Life beyond opiates…it DOES exist!

Matt Ganem, from Roslindale, Mass., knows first-hand how OxyContin and heroin addiction can destroy lives: his was almost one of them. With more than five years of sobriety under his belt, Matt has taken a creative approach to the horrors of opiate addiction through his hard-hitting poetry and writing. Check out his work.

Matt says: “This video was done to recreate the temptations I faced when I first got clean and for how hard it is to escape the grip of addiction. My gateway to dope was in a small painkiller, OxyContin, that I knew little about but it made me feel invincible, when I first started I had no idea it was synthetic heroin. It led me to a criminal lifestyle and a path to the needle. Over five years have gone by without taking an opiate. I write poetry as an outlet for myself along with giving a voice to those still struggling with addiction and to let them know that they’re not alone, that they can make it out alive.”

A book of Matt’s poetry, “Carried By Wings Of Protection,” is due out this fall. Here’s a sneak peak:

Written in the skyline of Boston
Words that were once too blurry for me
Looking up from the darkness of rock bottom
I kept climbing and eventually I was be able to see
The time release coating
I lick off of the best pain killers
Destroy any feeling of my emotion
A reflection of a skeleton in the mirror
Oxy Contin love thing began
As the cool thing to do with friends
Snort a half a pill to get jammed
I never envisioned where it would take me in the end
Shirts covered with yellow and green marks
White powder residue on the table
Names soon got tattooed to my heart
After addiction transformed them into angels
No stopping this rolling boulder
As packages started making me money
There wasn’t a moment I was sober
But I swore to god I wasn’t a junkie
More pills, more crime
The more i got fucked up in the head
A synthetic narcotic left me blind
Invincible, without a care if I ended up dead
Masked armed robberies
Risking parts of my freedom
The time would compare to pennies
Not worth it to go to prison
My habit became too strong
Pushing packs and stick ups weren’t enough
Then my lady heroin came along
With a taste of the devils lust
I sold my soul for a filled syringe
Moving death wrapped in plastic
Losing my will to live
As an addict prepared for the casket
Blue lights flashing
Plain clothes hemmed me up
A snitch left me trapped in
The narco units drug bust
I had to forward my cash to a lawyer
If I had any chance to fight the case
Didn’t stop the emotional destroyer
Ready to let my life go to waste
Jail bars didn’t stop me
I ran from the court with a ready needle
It all started splitting an Oxy
How could I end up injecting this evil
Violate probation dodging court dates
Lock ups ready to take me in
Distribution trial had me ready to break
Shooting up an insane amount of heroin
Suicide by needle was the plan
Till I looked beyond the clouds above
On a L street beach I was a changed man
My guardian angel wrapped me up with love
The rocky road was ahead of me
With no guarantee I’d make it out alive
Regardless of jail time I grabbed recovery
The Hamilton House was the only reason I survived
Half way to sober or half way to jail
Either way I had to give myself a shot
When my backs against the wall I will prevail
I started my climb to the top
From out the hole
Back on solid ground
I cleansed my scarred soul
Looking at the sky from down town
It was a cryptic message
With words that were meant for me
“Your life is something you should always cherish”
Thank you my guardian angel James Slattery
A rebirth from the ashes of yesterday
Carrying my dented halo
The world is gonna hear what I have to say
I have a story that has be told

About Erin Marie Daly

I’m a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. My book on prescription drug and heroin addiction was published in August 2014 by Counterpoint Press.
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3 Responses to Life beyond opiates…it DOES exist!

  1. This is so powerful! Matt, “thank you” for sharing your world and your hope! We certainly need it here in Mass and of course around the country……..

  2. That Was A Great Story i can relate to all of it iam an addict myself and have been clean for 19 month’s now and going strong addiction is no joke.It is a real diseases and it kill’s million of people everyday.So for who is struggling just find an N.A. meeting it will save a life or your life!!!!!Thank You Matt Love Toni!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Jodie says:

    I got free–and turned back to the devil that almost destroyed me. Wonder if I’ll ever truly be free? It got the best of me. But reading your words it gives me hope, that there’s life after dope.

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