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March 21, 2008 / Brittany Hendrick

Hey, I still like to have fun at parties!

I’ve been high many times.  I still get high on occasion.  I like it.  A part of me wishes I could feel like that every day.  Therein lies the problem.

See, I know myself pretty well; I always have.  I know I’d be an addict if I touched anything other than what I’ve had thus far.  I’m not an amphetamine type person, so I know that group of drugs would not be a problem, ever.  It’s those opiates, barbiturates and hallucinogens that I would not be able to stop.

Karl Hyde of Underworld once said that he’s never used drugs because “it’d be all over.” (Hyde abused alcohol instead).  I believe him.  I wish I could find the exact quote.  But it sums it up for me, too.  It’d be all over.

I was 15 years old the first time I got high.  Maybe 14.  I can’t remember exactly.

(late bloomer!)

Oh, yeah?! At least my first time getting high wasn’t off some dry, wonky marijuana or rubber cement or Reddi-Wip can (“rhowr-rhowr-rhowr,” as my sister describes its effects) with my friends in the toolshed behind the house on a Saturday night while the parents were at bowling league. That Kindergarten shit had no place in my schedule. I did it the right way, the grown-up way: I freebased cocaine.

Just kidding.

I had a really bad headache, probably a migraine.  My dad– instead of giving me Tylenol or Advil like a normal person– gave me Midrin.  Two of them.

Midrin is not a narcotic, but it sure does act like one.  At that time it was before I started playing sports year-round and weightlifting, so I’d weighed about 105 pounds.

I knew what drugs were, of course.  I grew up watching Miami Vice and Crime Story. I’d seen R-rated movies.  I knew who Mr. Brownstone was.  Drugs just weren’t at the forefront of my mind.  And if it wasn’t called “Darvocet” or “Percodan” or didn’t have an explicit codeine association, I didn’t think a pill could affect you similarly otherwise.  Two Midrin for a 105 lb. girl who’d never been high before, who didn’t even know what Midrin was or what it could do… was an eye-opening experience.

I remember feeling… “funny.”  Different than how I normally felt.  I knew something was out of the ordinary.  All I wanted to do was sit in a chair, smile and bob my head a bit as if I were listening to reggae music.  I don’t even like reggae, but I looked like a huge fan at that moment.  I told my dad:

“I just feel like… ’Yeah!’”

Sitting in my chair, not really knowing what was going on.  Smiling, flying, highing… jammin’. But I didn’t KNOW I was high.  My dad found this to be amusing.  I don’t think he was playing a cruel trick on me.  Maybe he thought I was “ready” for something stronger because he knew it’d knock out my headache.

Not only did the Midrin knock out my headache, it knocked ME out, too.  After enjoying my imaginary, silent reggae jam, I was ready for a nap.  I slept for at least two hours.  It was the best nap ever.  I felt much better after I awoke.  And I still hated reggae.  Yeah, I was back to normal.  My dad let me keep the rest of the pills because they didn’t work for my stepmother. How nice of him.

My dad was always good about taking care of me when I was sick even as a little girl (that sounds awfully Munchausen-y, but it wasn’t like that at all).  After all, his favorite book practically was the Physicians’ Desk Reference (1976 edition, I believe), which he kept on the bookshelf part of his nightstand.


This big, red book was extremely noticeable against the super-inferior Reader’s Digest, begging to be perused.  I was a kid and didn’t understand a bit of that “boring” book with the tiny print.  But for some odd reason, every once in a while I liked looking at the “interesting” pages in the middle: the color pictures of all the pharmaceutical drugs on the market.  What fascinated me about that section of the PDR were the various shapes, sizes and colors of the pills.  Purple, hexagonal, pink, octagonal, green, oval!  Who knew I’d later like them for more than just their looks.

Since my first experience, I’ve exercised mindfulness not to get too friendly with the p-killaz (and Xanax, and Zyprexa, and I’m currently resisting Lunesta, but I might try one anyway because I’ve had trouble sleeping for a month now!).  They’re not constantly on my mind, but I make sure to busy myself with something else when the thought occurs.

Fortunately I am well aware of what painkillers do to your, um, systems.  You’ve seen the movie Trainspotting. Well, that doesn’t sound like fun to me.  Also, pills are expensive to buy off the street (which I’ve never done); I don’t have the money to burn.  Lastly, I’m paranoid that if I did buy pills off the street, they wouldn’t be what they should be; they could be counterfeit, or they could be something worse.

Still, technically, I abuse pain pills, I suppose.  Whenever they are prescribed to me– and I rarely go to the doctor– I never use them for their intended purpose, never for the ailment at hand.  I have high tolerance for pain, so it works out.  I hang on to the pills.  I save them for a day when I’m not in pain necessarily, but simply want them. They could be for a “good” day or a “bad” day.

When I was 22 or 23 years old, I did have my one stupid moment of using pills improperly in the worst way.  My older brother had a New Year’s Eve party at his house.  He thought it’d be a great idea to take some [weak, time-release] Darvocet with our drinks.  I was a bit reticent, but he reminded me that the pills weren’t that strong.  He took two– he’s a lot bigger than I am, of course– and I took one with my vodka and cranberry juice.

A half hour later, I still wasn’t feeling anything, so I took another pill.  That finally did me in.  My body wouldn’t let me have any of it.  I got sick (I had prescience, thankfully) and literally spent the night on the upstairs bathroom floor.  I missed midnight and “Auld Lang Syne” (not that I ever cared about that anyway), but I could hear everyone continue celebrating downstairs while I was sweating it out like W.S. Burroughs in my fancy dress on the cold tile floor upstairs.

Actually, the tile didn’t feel that unfriendly to me.  That tile was as soft and cushiony as the beds at the Hotel Andra in Seattle, Washington.  I’ll never forget that mattress.  Nor that tile floor.  After the sickness passed, I felt pretty good, but I wasn’t moving.  Nope, I was doing juuuuust fine where I was.  At some point my mom came in and wrapped a blanket around me.  I am not being sarcastic when I say that I had one of the best night’s sleep on that Angel-Soft bathroom floor.

I woke up the next morning feeling refreshed, as if I didn’t almost accidentally kill myself the night before.  I suffered no day-after repercussions, but I wasn’t going to take pills with alcohol ever again.

It’s seemingly contradictory to posit that I know I’d be a drug addict even though I haven’t lost control to OPIATES of all things, without a progression. Therefore, how do I really know I’d be an addict?  Is that possible?  Yes.  I’m sure research has been conducted on these sorts of things.  But it’s not my job to look it up.  If you’d like to argue with me about it, find some research or a case study, present it to me and I’ll happily refute your claims.


One Comment

Leave a Comment
  1. mikewright / Aug 19 2009 1:13 pm

    Drugs are bad!


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