An 8-Year Opiate Addiction Fueled His Love for Games. Now, He's Quitting


Games have helped (and hindered) Larry's addiction for nearly a decade, but he wants to be a better father, a better partner. He's just not sure what it means for his favorite hobby.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at


I’m glad to hear that this story looks like it’s looking up for Larry and I hope that, as he said he wanted to do, that his story can be a beacon of hope for others who are recovering from opiate addictions. I am far from a drug policy expert, but I definitely can see where games would be helpful for weathering some of the difficulties around withdrawal. A game like MGSV, which does sort of consume your brain in its complexities, can pull you into the world and give you some breadcrumbs.

As said above, I’m not an expert on this. But I thought Klepek did a really good job on writing a balanced and sympathetic account of Larry’s difficulties. Good work, boss!


This is a great story and excellent work from Patrick. I did get excited initially and hope that Michael Clune’s work would make it into this article as he has written some incredible books and articles about addiction and gaming: Gamelife, White Out, and this article for Vice, “How Computer Games Helped Me Recover from My Heroin Addiction”.


the worst parts of withdrawal are when you find yourself with nothing to do, your mind starts to wander and you’re only able to focus on cravings and headaches. distraction and engaging your mind and attention with something completely different are absolutely tactics i would recommend from firsthand experience. i did this a LOT with watching anime, and as Larry says in the article, i have memories that are confused and unreliable where i feel like i only watched certain shows when i was out of it, so for me going back and rewatching stuff sober felt very rewarding.

absolutely didn’t expect to see this article but i’m extremely pleased. thanks, patrick!


Oh, getting over drug addiction is so awful. Several of my family members have struggled with it or are struggling with it currently. I hope things go well for Larry and for his family. (And thank you for the article, Patrick.)


Thanks @patrick.klepek for sharing such a great story.

This hit home for me (on a much smaller scale) for a couple of reasons. I have started to develop back pain and I worry about the path it could taker if I can’t fix it without drugs (not an issue currenty).

I have also run into the problem of my mind/body having trouble separating habits. For my entire life, I have been an avid reader. And until a year ago, I would always snack on something - chips, pretzels, popcorn, etc… - while I read. Not the best habit, and now it is even worse since I was diagnosed with diabetes. I have removed all of the bad food habits from my life, but one of the consequences is that I barely read anymore.I think my body knows that reading leads to snacking and has killed my motivation to read. Thankfully, I gaming is not a conducive to snacking or I would really be up a creek.

My problems are pretty small compared to Larry’s, but I empathize with his struggle. I hope he is able to separate gaming and his addiction. Dealing with addiction is a terrible thing and having one of you coping mechanisms possibly cutoff is unfair.


Nice constitution. As a long time addict now clean six years, I c used to try and play all games but would end up spun and sick as a dog.


Loved this piece, @patrick.klepek. I’d love to read more stories like this exploring the relation between gaming and physical health/dependencies (as well as the mental health side too of course, which I feel like Waypoint has done a great job of thus far.) It’s so cool to hear about even seemingly niche emotions or phenomena are known by way more people than you think.