Ron Randolph Jr. started life in Kensington, Philadelphia.  He was a single child, living with both parents.  His father worked long hours so that his mother could be a stay at home mum, raising Ron during the day.  She also worked a twilight shift from 3pm to 11pm but Ron remembers that whenever she came home from her shift, the two of them would sit up all night watching Midnight Movies, going on adventures and reading.  It is the reading that Ron remembers the most.  His mum read him hundreds upon hundreds of books which he says was ‘their thing’.

Although his father worked long hours, Ron’s relationship with his dad was still a great one.  His fondest memories are of trips to the zoo which was his favourite place growing up.  He felt like he was an adventurer on an African Safari instead of a white kid growing up in a predominately black neighbourhood.

Since being an adult, Ron has devoted a lot of time with his therapist searching for issues in his childhood that could have led to his less altruistic habits but he says there is nothing.  His upbringing was nothing short of perfect and he thinks he became a drug user through his own volition or considers he could have been born that way.

Ron was a very academic child right from his early years through to his High School years.  He started school a year earlier due to the fact he had a September birthday.  On his first day of First Grade he was cited to have exceptional intelligence and was moved to the schools accelerated learning programme. 

The thing Ron struggled with in his early years was being an overweight child which meant he was teased in school.  Looking back he says it was just typical childhood jeering but for whatever reason it affected him a great deal.  One mid Fall day in the Third Grade a fellow pupil put a ‘Kick Me’ sign on his back and then followed the instructions on the note, kicking him in the back of the knee whilst he was walking, this lead to Ron falling to the floor.  His Mother had a motto for bullying which was ‘If you are hit once, tell the teacher.  If she doesn’t do anything and you are hit again, punch the person in the face until he never wants to touch you again’.  Ron remembered his mother’s words as he was being kicked and obeyed.  Subsequently he was asked to leave the school.

On leaving this school, his parents decided that the solution was to move him to the Roman Catholic School in his neighbourhood.  He was raised Roman Catholic and his mother also went to a Catholic school and valued her experience there.  She thought it would be a good idea for Ron to get the same strict type of education that she had.  Ron says his experience at that school was fantastic albeit forgettable.  The one thing that stands out to him is when he was playing schoolyard football during recess in the Fifth Grade.  He was hit in the face whilst running the ball which is a clear violation of the rules.  His response was to punch his accoster to the point of breaking his own wrist.  It was a less than effective strategy but as Ron says, a child can’t be asked to take these things into consideration.  He was again asked to leave the school.

At this time, Ron’s father had his job location transferred to Wilmington, Delaware and when they moved, Ron was moved to the local public school and once again placed in the accelerated learning programme due to the fact his state testing scores merited this.  Ron remembers the following years as a blur but does remember his first girlfriend, Cristina who he had a very volatile relationship with.  He feels he will never fully recover from the deep seated beliefs that that relationship instilled in him.

Ron was a fantastically intelligent pupil but when it came to High School he formed a grudge against doing homework.  His GPA suffered but his test scores were always phenomenal.  His junior year SAT was a cumulative score of 2210/2400 but his GPA was barely above 2.

Most kids have a dream of what they want to be when they are older but Ron says he never had a single clear goal.  Even as an adult, he is unclear what his destiny is but knows it isn’t ordinary and he wants to change the world.  Money isn’t his motivation or goal and he would be happy just having a home, some food and a little beer money for the weekend.  He does however, value notoriety and infamy.

Ron moves on to tell us that he has always known what drugs are, even from an early age but they were an afterthought for him and not something he was either interested in or opposed to.  He didn’t expend any energy towards them in any way and compares it to how people view Whaling.  They think that Whaling sucks but they don’t take any action against it nor do they try to enjoy it by going whale watching.  Ron says drugs are like afterbirth, he wasn’t interested in it at all and had plenty of metaphorical babies to look at instead.

Ron was aware of drugs as we have established and as is the case with most people, the first drug he ever tried was marijuana.  He looks at the experience as something that was meant to happen.  Ron and his best friend Joshua were walking to buy the pot but saw an open car with party supplies in it; literally hundreds of dollars of munchies!  They thought it was a good omen, stole the supplies and ran full speed to his house towing chips and cookies.  They got away with it too!  Smoking marijuana felt interesting and kind of fun to Ron but it didn’t fulfil him in any way.  After this initial experience, drugs fell by the wayside for quite some time and he didn’t use pot again for two years.

Once Ron got to high school, he realised the correlation was pot and girls and that revitalised his interest in smoking pot after a two year absence from that first time.  Ron then started smoking pot every day and says he smoked it for two months straight every day before school in his truck with a girl called Jackie.  He feels that it was a great time in his life and that nothing he did mattered because everything was a party.

Ron doesn’t blame taking drugs on anything; he says he chose to take drugs consciously because he wanted to drink from the marrow of life.  He wanted new experiences and being that drugs were taboo in popular culture it made it much more attractive an option.

Ron goes on to tell us that he first smoked weed at 15 years old and was doing heroin at 22.  It was 7 years of drug use starting at the ‘gateway’ drug and ending up with the evil of heroin.  Ron explained that the first time you try heroin it makes you feel sick to your stomach and you physically throw up and feel like crap.  He remembers thinking ‘why the fuck do people do this”.  But it is something that people do even though they feel that way.  Ron can’t explain why with the words the English Language has given him but he compares it to being in the womb; the complete and unrelenting sense of being finally comfortable and at home.  It is an amazing thing what a little yellow powder can do for a person’s state of mind.

Ron didn’t go from cannabis to heroin; he did try other drugs and tells me how they made him feel.  Pot made him feel paranoid, investigative and curious.  Alcohol made him feel like Superman where he could get any girl and beat up any man and at the same time leap tall insecurities with a single bound.  Xanax made him feel like life was good and sleep was good.  Cocaine made him feel awesome, he wanted the beer, the girls, the casinos and was confident.  DMT (Dimethyltryptamine) is something that Ron says he would never try again but does not go into depth about why.  I hadn’t heard of this and google tells me it is a hallucinogenic drug which can cause distorted vision and hallucinations.  Perhaps no clarification is needed.  Heroin is what Ron calls his Cinderella.  He describes it as the one girl in his life that has always been there for him.  She knows exactly what to do to take away all the pain.  She makes him want to be a better person.

Ron was aware of addiction from adolescence as he had an uncle on his mother’s side who was a heroin addict.  He had been doing dope since the Reagan administration.  He knew the risks but it didn’t stop him trying it himself.  Roy knew he was using drugs and he knew that he was using them way too much and way too often.  But he did not feel powerless over it and never had to hit the bottom.  He willingly and of his own violation decided to quit and says that white knuckle detox is the single greatest achievement he has ever accomplished as it is enough to break even the strongest of men.

With the knowledge that Ron was an addict, although not too far in at first that he was out of control, he still stands by the fact that drugs are usable socially.  He believes that even heroin can be used safely and recreationally but is aware that he can’t use it in that way.  For a year Ron used heroin ‘just on the weekends’ and didn’t touch it during the week.  When his depression worsened it was then that he considers he became a full blown junkie. 

Realising he was addicted was when he was sat in the front seat of his truck at 4am one day.  He was with his best friend’s girlfriend and whilst she still had blood coming out of the pin prick in her arm she climbed on top of him to have sex with him because he had brought her heroin.  Ron was intending to share but he says that in her insane, diluted mind, pussy was payment for friendship.

Ron describes himself as the ‘perfect addict’.  He slipped through every crack; worked a full time job and his family had no idea that he was even using drugs.  The only people he feels he was hurting were the social relationships but he never really cared too much about that anyway.  In the days that Ron terms the bad ones he feels life was gloriously entertaining.  He would get off work in the morning around 7am head home and fix a short shot or crush up some Xanax and snort it before going to sleep.  He would wake up around 3pm and that was when his day started.  First thing he did if he needed dope was to call up his D Boy and tell him that he was coming through, making sure he let him know how much he needed and asking what other stuff was available.  Ron was always in the market for quality drugs of all sorts and he quotes Hunter S. Thompson “once you are locked into a serious drug collection, the tendency is to take it as far as you can”.  Once Ron picked up what he needed he would call up some of his ‘friends’ and see what they were up to.  He explains that when you are living the drug life you can pretty much find anything you want at any time of the day.  If you want to snort coke off some girls tits, come on over.  If you want to have a girl shoot you up and then blow you, come on over.  If you want to smoke cigars and pretend you aren’t a junkie, come on over.

Once the plans were in place for the evening, Roy would pregame with a solo shot.  He tells me that when your friends are junkies they will give you sob stories about being poor or broke or whatever in the hope you will share your drugs.  Ron was happy to share but ensured he always got first dibs. 

A lot of people say that the best high of your life is the first time you take a hit but as we found out earlier, the first hit of heroin can make you really sick.  Ron says his first time sucked and the best high he ever felt was when a girl shot him up.  He describes it as slow, sexual and emotional.  They spent time talking and lying together but didn’t even have sex which for a self-confessed serial womaniser like Ron is a big deal!

Along with the highs, there were also lows but Ron says his lowest point in regards to heroin was doing it before a family event just to cope with all the inherent stress involved.  His lowest point in life is to do with relationships.

Drugs cost money but Ron worked a full time job so had a steady income.  He is also honest when he says he did turn to crime and became a criminal.  He did it all and felt crime was a rush.  Ron knew he was at a low point in the truck with his best friend’s girlfriend but it took him six months from realising it until he got help.  He knew he was in over his head and called his supervisor at work to take medical leave.  He went straight into rehab right away because he knew if he didn’t that he would find an excuse later as to why he could carry on being a junkie.  He did a 30 day rehab, went home and did outpatient therapy and got help where he really needed it. He was diagnosed with a mental health illness and that diagnosis was the single most important thing that helped with his recovery.

Ron has been lucky inasmuch as he has only had one relapse since getting clean.  He went on a 4 day binge but easily landed on his feet.  The only substance he uses nowadays is alcohol; he stays away from all other drugs. 

Looking back at his time on drugs, Ron tells us the worst thing he saw was when his friend’s four year old child was climbing all over his friends lap, touching and kissing his dads face.  The friend was out of his skull on heroin, completely nodded out and he had no idea that the beautiful moment was taking place right in front of his eyes.  Ron has lost people to drugs but doesn’t put too much investment in personal relationships anymore.  Everyone lies, everyone steals, everyone cheats and he says he can’t blame them because he is a son of a bitch too!

A lot of people look at drug addicts like they are scum and believe that they do not care what they are doing.  Ron doesn’t care much for social prejudice and people like that are the ones who should go fuck themselves in his eyes.  Not all addicts are a menace to society; Ron worked hard for his money so he had a home, food for his mouth and dope for his needle.  Not every addict is a socially retarded drain on society.

Rehab is how Ron got himself clean and with many, many therapy appointments along with medication for his sociopathy and bipolar disorder.  But above all it was good old fashioned willpower that got him through.  He is realistic when he says he cannot tell other people not to do drugs but his story must show you how messed up the world can be.  Ron would like to be honest and says to anyone who is considering using heroin that you have to realise you will have a 7 year lifespan on average.  From the moment that needle goes into your arm to the moment you die, it is 7 years.  Ron goes on to say that if someone wants to die then it is their life and they should do it but if you think you are meant for greater things than being found slumped down in the front seat of your car somewhere because you overdosed and no one found you for 9 hours, then he suggests taking his word on the matter that heroin is not worth it.

Heroin can be fun but there are many other things that people can do with their lives.  Ron wishes he had all the money back that he spent on dope as he says he would have travelled the entire world by now.  If you are reading this and want to help someone who is doing dope, Ron advises cutting them off and having zero contact.  The person will reach out at some point and when they do you can offer to be a part of their life but on your terms.  Addicts are master manipulators and will dangle any possibility that they think you will respond to then pull an old fashion confidence scheme.  All addicts are lying to you and all addicts are stealing from you.  All addicts are cheating on you and heroin is the only mistress.

Ron admits that he misses the drug buzz but now gets his kicks from other facets in life.  He likes adventure, women and competitive sports.  Although the drug part of his life was one of the most fun periods he had in his entire life, he was too busy doing that to find fun in other places.  It came down to a single question with Ron.  Did he want to stay clean and enjoy all the things that came with that or did he want to use heroin and enjoy all the things that came with that?

For Ron it wasn’t a hard choice when he looked at it from a logical standpoint.  He is currently working for Amtrak in Washington D.C. as a locomotive engineer and is also a dating coach.  His relationships have been replaced by ones that he chooses and not ones chosen for him by such things as birth, lack of options or drugs.  He has a wonderful, exciting social circle that he has developed and he does literally whatever he wants to do, whenever he wants to do it.  He feels he has been given a better start than most and cannot complain.  Above everything else he has been clean for around six months now.  His first year of sobriety WILL be on February 18th 2015.