If you’ve read much of my blog, you may have noticed a reference here or there to Dr. H ‘s Heroin Helper website or his book, The Heroin User’s Handbook. His material is full of great information on how to use heroin as safely as possible, the best ways to use avoid heroin-related conflicts with your social groups, family and even law enforcement and even how to avoid addiction. I was recently re-reading the Heroin User’s Handbook and a section popped out to me that described exactly how I view my own blog, or at least the intentions I have for my blog. In fact, I doubt I could have penned it better myself if I tried. So, rather than butcher his writing by trying to re-write it in my own words, I’m going to quote him directly. The Heroin User’s Handbook, by Francis Moraes, Chapter 1, page 14-15:
“I had a dream recently:
There were these bleachers set up in the beach. People were sitting in them like they were at Sea World waiting for the water skiing show to start. In the bleachers was a diving board and people, mostly young men, were getting on to this board and diving into the ocean. I wasn’t in the bleachers, I was walking along the beach. From there, I watched diver after diver land, not in the water, but onto the beach. Their twisted and battered remains littered the sand.
I knew what was happening. The night before I had noticed some suspicious people working on the the diving board. Whatever they did made the board less springy and so the diverse didn’t have enough energy to make it to the safety of the water. No one in the bleachers, including those lining up to div, seemed aware of what was happening to the divers. Or maybe they just didn’t care.
I made my way through the bleachers and to the board where I alerted the divers to the problem: the back of the board was no longer secured to the bleachers and so the divers were falling short. The all re-attached the back of the board and began diving again. I watched several people as they dived. Now they would bounce upward, begin to fall and then sour off like the children in Peter Pan, eventually landing safely in the water. It was magical and I walked away feeling a lot better.
A friend of mine had to explain the dream to me: the divers are the heroin users, the people in the bleachers are society, and the repair of the board is this book, or at least what I would like this book to be. Using heroin will always be dangerous, but it doesn’t need to be as dangerous as it is. However, what I really like about this dream is that the divers fix the board – all I do is point out the problem. The is very true: all I can do is provide information. It is up to each user to take the steps necessary to stay healthy and safe.
Heroin is not a drug that one can use without profound consequences. If your straight friends and family find out about your use, they will not think of you as a recreational drug user; they will think of you as a junkie with all the negative connotations that the word conjures. This is due to the fact that most people think it is impossible to use heroin without becoming addicted. I have lost friends just because they found out that I used heroin.”
Dr. H and I definitely agree on one thing, “It is up to each user to take the steps necessary to stay healthy and safe.” Only when each user takes the steps necessary to stay healthy and safe can public opinion begin to change regarding the heroin its users. Don’t get me wrong, I would never say that heroin is risk-free and that all the negative press comes from “The Man” pushing untrue propaganda down our throats. Quite the contrary. Heroin can be extremely dangerous, especially when done irresponsibly and without regard to one’s own health and the health of the community. But these risks can be mitigated by practicing harm reduction and avoiding high-risk situations that expose user’s to law enforcement and other anti-heroin community members.
I know that many people have checked out my blog and dismissed it as heroin glamorization, but that has never been my intention. My intention for this blog is to provide a space for those do use heroin and other drugs to come and openly express themselves without fear of judgement. But more importantly, my primary intention is provide heroin users, and those dead set on trying heroin, with enough information as possible to make safe, responsible decisions regarding their use. All the information is out there, on this blog and many, many others. But it’s up to each individual user to diligently incorporate all of this information into their daily lives, every time they use. The choice to use heroin can be a life altering decision. My goal isn’t to dissuade anyone from trying it if they are set on it, or encourage those to quit who aren’t ready. But I would like to motivate people to make smart choices when it comes to their use. I had a friend over just last night who wanted to press and inject some of my used cottons. I wouldn’t let him because I have hepatitis C. He said, “When it comes to getting a fix, I don’t care about that stuff.” It just made me sad to think that people still think that way. He later apologized and said he wasn’t thinking straight, but still… he would have shot them at the time if I would have let him. My goal is to limit this type of thinking, if I can. I know it seems like a lofty goal, But if I can reach just one person, I will consider this blog a success.
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