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Taylor Campbell Camille Pack English 2010 March 26, 2014 The Heroin Diaries The Heroin Diaries

by Nikki Sixx is an insane, heartbreaking, abusive tale that shatters the glass between super-stardom and reality. It is a painful account of a mans sickness that was acquired through fame and fortune. The story of Nikki Sixx, the bassist and lyricist of the band Motley Cre, is all but serene. His upbringing, multiple drug addictions, and occasional overdoses can make any person appreciate even the most trivial things in their lives. The Heroin Diaries brings insight into one year in Nikki Sixxs life, 1987. The book is a collection of diary entries by Sixx throughout 1987 with commentary by both him and his partners in crime. The book portrays a nightmarish insight into addiction with how it is designed, the unbelievable day-by-day antics of Nikki Sixx, and his impact on the world and people around him. After diving into the head of Nikki Sixx, you will know true evil in the form of addiction. The tone of the entire book is established from the cover. Blood splatters and ink spots blanket the cover and seep into the pages of the book. The font of the title

looks as if it were insanely scratched into a wall with fingernails that were eventually ripped off and blood filling the empty space. A portrait of Nikki Sixx from 1987 is transformed from a crazed addict to an older, wiser Sixx today. The pages of the book are dark and unorganized to give a sense of being inside a nightmare. Random sketches and old photographs help Nikki Sixxs demons fly off the page. The layout of the book is designed to suck you inside Nikki Sixxs head with the typewriter font, black ink spots and borders, and the consistent view of blood splatters. Nikki attempts to take you on a journey through his nightmare and the design of the book is one of his tools. As the books layout sucks you into the terrifying dream, Sixxs narrative traps you inside. He starts out the transcript with an alternative dictionary of medical terms from an addict. He defines addiction as When you can give up something, as long as it is next Tuesday. Psychosis is described as When everybody turns into tiny dolls and they have needles in their mouths and they hate you and you dont care because you have THE KNIFE! AHAHAHAHA!!! These cracked definitions bring you a vivid portrayal of the insanity that is Nikki Sixx. It narrows the spectrum of addiction to his familiarity and helps establish trust in his experience with the reader.

The narrative is a first hand account of Nikki Sixxs life throughout the year of 1987. Sixx describes his diary as scraps of paper he wrote on so he would not forget what he did the day before. It is organized with the diary portion in black typewriter font and both his and others thoughts in red. The commentaries to the journal entries give more depth and understanding to insanity and antics of Nikki at that time. It makes the nightmare more real. The horrifying tale starts off on Christmas Eve, 1986. The scene is set with Nikki Sixx on the floor of his closet with a needle in his arm and a scrap of paper with a pen. He is alone on a holiday where you it is custom to be with family, his only friend, a drug called heroin. The depression in his writing stands out and you can feel nothing but empathy for this empty person strung out on the floor. At this point Nikki has been addicted to heroin and cocaine for a while. His band, Motley Cre, are starting to record a new album and going on tour in the upcoming year. Because of this, he decides to write in a diary to remember what he did the day before. Being high, drunk, and strung out is a common occurrence for Nikki and it has greatly affected his memory. To know exactly what is going through his head while on a substance as precarious as heroin is a humbling experience. Nikki could not go a day without heroin, or most other mind-altering substances either. Being an international superstar, money was never an issue. He would spend roughly three thousand dollars a day on heroin and cocaine without blinking an eye. Nikki was living the rock star life to the fullest. With both the diary entries and personal commentary, he paints the full picture of what it is like to absolutely need heroin. He explains one time when he was in the studio with his

band recording their new record. At the time, the band members of Motley Cre understood the debilitating person Nikki was and the sickness that consumed him. Nikki couldnt waste another second without taking a hit and knowing the backlash he would receive if he were to pull out a needle during rehearsal, he rushed to the bathroom. Entering a stall with a beer bottle cap, he pulled out his small balloon full of heroin and placed a portion of it in the bottle cap. He then used the toilet water to boil the substance and proceeded to inject it into his arm. The fact that he would use dirty toilet water to shoot up is incredible and really shows how desperate his addiction makes him. The casts of characters that chime in on the commentary throughout the book are amazing. People like Vince Neil, Slash, Lemmy, and other band members along with family, friends, and old girlfriends all offer insight into Nikkis antics at the time. This offers the outside perspective of Nikkis addiction. Slashs comments are the most interesting. Slash is, himself, an addict and he is like Nikkis sidekick. He would often participate in all the poison that Nikki provided and on some occasions would outshine Nikki. Slash would urinate in all the beds of famous celebrity mansions in Van Nuys and would experience major night terrors where he would shriek at deafening volumes whenever he was strung out. It is fascinating to

get perspectives from two addicts going through the same thing at the same time. Slash has even credited The Heroin Diaries as inspiration for writing his own book. The book culminates in a series of events that would make anyone cringe. Towards the end of 1987, nothing really has changed for Nikki. Addiction still rules his life and as any heroin addict knows, hospital visits are as frequent as a trip to the gas station to fill up the car. Heroin addicts often take more than what is safely recommended and consequently overdose. (World) On a typical night for Nikki, he goes out and spends roughly one thousand dollars on heroin and decides to share it with Slash and a couple groupies they met at a show. Subsequently, Nikki overdosed and collapsed. Slash, being strung out himself, was of no use and the only savior Nikki had was his girlfriend who rushed in at the 11th hour and called the ambulance. Moments later, Nikki was pronounced dead. Miraculously, he was brought back to life through CPR. Reaching the climatic end of the diary, it feels as if you have gone through hell and back. At first the glamour and glitz of Hollywood entrance you, but quickly you realize this dream has become a nightmare. Addiction is a disease that can lead to death and nothing portrays that more than Nikkis story. Nikki is one of the lucky ones. Not everyone comes back from the dead. As I finished the book and read of Nikkis new lease on life and optimistic outlook, I was shocked to read in the Afterword portion of the book that Nikki has relapsed many times after coming back from the dead. This had a profound affect on me as I couldnt believe that his disease wasnt gone. I later realized that it is a constant fight and reading Nikkis

diary, or what I call his nightmare, it can give hope to anyone struggling with addiction that even at his darkest moment, Nikki rose from the dead.

Bibliography
Commission, American Accreditation HealthCare. Medline Plus. 2014 <www.nlm.nih.gov>. Sixx, Nikki and Ian Gittins. The Heroin Diaries. New York: MTV Books, 2008. Slash and Anthony Bozza. Slash. Harper Collins, 2008. World, Drug Free. Foundations For a Drug Free World. 2014. 2014 <www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/heroin>.