Former Cocaine Addict For 18 Years Shares Story Of Addiction And Recovery

Although we understand that illicit drugs like cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine can be addictive to a life-ruining extent, it can still be hard for many of us to appreciate how that happens.

Indeed, each of these drugs works differently but end up having similar effects of teaching the brain to expect and depend on certain chemical circumstances. According to McGill University, cocaine does this by blocking transporters that normally remove excess levels of dopamine from the brain's reward circuits.

If the drug is used frequently enough, this not only makes the brain get used to these artificially elevated levels of dopamine, but actually influences it to build new receptors for the brain chemical.

This explains why addicts feel depressed and crave the drug so intensely when it runs out, but one TikTok user explained how the race to alleviate those feelings over the course of his adult life all but ruined it.

As 36-year-old Nathan King tells it, his first experience with cocaine came when he was 18 years old.

As he expressed in a TikTok video, his use began as a social activity with his friends before developing into a weekly habit when he would go out drinking.

But while that describes the earlier stages of his 18 years of addiction, King told Ladbible that within the last 10 years, he graduated to doing it essentially all day every day to the point where he couldn't breathe through his nose anymore.

Although Ladbible estimates that King's addiction cost him the equivalent of $550,000, his TikToks break it down in more practical terms.

In addition to the laptop you see here, one of King's videos shows that he sold multiple motorcycles and a Range Rover in the pursuit of more cocaine.

He also said in other clips that the drug not only ruined his enjoyment of working in entertainment, but also cost him various jobs and even his house over the years.

But even more importantly to him, it also destroyed his relationship with his family, friends, and ex-wife.

In one of his TikToks, King detailed breaking the trust of his family members and friends. In cases where he didn't outright steal from them to fund his habit, he would lie about the reasons he needed money from them.

Although he described the woman who he would eventually marry in 2019 as nearly saving him from his addiction, they would break up a year later after cocaine continued to dominate his life.

As he told Ladbible, "I will forever be sorry for how I treated my family."

However, King would see some change in his life after he entered rehab in December of 2020.

As he outlined in a video, rehab was only scary before he actually entered a facility as it all seemed so alien and unknown to him.

But now that he has gone through it, he considers it one of the best experiences of his life and one he feels he owes his life itself to. And he said he could feel how it would change his life as soon as he started relating to other addicts while he was there.

And it seems that change has lasted as on March 26, King officially celebrated 100 days of clean living.

Nowadays, King frequently uploads TikToks aimed at raising awareness about how cocaine addiction works, its costs, and how those struggling with it can find help.

As he explained in another clip he has also started to raise money with the intention of "saving a family" by gathering enough to send one person to rehab.

In his words, "I'm not expecting to change the world but I can change just one's person's world."

h/t: Ladbible