New Hope with Cocaine Addiction: A True Story Part 1

by Johnny Delirious

Nothing is more painful than to see a family member or loved one start the path of drug abuse, especially cocaine. The end result is death, either from a disease like hepatitis or from the wrong end of a gun. Today, there are more deaths from drug overdose than from automobile accidents – some from suicide, by taking too many pills; other fatalities are from cocaine. Many of us know the problem, but can we understand, utilize and implement the solutions? Only someone who has been on both sides of life and death with cocaine, addiction and disease really understands what it takes for prevention as well as complete recovery.

This is my story.

Many people say I am a dead man walking. In fact, I stopped going to my high school and college reunions years ago because too many of my old friends and classmates had that “deer in the headlights” look when they saw me walk in! I would hear things like: “I thought you were kidnapped in Guatemala”, or “The last I heard you were on a sailboat that did not make it the Canaries.” In short, my family and friends thought I would never stop using cocaine or survive from life-threatening hepatitis C.

However in 1991, when I was managing a laboratory in Dallas, TX, a family intervention took me to a hospital for my last treatment of cocaine addiction – and since then, I have been free of all mood-altering substances. At the time, I was dying from hepatitis A, B and C virus infestations and cirrhosis of the liver. The doctors had given me 8 months to live – if I was lucky – and they wondered why I was still alive at that moment. They said a liver transplant was my only hope for survival, but I opted out of the transplant and treatment protocol. The doctors further diagnosed me as “delirious.”

Delirious and dying, I found my own way to recover from hepatitis, even though for over 20 years in the past my sobriety was never long-lived. Everyone thought I would relapse and start doing cocaine all over again. You see, this was not my first intervention. There were many others. My family had already given up many years ago – but my brother never did, and sent the SWAT team during this last intervention. Luck was already long used up in years passed and still everyone said I did not have a prayer staying off cocaine or surviving hepatitis. BUT, I am still clean and sober since 1991… and since 1994 I have no viral load of hepatitis A, B or C with no antibodies or markers! Today, I am a 58-year-old man in the peak of health, according to experts, “a liver of a 20-year-old.”

My father was a Tulane graduate with a medical clinic that was very familiar to me growing up. As a kid, I loved going to the lab in the clinic and using the microscope where the lab tech Rex would enjoy showing me the tests he was doing, how everything worked and what disease looked like in blood and urine under the microscope and the centrifuge, My mother would drop me off at the lab from time-to-time when she could not watch me. To her, I was okay and it was better than a babysitter. For me, it was an adventure!

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