He sat quietly with his dog on a bridge over the bustling Las Vegas strip. Alone. His hat sat in front of his knee in hopes of those passing would drop a dollar to help him survive.
“I use to play professional poker,” he told me. As our conversation continued I realized it was not the poker that he lost to.
It was an accident that sent him to the hospital with a back injury. He then almost whispered as he told me that he was prescribed painkillers that he quickly grew addicted to. When the prescriptions ran out, the heroin began.
Methadone is his next step in life as he aims to get off of the heroin.
Why do some grow addicted to drugs and alcohol while some do not? I do not know, but I can guess. That guess would be a previous trauma long before the injury.
The traumas could be any number of pains in life, from domestic violence to war. From child abuse to sex abuse. From witnessing a loved one murdered to watching a friend die a painful death. We all have our own trauma that we learn to medicate without proper help.
Once that medication wears off, the pain comes back greater than before. More detailed than first remembered. More real than reality.