My son Jeff’s story is the cautionary tale. He did not stop using in a moment of clarity, and in its place find serenity, beauty and the goodness of himself and others. Jeff stopped using because, at 28, he is living at home, blind, no use of his left arm, no short-term memory, little contact with the outside world with and no ability to gain access to drugs.
Yes, this can happen. Not just death…but living with the results of major strokes and disabilities. And it happens quickly…dirty needles…major coronary infections…emergency valve replacements…blood clots to the brain…seizures…blindness…paralysis…impaired memory.
Sorry this is not a cheerful story, but it’s what happened. Death is the easy exit. Being alive and aware of what you’ve done to yourself and living with it for the next few decades….that’s Hell. Prison is a pleasure compared to the life he will be leading…with no hope for improvement.
So this is not exactly a story of Hope. But perhaps you understand the awful consequences that are no more than the next hit away.