Dating a heroin addict
Dating a heroin addict
Nearly all of those who died were white and there were twice as many men than women. "She found me, curled up in the fetal position in the corner of the bathroom with a blanket over my head," Rosolanko said. He served 16 months in federal prison and agreed to pay back everything he stole. But Rosolanko, who grew up in Castle Creek, a small town outside of Binghamton, said she just knew it would all end well.The number of drug-addicted babies has also surged in Onondaga County: in 2015, there were 56, more than double the 2014 number. But heroin's tentacles reach into corporate offices and suburban high schools, pulling in people no one expects. "He just had a passion about making his life better," she said.
This is where Rob Rosolanko's journey began: In a hospital bed, writhing in pain from pancreatitis. They have been paying off his crime, like a mortgage, every month.
He had four bouts of the painful illness in his 20s. Rosolanko said he was a heavy drinker then and thinks that's what caused the pancreatitis. He popped some while sitting on his couch, not trying to get high, but trying to get rid of the pain. The weather is beautiful, I love everything," Rosolanko said. It wasn't until a few years later, in his early 30s, when he moved to Dallas and his job got increasingly stressful. Rosolanko remembers sitting in his car in a parking lot in downtown Dallas, in daylight, and putting the needle into his vein. He was planning to go see his family in New Jersey when he received a phone call from his secretary. He shot up heroin for the last time in the parking lot at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport Feb. Rosolanko says he's paying back the last ,000 of the more than 0,000 that he stole. He now works at Tully Hill, in Tully, as a substance abuse counselor.
Rosolanko remembered the pills made him feel euphoric and began "doctor shopping" to get more, making up ailments. He could see the grassy knoll where conspiracy theorists say a mystery shooter stood and fired at President John F. "The best way I can describe it is if you're having sex and you have an orgasm – right at that peak – take that moment and stretch it out for five minutes," Rosolanko said. He began making fake marketing plans for the store grand openings he did at Home Depot. Is there any reason Home Depot corporate security is asking questions about you, she asked him. The path out for him was as much about realizing he needed better tools to deal with life than it was about overcoming the drugs, he said. Rosolanko goes to 12-step meetings weekly when things are good. Around him, he has the constant reminder of how strong addiction's grip can squeeze.
"I made up a stupid story: I was in a surfing accident," Rosolanko said. "It goes straight to your brain." "And I thought, 'I want to feel this all the time,'" Rosolanko recalled. He'd say he needed ,000 worth of gift cards, but only use ,000. "So if I learn how to deal with life and myself, I'll never feel the need to use a drug," Rosolanko said, sitting in his office at Tully Hill. Obituaries of people who pass through recovery but don't beat their demons get put on the table in the conference room at Tully Hill.
At the same time, he held down an ,000-a-year job as a marketing executive at Home Depot. His drug abuse began with Oxy Contin, but the pills became too expensive.
-- As Rob Rosolanko prepared to walk up to the stage and speak in front of 600 people in the Onondaga County Civic Center last month, he remembered the last time he was in front of a crowd: He threw out the first pitch at a Rangers/Yankees game in Dallas more than a decade ago. Rosolanko, 46, spent two years shooting heroin into his veins. While he was working, he'd slip into the bathroom and inject heroin. The rest of the time, he was either snorting heroin or taking prescription painkillers.
Rosolanko said at the end he was taking as many as 45 pills a day.
And that didn't get him high; it just kept him from slipping into withdrawal.
That day last month, Rosolanko told the story of how his addiction to heroin and painkillers tore his life apart and how he found his way out.
It was part of a forum put together by the Onondaga County Health Department to call attention to an epidemic of heroin and opiate use.
In 2010, there was a single death from heroin and opiate overdoses. That number is up 31 percent from 2014, and that could increase as there are still some deaths whose causes haven't been determined. And it led him to the love that would make the second chapter, the one that comes after drugs, easier.
The number of people who died from heroin use, alone, was 34. From there, Rosolanko, then 35, went to rehab, got a lawyer and pleaded guilty to wire fraud. Rosolanko went to live with his brother in Binghamton while he was waiting to be sentenced. (He and his wife were divorced by this point.) "And I thought, 'I have no business doing this,'"Rosolanko recalled. So he told her about everything: the drugs, needles, embezzlement and prison. Trina Rosolanko said her five brothers weren't too happy about her dating a drug addict who was in prison.