Friends, fellow junkies, ex-addicts, sympathizers and supporters, we’ve reached a time of critical importance. A war has been waged upon us. We hoped beyond hope that peaceful negotiation would be possible. That through compassion, understanding and respect for human rights we could prevent unnecessary conflict. That hope is not all lost, but white ribbons and peace flags are no longer adequate. We must face the enemy on their soil. Fight fire with fire in order to stand our ground. Like the Native Americans shoved onto reservation, or the internment camps filled with Japanese, our place has been designated, far removed from civilized society. Their crusade will not end until every last one of us has been shackled, chained and broken. Whether six feet under or in the gutters they’ve dug for us, they do not care. So long as we’re silenced and exterminated from their neighborhoods like rats in a kitchen. We can no longer afford to be silent. Now is the time to show we are a force to be reckoned with. If our Manifest Destiny is to be crushed by the hand of our oppressors, we will not slink into the night with whimper. Our bang will be heard like a host of thousand stars erupting into a glorious supernova for all the world to remember.
The nation’s intolerance of heroin is exponentially rising at fevered rate. Protests are being organized, town hall meetings and emergency public hearings are being called in small towns and large cities alike. The anger and hatred permeating our society is almost palpable. Ex-users are joining the masses, echoing their chants of intolerance, in order to avoid persecution. Even addicts are flocking to NA in droves, preemptively attempting to side themselves with the critical mass, hoping to win their favor by denouncing their love for the poppy as sinful and weak-spirited. We are all that’s left my friends. The few, the proud. User and non-user alike, who unabashedly declare, “I will not be dissuaded by irrational thinking. I am a free human-being who chooses to exercise the gift of freewill.” We are the brave. Those of us who refuse to put down the needle or hide in shadows. Nonusers who dare to take a stand for human liberty, who fight the persecution and unjust imprisonment of their brothers and sisters who love the poppy. It is up to us to stand up and fight against savage oppression, despite overwhelming societal pressure and a legal system designed to leave no survivors. We, the Junkies for Justice and Friend to the Junky, must be prepared for a brutal war. There will be many causalities. Many of us will be locked away, never to be seen or heard from again. We will lose brothers and sisters, husbands and wives. They will take our children away, claiming the best interest of the child. They will take our jobs away without cause, denying us any recourse to retaliate or prove our worth. They will deny us access to clean equipment, tempting many to use unsanitary and life threatening gear. I urge you to resist this temptation. If we succumb to their tactics we will only be hurting ourselves and will ultimately lose this war. They want us to kill each other off. I know withdraws are hell. All war is hell. Remember the greater good. Do whatever it takes, until you can get the clean equipment you need. Together we stand as a force in the face of an oppressor whose only goal is to see our demise. Only as a combined force can we show the world that we are responsible users. We do care about our lives and our health. We are good parents who have raised wonderful children. We can prosper in our careers. We will not be broken and forced into the gutter. Take away our needle exchanges. Deny us access to safe injection sites and legally purchased syringes. Increase our mandatory minimum sentences. We will still find a away. I know we will. Because heroin addicts, above all else, are resourceful and tenacious. For a hundred years we’ve been targeted, stereotyped, mocked, ridiculed, discriminated, outcast, forced into half-way homes, institutions, rehabs and sanitariums. Yet, our numbers still grow stronger, our resources more abundant, our resolve more determined. Let’s not forget, we are members of an elite society with a history spanning many centuries. This last 100 years has been a harrowing and destructive epoch. But it does not have to be our final chapter.
We must make hast. We have come to this battle late, and unfortunately the enemy has already infiltrated our troops. They’ve sent snakes out among us. Hissing hypnotic lies, intent to destroy us from the inside. It’s not a surprise that heroin users have been singled out. The syringe, our double-edged sword, brands us for the word to see. Those whose self-worth is derived from the belittlement of others make easy targets of us. Their cunning talk and vicious reproach would have you believe your worth is defined by your track marks. But it is not. I implore you, do not be deceived by their slippery words. Many-a junky has fell victim to their lies, doubting their own self-worth, slinking into the darkness, full of doubt, self-hatred and self-pity. We can’t afford to lose anymore soldiers. They will have you believe that addiction is a deficiency, a symptom of much deeper psychological issues. That you should be ashamed of your addiction and hide from the world. When in fact, opiate addiction is merely a matter of chemistry. The true worth of a person is defined by how he treats others, the kindness of his heart, the compassion in his soul, the integrity of his dealings, the love he extends to his neighbor and family, regardless of the substances he uses or how he administers them. Fortify yourself against those who will inevitably attempt to beguile you with false doctrine. Their attack will be fierce and unrelenting. But the strong will persevere.
Our numbers might be few compared to our the host of our enemy. But do not let that discourage you. We are the David to their Goliath and we have a distinct advantage, for the enemy knows not who he is dealing with. As the great Sun Tzu states in The Art of War, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” The enemy perceives us to be weak, unmotivated, unorganized, lazy, self-centered, uncaring, spiteful, ill-intentioned criminals. They will not be prepared for our counter-attack. Their generals have spent billions of dollars over the span of many decades to blind their soldiers and ensnare them in a web of lies, leaving them unprepared for our strike. So while Goliath is distracted conspiring to manipulate us into self-sabotage, let us begin to infiltrate the enemy camp. Quietly, at first. A whisper. Blending in with society, so as not to arouse suspicion or provoke the battle horn, speaking soft words in their ear of the deceit and trickery their commanders have used to ensnare them. We’ll seek out those with power who are sympathetic to the cause and enlist double agents. We’ll speak of human liberties, person freedom and inalienable rights. We must, each and everyone of us, expose ourselves to our loved ones and families. This is not negotiable. It is critical to the success of this mission. I understand that doing so exposes you to great risk, but it is a step we must take. Because this war will only be won with love, not hate. Only the power of love, the love of a nonuser for a junky, can generate enough empathy, enough real compassion, enough intolerance for injustice, to initiate change, provoke questions of doubt and inspire people to take real action towards reform. It is the only way.
This is a Call to Arms. Time is of the essence. For even at this very moment the enemy is strengthening their offense and fortifying their defenses. Their next attack will be swift and merciless and we must be prepared. I beseech each and every one of you, junkies, chippers, users, recovered addicts, friends, supporters, sympathizers and anyone who believes that human beings should be responsible and accountable for their own bodies, heed this call and willingly enlist without reserve. Together we can put an end to discrimination. We will destroy the ill-intentioned snake whose hypnotic hiss has lured a nation into believing those who are different are evil. We are small in number, but we can be victorious.