Tag Archives: Heroin Addiction

A Day In The Life of a Social Documentary Photographer: Audio Notes for February 6, 2015

One essential piece of equipment for doing social documentary work is a good audio recorder for taking notes, and for conducting interviews. When working long-term projects it becomes impossible to remember everything that happens. The following is an inside view of my audio notes for February 6, 2015.

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Heroin Prevention Project

You were a good man, Greg. I'm grateful that you were in my life. We talked about this day, about life, about death - about the struggle for meaning and purpose. You were a true talent, and a good soul. I will miss you.

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John Lee, 1-31-2015

John Lee preparing his heroin rig in an abandoned East Garfield Park home.
John Lee preparing his heroin rig in an abandoned East Garfield Park home-1896_2

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West Side Chicago Heroin House

Abandoned houses often serve as shelter for people suffering with drug addiction. This is a popular house where several people live, and where many addicts come to inject heroin throughout the day after they purchase the drug in the surrounding neighborhood.

John Lee standing in the doorway of a West Side Chicago heroin house, 2015

John Lee standing in the doorway of a West Side Chicago heroin house, 2015

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END THE WAR ON DRUGS!

While searching for John Lee today, I ran into Shaggy, whom I haven't seen in about eight months. He's now in a wheelchair due to complications from a recent heroin overdose.

Drug addiction is a biological and psychological sickness, NOT a criminal issue. How do we know this? Because people in their right minds don't do things like this:

The first image is Shaggy drawing toilet bowl water into his heroin syringe. The second image is Shaggy injecting toilet bowl water into his arm...

Shaggy drawing toilet bowl water into his heroin syringe.

Shaggy drawing toilet bowl water into his heroin syringe.

Shaggy injecting toilet bowl water into his arm...

Shaggy injecting toilet bowl water into his arm...

What is the leading cause of heroin overdose? The War On Drugs...

Please help support my photo project: Heroin addiction photo project. Any amount helps me get closer to my goal.

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Heroin addiction photo project GoFundMe fundraiser!

As many people may know, over the past 18 months I have been working on a photo project that deals with the issue of heroin addiction. Now I'm ready to put the book and gallery show together, but I'll need your help!

During this time, I have come to know several Heroin addicts on a deep and personal level. We’ve built relationships, and are working together to tell their stories.

Some of my photos have been published by the BBC and Mail Online.

I'm now finished with the field-work portion of this project, and I'm ready to produce prints for an educational traveling photo show, along with a book. What do I need funding for?

Ordering/creating approximately 45/50 prints along with mats and frames.

Founder and curator of the Urbana Museum of Photography , Lyosha Svinarski, has agreed to do all the inkjet printing of the images that will be used in any potential heroin addiction prevention photo show, for a very reasonable exchange. We're looking to produce around 45 large prints, complete with mats and frames, that will be available for display. I've set up this fundraiser to help cover the cost of materials. If you would like to help support this effort, any contribution will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

What is the goal of this project?

First, through the forthcoming book and gallery show, I hope to put a human face on addiction by telling the addicts' personal stories. I also intend to articulate the need for prevention, harm reduction, and treatment rather than criminal prosecution for drug users.

What have I learned through working this project thus far?

First and foremost: don't do junk! The number one message that Heroin addicts have asked that I pass along is: "Don't Do Junk!" Don't think that you can just snort Heroin one time - it's NOT worth the risk. That one time soon turns into fifty - fifty quickly transforms from snorting to injecting. Six months later, you're looking back wondering what the hell happened. Additionally, I now personally believe that the best use of societal time and money in combating Heroin addiction, is better spent on prevention, harm reduction, and treatment rather than criminal incarceration.

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Heroin Photo Book Update

I just finished ordering the last batch of 5x7 inkjet prints of the images that I'm considering for inclusion in my forthcoming photo book on heroin addiction. I received the first batch of 85 prints this past week, and have been spreading them out into small groups, and seeing what order certain photos should go in. There's something about holding and viewing real prints - real prints of real people... pain, sorrow, cold; cold winds, cold soul, oh horror! oh horror! of cold concrete floors...

prints--1327

Please, don't ever, ever do heroin. The consequences are just too horrific.

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