Home Pop Culture How I learned to love the needle.

How I learned to love the needle.



Sweating,shaking and vomiting this is the way I showed up at home today. So sick I fear I wet the one bag that I have scored from my neighbor. My roommate is laughing but for me this is no joke. This is my life and has been on and off since I was eleven years old. I am by all accounts an outgoing, friendly and funny person who happens to have a small if long lasting heroin habit.

As a matter of straight economics I rarely get high because it would cost between $80 and $120 just to get my head ‘nodding’ and feeling a little loose. Instead I inject a small amount 3 or 4 times a day or I should say what I consider to be a small amount though it would probably kill you. Half cc syringes are all over everything in my apartment. I use such a small syringe so as not to blowout my vein. To do so would be most unpleasant as I have only been able to use this one vein for the past two years.

I have had horror stories of infection, dope sickness, overdose and whatever else I have had to go through to get my fix. In terms of infection I had a Staph infection so bad that I now have a permanent scar that covers the entire back of my hand as well as the resultant nerve damage. In fact when the wound was fresh I could see all the way to the muscle. I now have arthritis in all the joints of that hand.

With regards to dope sickness: in one week I overdosed no less than four times. It was the great New York blackout of 2003 when all the lights went out and all the cell phones also went out. At the time I had a 4 bundle a day habit (READ 40 bags) and with the cellphones being inoperative it made it virtually impossible for me to cop so I went without for 3 days. I was in such a sorry shape that I could barely stand up. When the lights finally came back I was dismayed to learn that the closest my dealer could come was fifteen miles from my house. So I gathered my sad self up and got on the subway for the hour long ride .The ride was excruciating, propping myself up and trying to keep my bowels from loosing became a major exercise. When I arrived somewhere in Borough park I was then forced to wait three hours before the dope man finally came.  I needed to shoot up so desperately that I considered shooting up in public because no one would let me use a public restroom given the condition I was in. Instead with a heavy heart I boarded the train for the hour long ride home. Needless to say it was the longest train ride of my life.

When it comes to overdose I know a thing or four. In one week I managed to overdose no less than four separate times. Our tale begins when I bought some bulk scag from a dealer I have been using for fifteen years . He warned me of the overdose potential but at this point I felt quite invulnerable and besides dealers talk up their product all the time and usually it doesn’t even merit a child safety warning but I think this one time he might have understated the case. Compounding the problem was the massive quantity I bought. The first day I was cautious but as I got higher as is often the case I got bolder, taking shots that would floor ‘Secretairiat’ mixed with cocaine and chased with xannax bars- trouble was sure to follow. And follow it did, by the third day I was swimming or should I say drowning.