Tag Archives: Heroin Addiction

Junkie Shit – #274

 Junkie Shit - #274 - Lower Wacker, #Chicago - Fall, 2014 - Minolta 202, Tri-X EI 800, Stand Development -

Junkie Shit – #274 – Lower Wacker, #Chicago – Fall, 2013 – Minolta 202, Tri-X EI 800, Stand Development -

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Heroin Addiction: Psychological, Not Criminal

I ran into Ali today. His abscesses have gotten worse since the last time I saw him. Many addicts put off medical treatment because they are afraid of getting dope sick while in the hospital. From what I’ve been told, not all hospitals give addicts medication to help with their withdrawal symptoms.

How do we know that heroin addiction is a psychological issue rather than a criminal issue? Because anyone in their right mind would never do this to themselves:

Ali displays one of several large abscesses that he has developed due to his heroin addiction.

Ali displays one of several large abscesses that he has developed due to his heroin addiction.

The reason Ali’s leg is so swollen, is because it’s filled with puss and nasty infection. It smells like death when the puss flows out of an abscess. I’ve had that death-smell stick in my nose for several days.

This abscess is about two inches deep. Ali will lose his leg if he doesn’t take care of this.

Abscesses are primarily caused from an addict using dirty needles. Easy and free access to clean syringes helps with harm reduction.

Abscesses are primarily caused by an addict using dirty needles. Easy and free access to clean syringes helps with harm reduction.

Support your local harm reduction centers. Chicago Recovery Alliance  @anypositivechange

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John Lee, reflecting upon the past, contemplating the future

John Lee, reflecting upon the past, contemplating the future. 6-13-2014

Chicago heroin addict, John Lee, reflecting upon the past, contemplating the future. 6-13-2014

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One More Jab – Jason – 6-13-2014 – West Side, Chicago

Heroin addiction, Chicago

The window light, and the laundry basket, are symbolic of the clean life that could be in the future (or, the one left behind). The hole in the wall, is reflective of the hole in one’s soul which keeps the spirit from the light.

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Love Mom

Love Mom - Jason - Chicago heroin addict

Jason, a 30 year-old heroin user, injects the drug into his foot while temporally squatting in an abandoned West Side Chicago home.

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Putting a price on heaven…

“I’ve experienced a lot of hurt, a lot of pain, a lot of people have ripped me off. I’ve seen a lot of things in this drug life, things most people never see – the whole underside of the World. It makes me question the whole thing about God, about dyin’ and walkin’ golden streets. If they’re walkin’ golden streets, then they’re already puttin’ a price on heaven.” – John Lee, Heroin Addict

John Lee-heroin addict - Putting a price on heaven...

Chicago heroin addict, John Lee contemplating the nature of evil and human mortality.

Worlds Within Worlds…

John Lee injects heroin while people travel down Chicago's River Walk.

John Lee injecting heroin while people stroll along Chicago’s River Walk.

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Not All Heroin is Created Equal – Close Call Heroin Overdose

Not all heroin is created equal. The larger bag on the left is almost pure white, while the smaller bag on the right is a sort of buckskin brown. The bag with the brown heroin, is the purer bag of dope. It’s the cut that makes heroin look white. The bag on the left cost $20.00, while the smaller more powerful bag on the right, only cost $10.00.

A bag of heavily cut heroin (left) sits next to a bag of purer heroin (right).

A bag of heavily cut heroin (left) sits next to a bag of purer heroin (right).

John and Rico had just finished shooting a bag of the white heroin when a dealer came up and offered them a bag of good brown: “I got the best dope in town right here, mother fucker. You can put that play shit away,” he said as he approached. He wasn’t joking either, for when John shot Rico in the neck…

John prepares to inject heroin into Rico's neck.

John prepares to inject heroin into Rico’s neck. After “hitting,” John pushes down hard on the syringe, thus releasing the deadly opiate into Rico’s system – this time, it takes the fast-train to his brain.

… Rico instantly fell out hard. By the time John had stood up, Rico was in a heavy slump.

Rico hitting a heavy "nod" after injecting strong heroin.

Rico hitting a heavy “nod” after injecting strong heroin.

John generally doesn’t get concerned when people go into their nod, but I could tell that this time, John was worried about Rico. I asked John if I should go and find some Narcan. At first John said no, but after rolling Rico over…

John becomes concerned and attempts to awake Rico from his nod.

John becomes concerned and attempts to awake Rico from his nod.

… he changed his mind and said, “go see if them guys over there have any Narcan – and hurry up!” Rico fell over, his eyes rolling back in his head, and started to convulse.

I ran across the street to where a group of addicts sometimes camp, and found a jar of Narcan (I had distributed 10 jars earlier in the week, so I knew they probably still had some).

Rico falls back onto cardboard boxes that separate him from the urine-soaked concrete.

Rico falls back onto cardboard boxes that separate him from the urine-soaked concrete.

Luckily, by the time I got back, John had managed to get Rico to his feet. It was good to see him walking around. I gave John the jar of Narcan and advised that he start keeping some on him at all times, because – not all heroin is created equal.

Red Hot Chili Peppers- Under The Bridge
Under the bridge downtown
Is where I drew some blood
Under the bridge downtown
I could not get enough
Under the bridge downtown
Forgot about my love
Under the bridge downtown
I gave my life away

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