Dexed: Acrylic on Canvas, 2010
12" x 16"
This is a piece that I painted during my active addiction to Dextromethorphan (also called DXM). For those who don't know, Dextromethorphan is a drug used in cough suppressants, which, when taken at high doses, produces a dissociative effect most similar to drugs such as Ketamine (Special K) and PCP. Without going into too much gory detail, it strongly distorts your perception of reality. Most DXM users take it recreationally, but when I began taking it at age 19, it set in motion a near-fatal spiral of addiction.
The painting includes an artistic rendering of a DXM molecule. The girl in the corner is me as I perceived myself during the high. I felt dirty and lost, but I could not stop, no matter how hard I tried. I fought for a long time, going back time and time again, overdosing and landing myself in the hospital no less than a dozen times over the next 7 years.
In 2010, I went to rehab, but relapsed over and over. Finally, I was able and willing to get the help I needed. I have been clean since February 12, 2013, and have no desire to return to that life. This painting is a reminder of all I endured, and the damage I caused to myself and everyone around me. I am grateful every day that I am clean. It is truly a miracle.