***WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE, DRUG USE AND SEXUAL SITUATIONS…***
(by Randy E. Halprin)
A memoir on drugs
When most addicts give their accounts or testimonies on how drug use began
for them it usually starts with smoking, then weed and it snow balls into
bigger and more dangerous drugs.. Some start out of peer pressure, some out
of curiosity or deeper more emotional reasons. For me, it started out of
boredom. It was purely recreational and I didn‟t even intend for it to go
beyond that. I pretty much disdained any association of being called a drug
user. Drug users were people like my biological parents. I was not one of
In 1994 things in my life began to shift dramatically. I was at the stage
in my teenage life where I didn‟t know who I was, or who I wanted to be. I
had just broken up with the girl who I gave my virginity to and my best
friend Wayne and I began to argue regularly. This had a lot to do with the
fact that he stayed friends with my ex (They lived near each other in Ohio)
and I considered this a betrayal to me. I was tired of hanging around
preppier students and began to hang out with a more „alternative‟ crowd.
Wayne and me had been best friends at Oneida for two years. We were pretty
much inseparable. Thanksgivings would be spent with him and his family and
he came to Texas with me one summer. We both had a crazy sense of humor and
loved pulling pranks together. I remember one time this guy Billy was
accusing him of trying to steal a girl Billy was trying to win over. I was
the one who was trying to steal the girl (And successfully did..) and heard
the argument outside my room door. I stepped out into the hallway and saw
they guy pushing Wayne. I was surprised that Wayne was not fighting back,
but seeing him being pushed brought out my protective side and I stepped in
the middle of them. "What‟s your problem, Billy?" I said. "Stay out of
this Randy. He‟s trying to steal my girl." He said. "Are you an idiot?
He‟s not trying to steal your girl. I am. Dude, she likes me not you. Get
over it." This made him mad and he tried to swing at me. I blocked the
punch and hit him hard in the mouth. He was stunned and held his lip.
Wayne grabbed me and said, "Dude, just let him go. You‟ll just end up
kicking his ass."
It was tearing me up inside that we were losing our closeness and were
letting it slip away. Adolescence is like a kaleidoscope, it‟s always
changing. Our friendship pretty much came to an end on a night I had a
break from work. I was a hall monitor and was lucky if I could get into bed
before two in the morning, so I planned on going to bed early this
particular night. We hadn‟t really talked in days and every time I did see
him he was with my ex.
As I had been dozing off, he walked into the room and turned on the lights.
"What are you doing?" I asked. "Oh, I just had to grab something real
quick." He said. He did whatever he had to do and then left without
turning off the lights. I got up, turned off the lights and tried to go
back to sleep. About twenty minutes later he came back in, turned the
lights on and sat on our couch and began to play Nintendo. "What the fuck,
man?" I said. "I‟m just taking a break. Chill." "C‟mon, dude! We don‟t
get any sleep as it is, can you let me sleep? I gotta go meet Tracy at
breakfast." "Sure. Yeah. So, what‟s the deal with you two anyways? You
trying to go out with her?" He said.
"No. We‟re just friends. Can I go to sleep or what?"
"Alright. I‟m gone." He got up, turned off the lights and walked out.
I guess I finally fell asleep, because about an hour later he comes back in,
turns on the light and begins to make all sorts of noise. I‟d had enough.
I was going to use my „authority‟ as a hall monitor and put my foot down.
Wayne was only a dorm clean up crew supervisor, so technically I could tell
him what to do." Look, man, I told you a billion times. I‟m trying to
sleep. If you‟ve got a problem with me, we‟ll take it up tomorrow. Please.
Please let me sleep? If not, I‟m going to write your ass up."
"Mr. Garret said I could have the lights on to study."
"You‟re playing the freakin‟ Nintendo. I could give a shit if you do that,
just turn off the lights."
"Nope. Mr. Garret said it was okay to study." Wayne said.
"Fuck! We‟ll just find out!" I jumped out of bed, put on some jeans and
stormed into the hallway. I had no intentions of going to tell and so I
walked around the hallway, came back into the room, grabbed a couple of
quarters and headed down stairs to the soda machine to get a Mountain Dew.
There would be no sleep tonight.
When I got the soda, I headed outside to clear my head. There was something
calming about a crisp Kentucky autumn-
outside I saw Wayne talking with one of our Dorm Deans, Mr. Heffelfinger.
For some reason this made me really mad, so I walked over to them and said,
"Hey, Mr. Heffelfinger? Do you know if Wayne has permission to turn on the
lights or not?" Wayne gave me a look that said, „snitch‟ and I smirked back
What happened next is a bit foggy, but I remember Mr. Heffelfinger saying
something and then Wayne said a real smart assed comment. Next thing I know
me and him are fighting, rolling around on the grass. Mr. Heffelfinger and
another student grabbed us, the student saying, "What the hell? You guys
are best friends! What‟s y‟alls problem?" I thought Mr. Heffelfinger would
write us up and have us suspended, but he told us to both go to our room. I
went back in, grabbed my towel and shower stuff and went to take a shower.
The next few days we never muttered a word to each other. I spent most of
the afternoons after school with Tracy and her friends. During my hall
monitor shift at night I‟d hang out with two guys who were in the
„alternative‟ crowd, Matt and Tom. We all liked the same music and got
along great. They asked me if I was interested in being a roommate.
"Are you kidding? I‟d love to." I replied. "Well, we weren‟t sure, being
that you and Wayne are so tight." Matt said. "Were." I said. "Who else
you trying to get to move in with you?" I asked.
"You know Demetrius?" Tom said.
"Yeah, the black dude who people make fun of „cause he acts white. Sure."
"Him. He‟s real laid back and a trip. We‟re going to have the best room
ever. Fuckin‟ A. You smoke weed?" Tom said.
"No. I don‟t do drugs. Sorry." I replied.
"Oh. Well, it‟s cool. You‟ll drink, right?"
"Yeah, I‟ve had alcohol before, but I‟m pretty much against that all. I
don‟t see any harm in it though."
"It‟ll be a kick ass room. 202! Woohoo!" Matt said.
"Hey, what‟s up with you and Tracy? You trying to get with her?"
"For the last time..No!" I said.
"Is it true you fucked Amy?" Tom asked. And the night went on. I had my
I moved into room 202 and it was insanely fun. I hadn‟t had this much fun
in a long time. One night one of my friends, Jim came into our room with
some bottles of cough syrup. "Dude! Look what we just scored!" Jim said,
excitedly. Matt looked at the bottles. "Cough syrup? What the hell are we
gonna do with some couch syrup? The shit ain‟t got no alcohol."
"Trust me, this shit will fuck you up." Jim said.
I grabbed a bottle and looked at the dark liquid inside. "What does it do
to you?" I asked. "Dude, it‟s like trippin‟ without the visuals." Jim
replied. "Fuck..There‟s nothing else to do tonight. Got no homework, free
time is shut down. We could drink it and then go to the grill.." Tom said.
"How did you get this stuff anyways? Dude, look, the shit is almost past
it‟s expiration date..Is it safe?"
"Yeah. It‟s cool. We drank a bottle the other night. The warehouse has a
shit load of this stuff and Mike works there so he just grabbed a bunch."
I thought about it for a second and though; well, it is (only) cough syrup.
What harm could it do? I think I was more intrigued than anything and I
know it wasn‟t peer pressure because nobody had ever given me a hard time
for turning down weed or anything else.
"Alright. I‟ll do it. We drink it now?" I said.
"Yeah. Hell yeah. Then we‟ll all go to the grill." Matt said.
"Dude, I don‟t want to be messed up with your sister there." I said.
"She‟s at play practice. Besides, she wouldn‟t care. What‟s the deal
between you town anyways?" Jim said. I shrugged my shoulders.
We drank the cough syrup. It was the nastiest thing I‟d ever tasted. Four
ounces of a thick sickly sweet syrup disguised to taste like cherries. I
almost puked. After about forty five minutes or so, my face began to feel
hot. My scalp began to itch. It felt like a thousand ants crawling all
over me. When I stood up I felt incredibly light. "Whoa!" I cried.
Everyone began to laugh. "I feel like I can jump to the moon!" And like an
idiot I tried. The feeling was euphoric and amazing. If this was what
getting high was, I knew I‟d probably do it more often. Maybe just on
weekends. Purely recreational. (Of course)
I still didn‟t like the association with being a „drug user‟. I still
didn‟t consider myself as using drugs, even though I‟d began to huff freon
and lighter fluid. I‟d even smoked pot a few times.
Tracy and I began to go out and she would come back from weekend breaks high
sometimes. It used to always frustrate me, because I wanted the love and
affection to be focused on me. If she was high, I couldn‟t get that
affection, and when I was with her, I never had a desire to be high.
It was very hypocritical of me, to look down on others-
when I was doing what could be considered drug use, but I didn‟t call myself
a user because I still had control. I had no desire or even temptation to
use drugs. I didn‟t particularly like weed, because I hated smoking. I
thought it was disgusting and as crazy as it sounds, paranoid about my
I think the first time I ever had an argument with Tracy over the issue of
drug use was our first Valentines together. She was going home that weekend
and so we worked it out so that I could go to Louisville with a friend. His
girlfriends, Celeste would be going home with Tracy. It would be my first
time ever to go to Louisville, Kentucky.
So far, that weekend had been amazing. The Friday night drive to Louisville
was full of making out. I really thought we‟d be having sex before we
returned to Oneida and so Travis and I bought some condoms. The plan was,
that on Saturday we‟d all meet up and Celeste and Travis would go one way,
and ten Tracy and me would go the other way. We‟d been talking about a
picnic for the longest time and I really wanted to do it. In my mind, after
we ate our picnic, we‟d spend the rest of the evening making love. I had it
all worked out!
Instead, some of Tracy‟s neighborhood friends met up and everyone decided to
get high. I did not want to get high. I wanted to go on my picnic and make
love. I wasn‟t pleased at all.
This was the first time I ever gave into peer pressure. I didn‟t want
Theresa to be angry with me and so I followed the group in a sulk. In her
neighborhood there was a little strip mall and so we went behind it to this
little alley. Someone made a pipe out of a coke can by making an indention
into the can, then poking tiny little breathing holes. They placed the week
onto the indention and brought a lighter to it. You would smoke from the
mouth of the can.
My turn came and Tracy handed the can to me. "Here you go, honey." She
said. I hesitated, but didn‟t want to disappoint her so took a couple of
half hearted tokes.
I didn‟t really get a buzz. If anything it had only made me more agitated.
We went to a Chinese diner after that, called Nan King. Everyone sat at the
table goofing around. The people running the diner were annoyed at a bunch
of teenagers making a ruckus in their fine establishment. On one of the
walls was a mural of a Chinese dragon dancing across a blue sky. Some of
the friends were looking at it and laughing, "Dude.. check it out.. it‟s
freaking blowing my mind.." "Hahahahahaha!" I played with a salt shaker,
anger building up.
The day passed and my chance for a picnic was slowly slipping away and so I
got the nerve and confronted Tracy.. "Can I talk to you?" I asked. "Sure,
honey." We walked away from the crowd and I told her how I felt-
"I thought we were going to have a picnic. It was just going to be you and
me." I said.
"Randy..I don‟t ever get to see my friends anymore. Why can‟t I spend time
with my friends?" She said.
"Yeah, but we talked about a picnic. We don‟t ever get this time at school.
We can‟t ever kiss.. I just want it to be you and me."
"Honey, I promise we will tonight. We‟ll go to the park or something."
She wrapped her arms around me and then kissed me. "I promise tonight. I
"I love you, too." I said, returning her kiss.
We did go to the park that night… We spent a lot of the time making out and
rolling around on cold, soggy grass. I was trying to build up the nerve to
let her know I wanted to have sex, but couldn‟t figure out how to do it. We
kissed and my hands caressed her body. After fingering her and pulling my
head from under her shirt I kissed her and said, "I knot this sounds crazy,
but I want to make love to you." We kept kissing, but she said nothing.
"What do you want?" I asked. "I…I wish I could say yes." She replied. I
admit, I was a bit surprised, but wanting to respect her wishes I said,
"It‟s okay. Maybe it is a bit too soon." We spent the rest of the time
looking at the stars.
As the school year went on, I became more needy and unsure of who I was. I
started to become depressed because my father and I were no longer like we
were. A distance was building between us and it was crushing me. I was
confused religiously and was seriously considering becoming a Christian. In
fact, one night during a revival, I went up to our youth minister crying,
saying I wanted to accept Jesus. I wasn‟t sure if I was serious, but I did
get caught up in the emotion of the service. Then my dad had a heart
attack, this freaked me out. Really bothered me. When my dad called up, he
wasn‟t too happy about my choice.
"You know, Randy, you‟re the last Jewish person in our family. I don‟t want
you to get baptized until you really think about this. At least wait until
after I have heart surgery. I just want to know why you want to do this."
"I don‟t know, dad.. It‟s just a feeling I got. I heard something call me."
"Hmm. Well, you know Christian services can be very emotional. I don‟t
want you to be responding to a religious fervor. Think about it, but don‟t
get baptized." I could sense the disappointment in his voice, despite him
saying he stood by whatever I chose to do.
"Dad, you promise the heart attack wasn‟t something I caused?" I asked.
"Yes, son. It wasn‟t you."
I still felt it was. I still feel it was. I felt like I turned my back on
him. Betrayed him in someway.
I never did get baptized and events that would happen later caused me to
pretty much hate Christianity at one point (No, I don‟t hate it now.)
I started lying more frequently. I‟d lie to Tracy about everything. As our
relationship became more intense, I became more afraid to lose her. She was
the first person I‟d ever been "In" love with and the first person to ever
shower with me the same amount of affection. We were the couple that people
would say would never break up. Matt was kicked out of school along with
Jim, Tracys brother for drug use. Tom left our clique to hang out with some
rednecks and I was beginning to start a rock band with my new roommate Dan.
We made a tape of us covering some Cure songs and a few originals we wrote
and I gave this tape to Tracy. She loved it and let others listen to it. I
decided at that point-
Dad did not like that at all. He wanted me to focus on something real. It
only distanced us more.
I began to huff more and even smoke more week. In time I began to use more
drugs and the fall of 1995 began to do acid. This drug was something like
never before. I felt it opened my mind up in ways I could never imagine. I
was in love with it.
After returning to school from a long suspension (I was kicked out that
summer for being "Suicidal") I began to actually drop acid during the school
days. Something I‟d never done before. I never realized that it was
becoming a crutch. Tracy and I were engaged and still close. It remained
so until after I was kicked out of school again for stealing a credit card
on a Christmas break.
I became homeless and so stole a friend of hers camcorder. When she found
out about this we never talked again. Even though it was my fault; my lies
and my actions that caused the end for us still crushed me. Changed me in
ways unexplainable. Losing my family and her-
love. And so my life continued to spiral. I continued to lost who I was
and I never realized until it was too late that what was once just for "fun"
became more to me. It was my escape. It was the only thing I knew that
could take me away from insanity of my life. It was the only constant. A
false comfort that began to destroy my life.
When I was homeless and staying at a shelter called "The Hope Center" in
Lexington, Kentucky I met a
drug scene and pretty much scored my drugs. While I thought I was having
fun, the life was far from glamorous. Sure, I got to have some sex with
random college girls and I went to some crazy parties, but there were a lot
of moments I was not proud of and look back on with disgust.
There were also a few scary moments. One night I was walking back to the
shelter after having seeing a midnight movie at the Kentucky Theater. Bill
had wanted to go to Tally Ho‟s, one of our hang out spots, but I was feeling
burned out. I had been tripping for almost two days and had no sleep. My
feet ached and I felt dirty. I just wanted to go back, take a shower and
sleep for a week.
There was a short cut you could take from downtown Lexington that would take
you through a poor neighborhood and then you would cross some train tracks,
jump a fence and you were right at the Hope Center. Going this way only
took about fifteen minutes, opposed to about thirty minutes going the proper
Walking down the neighborhood road was scary enough. The houses were old
and decrepit. Small fenced in yards with barking dogs in front of each
home. Most porch lights were off and the street lamps had a few busted
bulbs. So, there were sections of the road that were dark and with a burnt
orange glow that casted scary shadows against the black of the night.
I got to the train tracks and began to cross them when a man with a knife
jumped out at me. I froze in place. I‟d never been confronted with a
weapon in my life. I was confident in my own self defense skills, but a
knife? I could feel my body began to tremble. I just wanted to get to bed.
"Give me your money." The man said. It was too dark to pick out a face,
but I‟ll never forget the voice. It was gravely and the man was drunk. I
could smell the hard liquor in the cold air. "Say, dude.." I hesitated.
"Look fucker," He slurred. "I‟ve just got ten bucks, but it‟s yours. Just
calm down." I said. I reached into my pocket slowly and pulled out my
wallet. I grabbed the money and then handed it to him with shaking hands.
He yanked it out and then took off running. I could hear the crunch of
gravel as he ran away. Still frightened I whispered, "Holy shit..I gotta
get out of this place." And then I began to cry. I took off running, tears
streaming down my face. I got to the fence and jumped over and was at the
Hope Center. My heart was pounding. I had to calm myself before going
After going back into the shelter I stayed in the shower a long time.
A moment I‟m not too proud of was when Bill had come by my apartment. I had
been out of the Hope Center for a short while and trying to get back on my
feet. I had a roommate named Ronnie, who was a security guard at night
time. Bill stopped by with some weed and asked if I wanted to go out.
"What do you have in mind?" I said in between tokes. "I was thinking about
going to this meth bitches place. She‟s usually got a couple of girls with
her. Whatdya say?"
"Sure. I guess."
We left and headed off to the poorer part of Lexington. The house we showed
up to looked like it was about to fall over. The windows had been blackened
out with what appeared to be trash bags. Trash littered the front yard.
Bill knocked on the door a few times and a wirey, but cute lady opened the
door. Bill and the lady hugged and we walked in. I noticed she was the
only one in the house. I sat on the couch and she went and got a couple of
beers. I‟m not a very big beer person, but took it out of politeness and
started drinking. I sat passively as Bill and she talked.
I don‟t know why, but it always seemed that when I was In these situations I
was always the observer. Not really there. I‟ve seen so much and been a
part of so much, yet never really in on the action so that when I see her
grab a syringe and shoot up meth I watch with a sort of amazement and
wonder. I‟ve never shot up any sort of dope, I think more because I‟ve
always been afraid of contacting diseases (doesn‟t make sense in light that
I used to have unprotected sex..) She offered me and Bill some, but we
I can‟t remember how much time had passed, but a couple more girls showed up
and some dude. They all shot up, too. Bill kind of pulled me off to the
side and said, "Dude, you see that one chick? She gives some mean head.
All you have to do is imply that you‟ll give her some dope and she‟ll do
whatever you want."
"I don‟t think I could do that, man. That‟s not me." I said.
"Are you a fruit? Every time I try to get you some, you make a lame excuse.
This is like the billionth time you‟ve done that. You couldn‟t been
fucking that stripper chick, you idiot! She was hot. But noooo, candy
Randy has standards. Jesus! Live, dude."
I don‟t know what happened, but Bill told her something. Maybe he did imply
drugs. I‟m not sure, but later that night I was receiving oral sex from
her. Bill seemed proud of the fact he had that done. I look back and I‟m
not proud at all.
I left Kentucky with the intentions of asking my parents for help. That
didn‟t turn out to well. I landed in another shelter and back on drugs. I
was a functioning addict, I guess.
In the shelter I met a cute girl, who was doing community service for
stealing her dad‟s car. She had blonde hair with green streaks. I was
eighteen and she was sixteen or seventeen. We would hang out together at
night and talk and such. She said she did a few drugs, also. We had sex in
one of the shelters classrooms one night.
Another night she brought a bottle of pills called "Mini Thins". I‟d done
them before. I‟m not sure what their actual function was for. It was sort
of a diet pill or asthma pill. Those days you could buy it right off the
shelter, but because they have a met amphetamine quality that‟s what addicts
used it for. A few years ago I heard that you can only buy them from behind
"You want to do these?" She said shaking the bottle. Then she leaned into
my ear, "The we could fuck. I‟ve never fucked on speed." She giggled. I
could tell she was a little drunk. I think we popped like twenty pills
As the pills were taking affect we made out on this couch that was in the
"living room" area of the shelter. I started to feel pretty sick after a
while. My body was sore and instead of feeling speeded up, I felt drained.
Over amped. I told the girl I wasn‟t feeling good, that I Just wanted to
sleep so she went and got me a blanket. I laid down on the couch and soon
was asleep. I‟m pretty sure what happened is I overdosed. About an hour
later the girl woke me up. "Randy..Randy..I think you need to go clean up."
I still felt sick. "Huh?" I said in a daze.
"Randy..Oh my god, are you okay?"
"What? Yeah.." I said weakly. I got up and headed to the restrooms. My
stomach was aching so bad. I felt like I had diarrhea..I went into a stall
and pulled my pants down when I noticed that I had soiled myself. It was
everywhere. "Oh shit.." Yeah, shit.
I felt so ashamed of myself. Embarrassed. Humiliated. I took a shower and
threw those clothes away. The girl kept apologizing to me, saying it was
her fault, but I ease her worries. But that ‟relationship‟ was pretty much
over. When her community service time was over, I was supposed to call her
and we would hook up, but I never did.
Of course, later I landed in prison and you would think I would‟ve had a
reality check and stopped doing drugs, but I didn‟t. I drank cough syrup
and popped cold pills. Some guys took various psychiatric pills and I would
pop those. Though, after snorting some pill that nearly caused me to go
blind, I stopped.
I finally realized one day that if I didn‟t stop now, I would probably never
stop. One day I would be up for parole and nothing would‟ve changed. And
in spite of making some of the most horrible non-
life, I did feel so much better to finally be clean.
At times, I still feel those pangs of addiction. I‟ll always be an addict.
They come when I feel hopeless or really depressed, but I told a friend I
don‟t have a desire to do them anymore. Maybe tempted, but no desire.
Temptation can lie in anything. It‟s when you desire, have that want to do
something that makes it so dangerous. I can‟t lie and say I haven‟t had
some prison wine in the past couple of years, ‟cause I have, but that is
more of the culture of being in prison. It‟s not a want or desire. Yet, I
do admit it can be a thin line to walk. I was always fortunate that I never
liked the feeling of being drunk.
I really wish I could go back in time and tell my fifteen year old self what
is to come If he chose to do drugs. Events can snow ball into an avalanche,
even if you don‟t intend to become an addict, or intend to hurt people.
Drugs can turn you into a person you never though you were even capable of
being. Even if it just starts out as fun.