Coming To Terms With The Label

Most people will not admit to being an “addict”.  What comes with that word is nothing good.  People simply do NOT want to be thought of as a drug addict.  This is very common and very easy to understand why.  Perhaps, an addict knows within their heart that they are indeed an addict, but admitting this out-loud is another story.

For many years, I would never admit that I was an opioid addict.  I was ashamed and embarrassed.  This was NOT suppose to happen to me.  I was on top of the world prior to becoming fully addicted to Fentanyl.

In the end, we are all addicts.  We are in the same boat.  But, how we got there might be very different.  Some became addicted after trying drugs for recreation.  Others might have been pressured into trying Heroin or Pain Pills. 

Then, we also have a lot of people who became addicts after legally being prescribed opioids by their Doctor.  This was my situation.


I was on strong opioids BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER a series of reconstructive surgeries to repair damage in my shoulder and neck.  My ordeal lasted more than a decade and I am still coping with physical pain today.  But, I don’t take opioids anymore.  I simply can’t.  Addiction and Alcoholism runs in my family and it is genetic. 

If your parents or uncles were an addict, you have a high chance of becoming the same if you ever begin taking opiates or opioids ( Heroin or Pain Pills) over a long period of time.

I felt with my situation that ANYONE who would take these powerful opioids like I did for as long as I did would become addicts too.  Maybe this is the case or maybe not.  There are plenty of people who get prescribed pain medications and never become addicted.  They might become dependent, but that is totally different than addicted.

When you take opioids like Fentanyl or OxyContin for long periods of time your body become tolerant to the drug.  You need more of it to get the same pain relief you had in the past.  This is what happened to me.  I began finishing my prescription two weeks early every month. 

I needed to take more so that my pain would be reduced.   My Doctor would not refill my script early therefore I would go into hardcore withdrawal every month waiting for my refill. 

I was locked in and did not know what to do.  I was being controlled by this stupid substance and that was way out of my character.  But, this is the danger.  Opiates can take control over anyone and everyone no matter how disciplined you are. 

They are stronger than you are.  You CAN beat your addiction and this is exactly what we talk about on this site  We are here to use our experience to help others. 

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When preparing articles for our Readers, we like to go straight to the source.  We can learn more by listening directly to addicts and recovering addicts.  We thank Gail Gabbert from Opiate Support Group, for providing us with this PodCast.

Click the link below to listen to a group of recovering opiate addicts ‘spill their guts’ about admitting to the label of being an “addict”.


heroin and opioid opiate addiction


These are honest and strong people, because rarely does one immediately identify themselves as having an addiction.  The causes and progression of addiction are complex and unfold over time. 

Resistance to the label of addiction is common.  Listen to this support group as they discuss their thinking as they came to accept the label of ‘addict’.

Discussion Guide:


  • When was the point in your life that you accepted that you were addicted to a substance?


  • What was your thinking process as you came to accept that you were an addict?


  • What were the consequences of your drug use? Did the negative consequences present a red flag that you were addicted?


  • Did you compromise your values over time? Did this change of values present a red flag that you were addicted?


  • Did you lose control of your behavior? Was this a red flag that you were addicted?


  • What did your loved ones telling you? Was that a red flag?


  • What was your substance abuse trying to tell you? It could have been trying to tell you something about your life, something that needs to change, or a trauma that hasn’t healed.


  • Have you participated in psychotherapy to address the underlying issues of addiction?



  ⇓   ⇓   Click On The Link Below To Listen To PodCast   ⇓  ⇓

Am I An Addict?  Coming To Terms With The Label


Supplemental Reading:

Sam Dylan Finch, 5 Better Questions to Ask Than ‘Am I an Alcoholic?’,


heroin and opioid abuse addiction


Please Share This Posts To Reach Others.


Heroin Treatment Options


Tell Us Your Story By Commenting Below.


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4 thoughts on “AM I AN ADDICT?

  1. I am new to HERO in me. After years of pain and suffering, I feel like a hero after multiple years with out a slip or dip. But I want to speak in my -st 24.hrs which is the miracle of its own. 25-30 years in and out of prisons and rehabilitation, the real test was when I was free on my own. I would fail in less than a week. I never had 24hrs clean on my own. Only in rehab and jails. I tried every group, meetings, and self help stunts to realize that I was to weak without help. I met and married a woman in recovery (not recommended) that was 27 years my junior but with her and my 2year old daughter, I have been sober going on 7 years this year. I would pray and believe what I prayed about. Always started like God I need the strength to get clean and stay clean. It wasn’t instant but by the time I realized that my addiction was arrested and I had more than 99 days clean before the light went off that said, my prayers have been answered. No exact date or moment. Just looked at my wife and said, honey, I noticed that I have not been sick or getting high in a while now. Then and only then I thanked God and I spread the joy of recovery. I believe now that everyone has got to find what works for them 12 step meetings was my trigger. Helping youths get out of gangs and off drugs by volunteering with my local out reach program at my local sheriffs dept, changed my life and was the spark that helped me over that 24 hr mad moment that some how I didn’t focus on myself but others and for me, it was the miracle of becoming sober. I still volunteer but now I’m a home owner, husband, father at 53 years old, and since 16yrs old without jail, or rehab, I’m working a different kind of program but one that has been working for me. Said this to say, the 1 st 24hrs is the miracle and that what works for me may not work for you but keeping praying and working towards that goal of recovery and something will help keep you sober like I found mine in helping others. I can’t help someone then bump into them at the dealers. That helped me stay serious and it worked. Most important advice I have that I heard and helped me is no matter how long, how much, or how bad, never give up in yourself.

    1. Hi Man, Thanks for writing on our site. It is true that they recommend we do not meet and get involved in relationships with other recovering addicts. However, it is what it is and sometimes you cannot prevent this. Therefore, I say go with it and be careful. HELP EACHOTHER. Use what you have learned to help each other get better.

      Congratulations on being sober for 7 years now. That is about how long I have been without any opioids. I became very addicted to Fentanyl after it was prescribed legally BEFORE, DURING and AFTER 6 reconstructive surgeries to my neck and shoulder. I then had nerve tumors causing excrutiating pain and it still causes pain for me today. However, unlike otherw who suffer in pain, I CANNOT take opioid pain medications.

      I am hoping and praying for the day that they invent a medication that is like Tylenol or Advil, but has the potency and strength as Fentnayl or Morhpine. Doctors have already created such a pain medicine but it has to go through years of FDA approval. This would help prevent the opioid crisis since most start on heroin after taking prescribed medications of opioid. What do you think about this? What kinds of medicines were you on and which did you try to help you in rehab?

      Your story brings tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing. More and more people (like us) need to read stories like yours to let people know that it is possible. Through prayer and patience people can get clean and stay clean. But, you have to bring God into the mix. You have to pray and believe. You have to be patient and allow God to work in your life because, ,like you said, it usually does not happen instantly or over night. You are a work in progress, as we all are. if you are an addict…give your recovery time. Eliminate any triggers that you know of.

      Most of all, NEVER EVER GIVE UP. if you have been to rehab 20 times….Go another 20 times if you need to before you get completely sober. Whatever it takes, just do not give up and say rehab does NOT work. Find what works for you…keep trying. Talk to different doctors and specialists. Talk to your family and ask for help.

      The biggest challenge with most addicts is asking for help. Addicts do not want to be known as addicts. They are afraid to ask for help and admit they have a major problem that they themselves CANNOT fix. Face it, addicts cannot fix their own problem. They need help getting off Heroin or Pain Pills or Opiates or Opioids. You cannot do it alone. You need GOD, PRAYER, FAMILY SUPPORT, DOCTORS, REHAB, medications to help you detox, and anything else that helps.

      As you know, it took you years before you became totally sober. You are a testament and proof that it is possible. I did it and you did it. We are not anything special. We are not different than any other addict. We are all in the same boat. We are all alike. This means that anyone and everyone can get sober like we did. It might be different for different people. Some may struggle longer and harder. but, if you do not give up and you WANT to be come sober for the rest of your life, then you will accomplish this if you simply do not give up.

      But, you have to ask for help. Ask God for help and ask family for help. Then go to rehab for help. You must do this you cannot fix yourself on your own. That has been tried and it never works so dont try it.

      Thanks again for your story and please share our site so that more people can read your story and read mine. We have other stories on this site to help people.

      I agree, never ever give up. You found that helping others was helping you. That is great. I found that writing and sharing this blog website about being HERO as an addict is helping me stay sober. by helping others digitally and online come to my site and read our articles and search for help….this is what has helped me with my recovery. Helping others is the best way. Thanks, stay strong and share your story to help others….Matt Bronowicz




  3. It takes time to come to terms with being called an addict. I finally did, but I am no longer ashamed or embarrassed. What happened to me happened and there is nothing I can do about it except make some good come out of it.

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