Michael Nowlan first discovered his mutant ability when he was in military drug detox center and accidentally triggered the powers of another soldier who would go on to become Timeshadow. Many mutants began to seek Nowlan out for a boost, to avoid this constant harassment Nowlan used heroin to block his powers.
Alliance of Evil
This worked for some time until Apocalypse forced him into service to augment the members of his Alliance of Evil. He made several attempts to run away from the team. Although X-Factor tried to help him, Nowlan was forced to give the Alliance of Evil power boosts when they threatened to life of his estranged wife.
When she was accidentally killed, Nowlan pumped too much energy into the Alliance of Evil. The strain was too much on his body. When combined with a drug over-dose, Nowlan slowly died in the arms of X-Factor members.
Michael Nowlan has the ability to enhance & amplify other's mutant powers. His body generated and released plumes of energies that, once release onto another mutant, could temporarily supercharge that individuals mutant energies.
If too much energy is focused on one person it could result in a massive overload and have their mutant powers rage out of control.
This boost has an addictive quality as those who have not been boosted in the last day feel as though they are going through withdrawal. It caused the same effects he felt when going through withdrawals, causing other mutants to feel the need for a 'fix' from Nowlan's powers.