Heroin Anonymous World Services | Pamphlet- Step One
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“We admitted we were powerless over heroin–that our lives had become unmanageable.”

Admitting we were powerless over heroin was a difficult task for many of us. We desperately tried convincing ourselves we were in control; at certain times felt we were, but ultimately found we were not.

Our loved ones pleaded with us about our heroin addiction. Despite our sincere desire to stop for our parents, spouse/partner, or even our own children, it was not enough. No matter how much others begged us to stop using heroin, it was to no avail.

We could no longer predict what would happen once we began using heroin. We told ourselves, “I’ll only use a little”, or “I will save some for tomorrow”, but we were unable to keep our word, even with ourselves. Each time we tried to control our use, we ended up buying more or using all that was in front of us. At times, this drove us to perform horrendous acts for more heroin.

Eventually, the lifestyle began taking its toll on us. We frequently experienced the dope sickness that came from running out or not having enough heroin. We convinced ourselves we would never go through it again, trying to rely on memories of suffering to keep us sober. We soon realized that no matter how hard we tried to recall the pain, it could not keep us sober. We discovered that we could not keep heroin out of our bodies even after periods of physical separation. Sometimes, we tried to rely on our intellect to keep sober, to use our own knowledge; we failed utterly.

Some of us were on probation, parole, or threatened with jail if we were to use again. Employers threatened to fire us the next time anything happened. Doctors told us of grave health consequences if we continued.  For most people, these circumstances would motivate them to stop. However, no matter how many consequences we faced, or how much we risked, we ended up using.

There were periods of time when we stopped using and tried various methods to rid ourselves of this mental obsession. We tried using other substances, temporary gratification, and all sorts of ineffective alternatives to distract us. When these methods failed, it became obvious that our ideas did not work. If we truly had the power to quit entirely, we would have permanently stopped in one of our many attempts to do so. We had lost the power of choice on whether or not we would use heroin.

Revised June 2022