What to Do About Heroin Addiction
To the Editor:
Re: “Use of Heroin in Public View Across the U.S.” (front page, March 7):
It’s not easy to understand heroin addicts. They eschew replacement drugs like methadone and Suboxone that reduce sickness and cravings so they can shoot up and experience that momentary rush and ephemeral bliss. Many of them know that they are chasing that “first high,” that first time that opened the door to heaven and hell.
Shooting up is an extraordinary experience, but as much as they try, addicts will not get that first high again. For these people, life holds little meaning or joy outside of getting high. Their addiction gives them a reason to exist, a focus and its rewards.
Many heroin addicts have found a way out by giving purpose to their lives. Helping others is a path we choose to walk. Great wisdom can be achieved by having lived on the dark side and then putting the madness behind us. I was once that junkie in the bathroom. Do not give up hope.
The writer is president and chief executive of Exponents, which serves people affected by drug addiction, incarceration and H.I.V.-AIDS.