This is a true story. A young man and a young woman, both perhaps mid to late 20’s, huddled against the wind, were having an argument about addiction that began when the young man said:
“I need a crack hit,”
“No, you don’t,” the woman countered. “You want a crack hit.”
“No, I’m a crack addict and I need a crack hit.”
“You’re not an addict ; I’m an addict My body is physically addicted to Heroin. If you don’t get crack tonight, you’ll live. If I don’t get Heroin, I might die – it’s that simple. You don’t know addiction. You know habit and preference and maybe some obsession of the mind but that sure as hell isn’t anything like addiction. You have a habit you can’t afford; I have an addiction that, for the life of me, I can’t afford to stop.”
The boy digs in his pants and pulls out three one-dollar bills.
She looks at him suspiciously.
“What do you expect to get from me for three bucks? Even my hand has five fingers, if you know what I mean.”
“I know what you mean. I thought maybe you’d let me buy you a cup of coffee over there. That coffee shop is still open and if we sit by the window we can still see if our connects are coming but we will be warm and out of the wind.”
The girl smiled an honest smile for the first time since well, I don’t honestly know.
“Hell, yes, “ she said linking arms with him as they headed for the coffee shop, “we drug addicts gotta stick together. You know…like family.”
Family isn’t always that eager to stick together.
No one is more honest, more caring or more compassionate than a drug addict. When they say that they promise to never lie or steal they mean it 100%.. They are not being disingenuous or making promises they don’t intend to keep. But if they are actually physically addicted to an opiate such a morphine or heroin, they know that if they don’t score, they could die . It is a true matter of life or death. They are not using the drug for fun, for pleasure, or to get “high.”
If you say: “I can’t believe she would steal our flat screen TV to score Heroin.” I ask you, if someone kidnapped her and held her for ransom, saying that the price of keeping her alive one more day was your flat screen TV, would you say no?
Is her life of less value than your TV set?
People with addiction are not puppets with tangled strings that need to be cut so they can learn the harsh lesson of gravity. Beware of hastening them to “hit bottom”
They can’t get clean if they’re not alive. As long as they are alive, there is hope.