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Seaking addiction recovery in the wilderness

Organized by: Colin Fischer

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Hi, my name is Colin Fischer and I am an addict. For over 20 years I have been abusing drugs, despite the fact I am only 35. Even when I started experimenting in middle school I would drink to the point of blacking out. It began innocently enough stealing liquor from my parents, smoking weed and dabbling in psychedelics. Since then I have had numerous interventions by my family, legal troubles, periods of homelessness, and trouble staying employed. I am diagnosed with severe PTSD from childhood trauma, severe depression and generalized anxiety. I have never felt comfortable in my own skin. I've been to in-patient treatment twice and outpatient numerous times plus uncountable groups, seminars, therapists. I've had serious addictions to alcohol, benzos, heroin + opiates, and methamphetamine. The only drug I do not like or touch in crack. I've tried nearly every common recreational drug besides mescaline. In high school I was a good student, 3 year varsity soccer player and had plenty of friends. But as my disease has progressed I have isolated myself more and more. All my normal friends gradually drifted away. Even my Northern California dope growing friends keep a distance. Over the years I have had numerous stints couch-surfing, living out of my car, sleeping in garages and traveling. My family has loaned me money on at least a few occasions when I was facing eviction. But this spring they were done rescuing me. I quit my grounds keeping position with a property management group thinking I would be receiving over $1000 in tax returns. Then my roomate gave me a months notice due to a situation in her family. A week later I recieved a letter from the IRS saying that my return was diverted to my student loan which had fallen into default in recent years. My primary coping skills are using and abusing drugs and have been for a long time. This spring, instead of clamping down and finding another job or lining up housing I went on a long binge. My drug of choice recently has been methamphetamine- a drug I didn't try until I was 30 and didn't like to begin with. Years ago I even wanted a "tweakers suck" bumper sticker. Since college I have used various ADHD drugs (pharmaceutical speed) and dabbled with coke but never developed any habit. Downers- alcohol, benzos, opiates- have always been my favorite. Anyway, I have been homeless in Portland now for 2 months. For the first month I lived out of my car, a 1995 mecury cougar I bought from my grandma. But after driving in for the second time in a month blacked out on xanax I decided to sell my car before I kill an innocent person, get a second DUI, or die in a violent crash. For the last month I have been sleeping on sidewalks around Portland. I make money selling pills, shoplifting, collecting cans, spanging, selling of my things on craigslist. In the past two months while homeless I relapsed onto heroin, taken too many benzos and continued small daily habit of smoking meth. I've been arrested once for shoplifting and hospitalized for severe withdrawal after heavy benzo/opiate use. While blacked out in April I broke several windows at my moms house (so I am told, I have NO memory of it) and broke the window of a strangers car thinking it was mine (after losing my spare keys I decided it was the best option). While I have been regularly breaking the law since I was a teenager I have somehow been able to avoid any serious legal troubles. My record is clean after getting my DUI expunged by the state and having my shoplifting charge dropped. I did spend 48 hours in a Tiajuana jail nearly 10 years ago after a long multi-drug run that ended when I woke up on someones lawn after being blacked out for at least 12 hours to a police siren. I was lucky enough only to be found trespassing and was only held for two days. It could have been worse- earlier in the day I was arrested buying cocaine and got caught with a zip lock bag full of pharmaceutical fun but was able to convince the cops to let me stop at an ATM and was released and given back the coke and pills after donating $200 to the cops.


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Colin Fischer

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