What does a heroin addict look like?
Each morning I do what all the other runners down here on Adam Street do: I lurk in the doorways, dodge the police, jones, and wait for addicts to drive up and buy their morning dose. Now Adam Street isn’t safe. And only one rule counts—the strong survive. The drug trafficking goes on all night long without a break. There’s routine police surveillance, nothing big though. Every shift the cruiser drives by just to let us know they know. But for the most part the drug trade is in your face twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
I wasn’t always a homeless, jobless, low-life heroin addict. Once I was a good kid, an altar boy for Farther Muldoon right here at St. Patrick’s. I went to the YMCA as a young boy and played basketball, baseball, and football. And I was a pretty fair student—but school bored me. I think it had something to do with the fact both my parents were teachers.
How would you describe a heroin addict? From where you start…or where you end up? And how does opiate addiction typically change the way a person looks, feels, or present themselves?