A page-turning memoir from a former opioid addict in an opioid addicted community—and an up-close look at America's new health crisis.
Behind closed doors, millions of people abuse opioids. Nicholas Bush was one of them. In this beautifully poignant and refreshingly honest memoir, Bush boldly allows readers into his addiction-ravaged community. We see how heroin nearly claimed his life on multiple occasions, how it stole the lives of his young siblings and friends, and how it continues to wage a deadly toll on American neighborhoods—claiming thousands of lives and decreasing the average lifespan. But we also see that there is a way off of the devastating rollercoaster of opioid addiction, even for the most afflicted. Nicholas fights for recovery, claws his way out of a criminal livelihood, and finds his footing with faith and family, providing Americans with the inspirational story that is deeply needed today.
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|Product dimensions:||8.60(w) x 5.50(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
My mind is etched with memories, both good and bad. They’re with me day in and day out. Some are so warming that I cannot help but let them bring a smile to my face—and some are more like daggers or a searing fire inside me. Sometimes they weigh so heavily on me that I cannot breathe and I have to find a place to store them.
What I’ve attempted to do in the following pages is to piece together episodes from my past. While I’ve been honest about the appeal my choices held for me at the time, I’ve tried not to engage in hollow boasting about past episodes, which would be dishonoring and distasteful. I could have gloried the partying lifestyle I led, as countless movies, novels, and songs have done, but I would be committing an injustice to the truth if I neglected to mention the criminal lifestyle that the nonstop party path led me to. I ended up in military school against my will, was the subject of three felony investigations, was in and out of jail five times and on probation twice, and was brought in for questioning, often in handcuffs, more times than I can remember.
And then there was the pain my addiction caused me and those around me. At various times I was homeless, held at gunpoint, robbed, had my apartment ransacked (more than once), and was in rehab (twice). Two of my family members and three of my friends died from heroin overdoses, and two of my friends were shot to death. But these aspects of my story, while worth mentioning here and elaborating on later in greater detail, are not what I want readers to take away from this book. The essence of what I hope you carry with you after reading my story is the knowledge that there is help and hope for addiction. This is not an instructional book on how to get better; I’m certainly not a therapist or a doctor. But if you are a reader who is struggling with addiction or you are a family member or friend of one, I cannot in good faith tell my story without first telling you that you or your loved one can get better. I was once broken, hopeless, and lost. I’ve had two near-fatal overdoses, and suffered from disease and paralysis; it’s a miracle I’m still alive. Please know that even if rock bottom has been hit, there is still a path of escape, a path of recovery.
I also want to show the judicial system that addiction is a scientifically proven behavioral disease that cannot be punished out of a person. A more progressive approach is needed in order to monitor addicts who refuse treatment and to motivate and support those who struggle to get it.
I will now tell you my story: an entry into a world that is frequently spoken about, but of which there are very few insider accounts. It’s estimated that more than thirty-six million people around the world abuse opioids. More than forty thousand people in the United States alone die annually from opioid abuse. The average life span in the United States is actually decreasing because of opioid abuse. If we don’t take action, this public health crisis will continue to worsen. Even if it’s not personally affecting you, you still need to know that it’s spreading like wildfire all across America. The statistics show that it’s likely either in your house or one nearby, that of a neighbor, family member, colleague, or friend. You may know it’s happening or you may not. Appearances can be deceiving.
May you find in these pages not only a wild but true story of adventure and redemption, of victory and freedom, of death and life, but also provocative insight and answers to your own life questions. As you embark on this journey with me remember one thing: those people locked in the vise grip of addiction are still just that: people. Please be good to one another.