Pubdate: Wed, 22 Oct 2003
Source: Duncan News Leader (CN BC)
Copyright: 2003 Duncan News Leader
Author: Doug Marner
Bookmark: (Heroin)
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)
Bookmark: (D.A.R.E.)
Bookmark: (Youth)


Randy Miller spent too many of his birthdays in back alleys or soup
kitchens looking for the next hit of crystal meth or a shot of heroin.

So when the 49-year-old Lower Mainland longshoreman says it's
important to make a choice early in life and say no to drugs, he knows
what he's talking about.

Miller told students at Lake Cowichan secondary recently that he took
his first hit when he was 18 and was soon hooked on everything from
crystal meth to speed balls, a mix of cocaine and heroin.

He managed to clean up five years later and got married, but a sports
injury soon got him hooked on painkillers and it wasn't long before he
was back on the street again.

"I stayed in a six-block radius for 13 years," he said. "I don't know
how many people I know who have died because of drugs. Those weren't
happy years.

"It's a 24-hour job. All you care about is drugs. You don't care about
food, you don't care about your health. You just want to get high
again." Miller showed the students the scars on his leg from years of
shooting up and the eventual sores that became infected with maggots.
"It was disgusting," he recalled. "And I would stink so much. It was

Miller was once in an alley and got stabbed in the

He said the hardest part about recovery for him was the first three
months, when he constantly woke up with cravings and then couldn 't
get back to sleep. He said he was numb for three months, then started
to remember all the things that brought him down and he wanted to get
high again.

Miller has managed to survive and now said he can't even think about
taking drugs again because he's too scared. He admits it doesn' t take
much to trigger flashbacks, such as something he sees on television.

A few years back, while living in Red Deer, he was asked to speak to a
group of Red Deer Rustlers hockey players about his ordeal. He had
never spoken in front of people before and didn't have a clue what to
do, so he just started telling stories about what happened to him and
the audience was captivated.

Miller is featured in a movie about drugs, called Through a Blue Lens,
which some students at LCSS have seen. Miller recommends the film to
everyone, including parents.

Miller was invited by the Lake Cowichan RCMP to speak to the students,
as part of the DARE program. DARE stands for drug and alcohol
resistance education.
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