Life stood still

This is the second in a series about the dangers of opiate addiction, two citizens who experienced that first hand, and the help available for Pokagon community members. The first installment appeared in January’s issue of Pokégnek Yajdanawa.

One citizen’s story of hitting his lowest point in life

Jacob quickly moved from pills to powder to IV injections, and there he stayed for six years, crippled by heroin addiction. Jacob says getting high was his only focus everyday, and life never moved. He was almost frozen in time because when he finally came to, nothing had changed.

Jacob “borrowed” money from friends and family, sold what he owned anytime someone offered him cash, and shoplifted when he ran out of his own possessions to sell. By the end, he had nothing but his addiction and his GED.

“That was just because my GED I couldn’t sell,” Jacob said. “If I’d have been able to sell someone the diploma or whatever for $20, I’m sure I would have.”

Jacob used all the resources he had to get high, including his per cap checks. He felt like he was doing well because he was able to get high most everyday, despite who he was hurting—including himself.

“It’s a lot of effort into driving your life in the wrong direction,” Jacob said. “At the end of the day, you have nothing to show for it. The next day, you wake up and you’re in the same position. Nothing ever gets better.”

Jacob lived with his mom, Marci Davis, but their relationship strained. Jacob would stop using for short periods of time, but he would always pick up the habit again and again.

“I was to the point, with heroin, that I was ready to give up living in my own home,” Jacob said. “I was ready, if it came down to it, to leave before I quit doing heroin. I was ready to live on the streets instead of stopping getting high.”

After six years of this lifestyle, Jacob had lost 20 pounds and weighed only 98 pounds at 5-foot 9-inches tall. He couldn’t see the cycle he was repeating because his addiction blinded him. When he overdosed in his bedroom one evening, his hair drenched in sweat and skin pale white, he said at the time he had just fallen asleep. Even near death was not an awakening. But that night led to his addiction’s end.

Police asked Marci, Jacob’s mom, if they could search his room that night, and a few months later, they charged Jacob with possession of an illegal substance. He paid his bond, but he was quickly jailed again in a different county while out on bond from the first arrest. He checked into a rehab facility while on probation, but he left early and failed his next drug test. This failure sent him back to jail, and this time he couldn’t leave so easily.

But this is not where Jacob’s story ends.

In this series’ final installment, find out how Jacob finally got clean for good and how he’s living now. Read it in next month’s newsletter.

Read part two of Marci's story