A Recovering Heroin Addict and Hep C Positive


My name is Ryan. I’m 29 years old and a recovering heroin addict and hepatitis C positive. Like many, I first tried cannabis as a teenager. 

I knew from then I loved the plant, even if I didn’t know much about it. I read books and I gained knowledge. But, being in high school I got in trouble with pot and ended up on probation. My love affair with pot stopped. That moment is when I tried other things. Finally, years later I really got back into the cannabis life when I was 27. I’ve been in and out of jail, prison and homeless. I remember being in jail and having the worst pains in my stomach and side. EVERY MORNING 3 to 5 am I  would wake up almost in tears with pain so bad if I even moved. 

When I went to prison 2015 and I got tested for STDs which is how I found out about hep C. It was most likely from my heroin use. I got out of prison a few months later. I came home from prison and nothing changed; I dealt with it. Treatment was out of reach. No insurance and hep C treatment is a very expensive and is not comfortable treatment. The side effects from the meds. I knew I couldn’t go to a doctor and just say “Hey, my hep C hurts.” I  would get pain meds and you can’t just give an opiate addict pain meds. I knew I’d end up falling. I started using cannabis again and really using it. Researching now THC and how cannabinoids can kill cancer cells and bad cells in the liver. I knew to have the problems I was having, I had chronic hep C. 

Since then, I have done a 180. I can’t remember the last time I had pain from my hep C or any symptoms. I truly do believe that if I continue with the cannabis I will even cure the hep C. It was so hard doing all this where it’s still illegal in Tennessee. Or being from the “Bible Belt”. I love Nashville. I’m from there but I just moved to Colorado. I have had my fair share of run-ins with law enforcement over marijuana. But I can’t say anything bad about the Nashville cops. They have been good even with the laws they are forced to enforce. I don’t understand how it still is illegal. EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE MEDICAL MARIJUANA. If it wasn’t for this I’m sure I would be on heroin back under a bridge but cannabis gave me my life back. In my opinion, marijuana has the greatest chance to do the best work in the opiate addiction battle. In my state, medical cannabis is approved for chronic pain not opiate addiction. 

Cannabis is the miracle we have wanted only it’s been here waiting for us. Cannabis saved me from heroin addiction. I can honestly say I would grab a joint instead of some heroin and be happy with that decision.

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