"A few hours later, I had drunk the salt of 200 pods but only felt a kind of necessary doom."

The modern-day chronicles of an opium-drinker:
I felt like I was trapped in an aviary of evil eye-pecking birds. The threats were soaring overhead, then dive-bombing beak-first into the pores in my aching skull. I screamed. The writhing, palpitating torment; the shattering headache; and the enormous irritability and agitation of the world all fit into the grit in my teeth.

I needed something, some kind of painkiller, or I was going to die. I didn't know any old people who might have medicine cabinets stocked with Norco. I needed help. I thought about the stairwell. I thought maybe I could push myself down the stairwell and break something and go to the emergency room and get some pain meds.

I hurried down the hall and stood over the top, but I couldn't throw myself off. It was carpeted. I might just bruise, not break. I couldn't jump. My eyes fogged over with tears that didn't stream. I never knew how serious it had gotten until it had gotten serious. I had left my wife. I had blown through our savings. But I couldn't make myself take the final fall and literally hit bottom.

I went back into my room and found the Bible. I promised to God I'd quit. I tried to read some passages, but my eyes kept closing. I knew if I fell asleep, I wouldn't wake up. I found a section called "Leviticus." It was awful. Something about an "unclean creeping carcase [sic}." I had to get out of there. By "there," I meant my body.