The death of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman is yet another wake-up call for one Quad City heroin addict who knows "there but for the grace of God go I."
"When you're playing Russian roulette everyday, you kind of accept the fact that's probably the way you're gonna go out. I heard about it, I thought about all my friends I've lost to this drug addiction. Just how easy it is to get back into that same routine where you put your life in danger every time you use," said the 21-year old from a small town in Mercer County.
He was headed to a local hospital Wednesday afternoon for detox, trying again to kick a habit that started at the age of 15 with "experimentation"at a friend's house, and hooked him, quickly.
"You're just numb to the world, and it feels good. But once you get so far along, you're not trying to get high, you're just trying not to be sick," he said,
"It's a way of life, it's a hidden taboo. Once you're in it, you're in it," he said.
"Ever since I got out of high school, I've been in and out of county jails because of my addiction. I'm so hooked on it. Even though I know I have a drug test coming up for my probation officer, I still use the drug. It's crazy."
He says he is addicted physically and mentally to heroin, but says he is going to try to stop, again. For his family who loves him. For himself, hopefully.
"It's a dangerous drug and it's one hell of an addiction, but I'm going to do my best to be a productive member of society. There's a lot of younger kids starting to use it which I think is why it's getting so much recognition in the Quad Cities, cause the younger crowd is using it," he said.
"I've lost a few friends to opiates. It's just a sad road to go down and you hurt people you love and you do things, you'd never imagine."