Julian Bush says he’s running out of room on his body to garland tattoos, as he points to the “Reckless” ink laced around his neck.
“It’s another addiction,” the 34-year-old said, tugging his cap tighter around his forehead.
But Bush delineates the crowded body art from the addictions he’s suffered most of his life. He started smoking pot when he was 7. By age 11, he was drinking with his friends. By high school, he was on to hard drugs: cocaine and amphetamines. During sophomore year, he left school and took odd jobs in the construction industry, where he saw other workers abusing substances. “I thought it was normal,” he says.
And while Bush says he grew up in an addict home, he doesn’t blame his environment or his parents for letting heroin seduce him. Looking back, he was self-medicating. “I never felt like I fit in,” says Bush. “I was always an outsider.”
No one wants to get hooked on heroin, or any other opioid. Researchers explain that opioids barrage the brain with dopamine, a naturally occurring chemical messenger that plants a sense of feel-good calmness in the body. Inhale, ingest or smoke the drugs once, and the opiates rewire the brain’s circuitry, signaling the addict to restore the body to its tranquil state with more drugs.
For Bush, this ultimately meant needing a package of dope to get up and shower – to live.
Read more in our partner The Nashua Telegraph