habits.