A Man’s Oxycontin Addiction – A Reader’s Story

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Sober doesn’t Suck! is a safe place for people to share their stories of being an alcoholic, addict, their addiction and recovery openly and honestly. There is no requirement of sobriety for posting, if you’re concerned about your using I want to hear from you too.Sober

I recently received the following article from Nick Sellberg.  I’m honored to share his story, hoping someone will find comfort, tools and hope in it.

If you’d like to tell your story, your feelings about your own addiction or that of someone else in your life please head over to the Sober doesn’t Suck! page. Addiction affects the people around us, I’m interested in sharing all sides.


Wow. I have been clean for over two years! Is this real? The grip of addiction no longer suffocates me! I am able to live life on life’s terms… most of the time.

I am a 29 year old musician from Southern California who grew up with an alcoholic Father. Thankfully, my Dad got clean in my early teens and has stayed that way for 17 years!  After living through the consequences that his alcoholism brought our family, I was convinced that I would never let my drinking become a problem like that nor would I ever even try any drugs at all.

It wasn’t until late high school that curiosity and peer pressure got the best of me and I drank for the first time. Soon after, I tried marijuana, mushrooms, ecstasy, cocaine and Oxycontin. I had no idea that this would be the beginning of a new, dark chapter that would shape my life forever. I thought I was just like any other kid, just exploring and having fun with friends and then would move on from it all once I got older. Boy was I wrong…

Once I tried Oxycontin, I knew my life would never be the same. My ultimate escape was through using Oxycontin every day. I was selling my prized music possessions such as guitars, amps, records, and recording gear.  It usually isn’t a good sign when the employees at the nearest pawn shop know your name. I was also taking out multiple payday loans across Orange County and had quickly mounted an enormous amount of debt in the thousands of dollars!

My Oxycontin Addiction Took Everything

Addiction is so cunning and baffling… I felt that I did not have a problem at all and had many rationalizations for my behavior. I tried to stop many times but failed.  I knew what was best for me, but could not achieve it.  I was scared, I had no control, I had lost my true identity.

In the summer of 2011, my parents had found out for the third time that I was back using Oxycontin. They were baffled at what to do. I had betrayed their trust so many times and the hearts were breaking to see their child dying before their eyes. They decided I had to see a therapist and go to a drug addiction/recovery support group at least three times a week. I had to sign a contract stating that if I failed to do any of these things, that I would be sent to inpatient treatment.  I was scared and did not know if I was willing and able to do what they were asking. But, I was already so beaten up by that point. I was 6’3’’ 150 pounds, huge dark circles under my eyes, my music gear all pawned, and thousands of dollars in debt. I truly feel I was close to death. I had a moment of clarity and realized everything that my Oxycontin addiction had taken from me. It was time to change my life.

Recovery from Oxycontin Addiction

I wanted to stay clean and wanted to use at the same time.  In the early part of my recovery, there was a war taking place every day for my soul. I could feel the light and hope of recovery and the darkness and temptation of using at the same time.  I decided to take my recovery one day at a time, some days one hour… one minute at a time!  I would try to not look too far in the future and just tell myself for that day that I would stay clean. This helped me to focus my efforts and not to get overwhelmed.

I learned to share with other addicts about my story and realized the many benefits of doing so. I was releasing the anger, sadness, frustration, etc. into a room of other people who understood what I was going through. I was picking up great advice from other addicts on how they approach their recovery and what helps them to stay clean.  I developed a new family of other addicts where I felt comfortable and loved.  This is a huge part of my recovery!  I can never forget that I am an addict and that I need to take certain steps in order to address my addiction.

I can’t change the past but I can help to create a future for myself by living in the now and doing what is necessary in the present.  I am living a life that I never thought was possible today!  Yes, there are bumps in the road of recovery but it is through these bumps and bruises that I have become stronger and have grown.  I have learned to fight for my recovery because it is worth fighting for… more than anything else in my life.  I will not use, no matter what.  I will continue do all the things that have kept millions of addicts clean and sober throughout the years and will draw upon their stories as my strength and hope. If they could do it, I can do it.  If I can do it, you can do it!

Every one of us has the power and strength within to recover.  No matter how far we have fallen, there is hope for us! Many others have come before us from all walks of life, with many different horror stories of addiction and have gotten clean, and stayed clean. We don’t have to die from our addiction.  We can create a better life for ourselves by doing what others have done before us. Once I started to believe in myself again, I started to remember who I was before my addiction had taken hold. I started to love myself again and felt like I was worthwhile. All the lies that my addiction had been telling me throughout the years were starting to be exposed as fake and false, and this gave me the ability to realize who I really am. I am a happy, loving, easy going musician who loves to be with family and friends and I will never let my addiction take all that away from me again!

Nick Sellberg “aka Sonny Spectrum” is a singer/songwriter from Huntington Beach, California who has recently released his self-titled debut EP.  This is a If you would like to connect with Nick, you can do so here: http://www.sonnyspectrum.com 


    • says

      my addiction to opiates and heroin were the worst thing that hit my life and I’m here to tell you my story about it, I was like any other teenage kid in public high school, i was a quite and shy kid who was in uncharted territory and scared of what was in front of me at the time. I wanted to be liked and to be popular you know that story,so i started hanging out with some people and they were into smoking weed and drinking and i got into smoking weed and a bit of drinking, after a year of doing that i got into doing coke and taking ecstasy, after that i got into doing triple c’s (poor man’s acid) after a couple months i hit a clean streak for some time and only smoked weed, I also had a horrible habit of lying and being someone i wasn’t (i hated it i was so scared that people would hate the real me), after that clean streak i met some new people and i was just getting into my senior year and i dropped out to go to a sister school they had called krop west, i started to do pills but it wasn’t such a over the top amount of pills i took, like at parties I would take some and smoke weed, let me tell you something i made juicy j and the rest of those idiots look like amateurs the way i was taking drugs. About a year after i graduated i started doing codeine syrup and smoking way to much weed and here and there a Oxycontin, and Oxycontin knocked me on my ass i use to literally crawl on the floor from being so high while i had that lil wyte song in the back playing. Now I’m heading down that hill and not caring the destruction I’m causing, it got to the point where i was taking things from house and pawning them for money to get my next hit and just ending up in these horrible places to get high, I didn’t care where I was heading and the consequences were dyer! It came to the point where I would take everything from my parents and knowing the consequences i still took from them whatever i could to pawn and get some pills or heroin, the stealing never lead to outside of the house only within my family like my aunt and my parents, it got worse by me taking money from there ATM card and forging the name on her check to get bigger amounts of cash for pills. I was going down fast and and not caring at all what would happen to me, i wanted to reach a point of no return and just overdose and die, i eventually got kicked out and lived on the streets for three months and lived with friends who were junkies just like me and that’s where i learned to use the needle to use my drugs with and i fell in love real quick, it hit me like a gorgeous woman walking into a room and she locked eyes with you and only you, and for that moment everything i felt was warm and safe it was like being surrounded by love itself and nothing could harm you. Shit was i wrong that first feeling was the only feeling and i chased it for over five years of my life hoping to feel that false sense of love all around was going to be the death of me and i knew it, but i had to find that feeling again! I even thought i could contain relationships and be some kind of normal person while hiding a addiction to heroin, the reason why i wanted to become this addict was because my deepest darkest secret was that i suffered from child abuse at the hands of my uncle and my fathers sister at a very young age and became convinced that i was the one to blame for leading them into there horrible temptation, for years i suppressed those memories and has a teen they started to come to light in the form of nightmares and vivid ones at that, I knew i had been violated at a early age and never wanted to self acknowledge it for myself, the second thing that killed me inside was the loss of my grandmother from my mothers side, she was the woman i had a voice to vent to a woman that heard me out and became a huge part of my life and gave me direction when i needed it most! i remember being at Camp Shalom sleep away camp where i was a counselor for the kids, and i just lead my kids to the cafeteria and i forgot somethings at the cabin and went back, now around this time my grandmother was on her death bed in Miami and my mom refused that i come back and see her, she had skin cancer. So anyways i was heading back to get some stuff from the cabin and on the way back to the cafeteria they called out my name on the PA system and i went to the office and everyone was quite and looking down and someone handed the phone to me and my mom was on the other side crying her head off saying she has passed and shes sorry, i froze instantly! i said okay mom i love and i will call later, i leave the office and half way to the cafeteria i collapse on the ground and broke down screaming to the heavens why wold you take such a sweet woman like her and not me!!! bursting into tears hoping God would strike me down right there and then! that day changed my life forever just like when i was a young boy vulnerable to a terrible act of molestation. The worst thing for me through all this was that i was a very quite person it was hard for to express the pain and to talk to people who i loved about it, it destroyed most of my relationships and made me a very lonely person, i thought that the things that i hid from people were things that would make me a outcast to the world. The best way possible for me to express that pain was through the drug use and the lies i told, i wanted to be someone else something that was normal and part of everyday society but at heart i wasn’t and i was a horrible lair,I hated myself and everything i did, even when i got sober i couldn’t bare to forgive myself for all the shit i did and the person i was when i was addicted to heroin and prescription medicine. It took four years for me to forgive myself and to love myself with each day learning something great about myself, i learned to express things with my words and become my own personal hero in my life. No matter what happens with your life weather you face addiction or any hardship make the first step to a greater life and be free from all obstacles.

  1. Chandra Christine O'Connor says

    wow. what a story. I have to say that when I was in gr 9 I read this book “from here to now” (not sure thats the title) but it was about an addiction to drugs. that book was the one thing that made me not try any thing. It scared me that if I did I could end up like the people in the book.

  2. Samuel Ferguson says

    It is truly challenging and inspiring stories of a person that had an experience in fighting addiction. Every individual has different behaviors and mind-set in life. There are some people who don’t have enough courage to face the reality of life and start over again. But the person behind this story, I can say that “You are a strong person and I’m proud of you”. No one can ever think that after experiencing that kind of trials in life, the problems and hard feeling of being addictive, there is a positive way to overcome all of those glitches. Like me, I am now experiencing the bumps of the roads of recovery at Hope Recovery Addiction Center. The time they tell me that I need to do some recovery programs because of my addiction, I was so scared. But with the help of my family and reading about some people who shared their stories and successful recovery, I gain courage to continue my recovery, until now.

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