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Crispy Bacon

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When the seasons change, when the days get dark early, my mind turns to heroin. Maybe there isn’t even heroin left in the US but I can’t say even at 21 years sober, I don’t occasionally get an itch. It’s more of missing numbness- numbness with flashes of euphoria. The Holiday Season reminds me of all the things I don’t have. Both my parents are dead. I have debts. My mental health goes through various stages of instability. I’m no longer in that blind faith phase of 12 step where I am fully invested in the idea that if I do x,y,z- I’ll be fine. So here I am.

Being active in a drug habit was fucking awful, don’t get me wrong. It’s cold now. A good vein is not easy to find when you are searching between two cars while your “friend” watches out for the police. There’s no joy in trying to figure out which limbs are the least infected. I often couldn’t feel my own legs because of the swelling from cellulitis mixed with dull nerves from constantly poking myself with a syringe. I’d lay under…

Two consenting adults

I went to pull my pants off. The customer was anxious to get to the goods. Around the world in thirty minutes or hopefully less. The abscess on my upper thigh had busted this morning. The puss had dried into a crust that sealed my tights onto my body. I didn’t want to pull to hard. Not only would it create suspicions (“look no tracks”)- there were no visible marks on my arms. Those veins had exited long ago. Tugging too hard at the fabric of this Petri dish of a garment would be painful.

He took a long pull from his pipe. I guess crack was somehow different from heroin. I had broken my    own rule here. Drugs and money didn’t mix. I liked my customers a little less rough around the edges. But today a girl has bills to pay. Find luck where you make it.

“Shhh. Shhh.” The John whizzes past me to hit the light switch “Shhhhhh.” He hushes me again as he gets down towards the floor. The FBI clearly has this room staked out for his twenty shot. I’m glad I got my money upfront but also he’s a…

“The Only Way”

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Dear Readers,

Folks that read this blog are all over the map with their drug use. Some of you are just starting out on this journey. I can only encourage you to get narcan, use safe technique, get advice from reputable sources, and take breaks. There are some that are midway through and have decided using drugs still works for you. And you know what- that is okay. You deserved to be treated with respect. Period. Humans have been using drugs for thousands of years. That isn’t going to stop because of prohibition. There are the vets of the drug war out there- I see you. You aren’t ready to stop but you don’t want to keep going either. That’s a tough place my friend. You don’t have to decide today but in the meantime, take better care of yourself baby. Finally, there are my pre and early recovery folk. Let me have a few words.

There is no one way to do recovery. 12 step is not the only way. Yes, it is the dominant treatment but that doesn’t make it the best treatment. Sanitariums used to…

In My Feelings

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Overdose Awareness Day is my least favorite day of the year. Let me explain.

In 1992, I came to San Francisco California in the middle of the AIDS crisis. Contrary to popular belief, I was already using drugs intravenously before the Greyhound bus touched down here. I had began using opioids (later Heroin) and the needle in 1990. There just wasn’t much access to them in Ohio. I knew about HIV but not much. Suburban Ohio was still struggling to understand it wasn’t a gay disease or Godly retribution for abhorrent behaviors. The empathy in the presentation was lacking. My eyes were about to open as I arrived in the city where sick and dying folks were out in the open. It was something to behold. 
I cannot stress strongly enough how 21 year old me was not prepared for the city. I had no concept of how widespread HIV was in the population of people who used drugs here in the City. Standing next to gaunt human beings with lesions at the syringe exchange, it was my first exposure to an epid…

Huddled masses

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What do you tell a 15 year old boy in leopard print skinny jeans that has just sucked a  lawyer’s dick for $100 when he asks you to help him find a vein. Do you take the moral high road telling him "I don't want to be responsible for your drug use." or do you tell him that you can explain what to do but you don't want to help. Or do you hold his arm and do the damn thing, perhaps asking that he provides you with a healthy rinse of his cooker in return for your service? Quite the quandary. I don't remember what I did on that foggy night underneath the street light in the parking lot by the breakfast spot where we both (separately) met the dope man. I'd like to think I did the first one but I truly can’t recall. I do remember reviving him from an overdose a few years later. Why don’t you let me die was his response. Unfortunately,  I was put in this situation more than once by more than one person. Girls who ran away from foster care and boys who’s stepdads gav…

They Can’t get “Clean” if They are Dead

They can’t get clean if they are dead.
     Tracey, you saved two of my best friends lives. You sent out Narcan kit to a friend who was there when they both overdosed on heroin that definitely cut with fentanyl/fentanyl analogues. Both friends collapsed after ten minutes when they dosed and thankfully the friend with the Narcan kit that you sent him had the kit in hit car.
After my friends collapsed; the sober friend ran to his car and retrieved the kit then he administered the Narcan to them. Within 2 minutes my two friends were brought out of the overdose and were fully conscious.
So thank you, thank you so so so very much for sending those kits. You've likely saved hundreds of lives, including my two friends. Two days after that very close call, both of those friends admitted themselves to inpatient rehab. 
My friends have now been clean a little over a year now. You truly are an amazing individual for doing what you do. Again thank you from the bottom of my heart. You're an an…

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