“If Only it Were Over—but the Only Way Out is Death—I Don’t Want to Die.”
Take a deep breath—I tell it like it is—Jenny J. Jones.
The heading above are the words that a heroin addict said to me one Monday when I visited a squat where heroin was the order of the day. The floors were littered with aluminum foil, boxes of matches, petrol lighters, tourniquets, leftover food and rubbish, dirty clothes and sneakers (shoes). Anything that could be sold for cash to feed their need for drugs was also present. Stolen speakers and band equipment stood in corners waiting for buyers to show up. There was a large radio/record player that had formerly been in a store somewhere. I never found out how it had been acquired.
Meters had been hacked into for free lighting and stove use. Used hypodermic needles, unwashed crocks, and cutlery, rubbish of all kinds lay about on the ground. To my horror, many had collapsed into a coma-like state and were lying about on the stairs, the floors, and on two single mattresses—the stuffing of which had been used to light a fire at some point.
Marijuana was a feature of the scene, along with sexual favours and prostitution by both the men and women and sadly children (i.e., those under the age of 18). A pimp paid regular visits to offer ’work’ to the junkies.
One addict who I will call Jack, not that he is alive now, was lying up against the wall using a tourniquet to bring up his arm veins, so he could inject. He lost out—they were collapsed from so many unhealed piercings over the years. He tried his neck and couldn’t do it himself. He asked me to help and I declined. He next resorted to his ankle veins, but they too were of no use. He finally got the needle into an injection point between his third and fourth toe. I watched his skin change to a kind of gray hue, his eyes become pinpoints. To my surprise, instead of a smile or pleasant look from the high, he looked terribly sad and said, “I want out—I will have to die—it’s the only way.”
I spent the next hour or so talking with Jack; sometimes he was lucid, sometimes he was not. He wanted to do rehab if it was possible and get his life back. He asked me to come back in a day or so and he promised to be ’heroin free’ for at least one day so he could have a proper talk with me about rehab. With time pressing and ex-addicts back at Narconon UK needing my attention, I made a promise to come back and left him.
I went back two days later. When I asked around for him, I was told, “He died yesterday—’they’ took his body away. We are all leaving here—the owner wants his property back and the police will be sent in.” I found it hard to take in that Jack was dead.
I went back to Narconon UK and concentrated on helping the addicts who were on the programme. I will never forget Jack and my conversation with him. In the end, he had wanted to make an effort but had left it too late.
The lesson here: Don’t leave it until it’s too late. If you are addicted to heroin, seek Narconon UK’s help. If you have a family member who is heroin-addicted, introduce them to Narconon UK and let him talk with those on the programme already. Staff is always there to talk with but there is nothing like listening to someone who is addicted to heroin and are now free from the scourge and intend to stay that way.