JUNKe Life

A hard habit to break…
February 27, 2008, 11:05 am
Filed under: Stuff

Like I wrote awhile back, we get our smokes from a native-run smoke shop along the highway about 30 km from home.   In stores a single pack of the cheapest smokes goes for $8.45 (approx. $70 a carton) whereas we can pick up a whole carton from the native shop for just $12 or $15.

The native smokes come in a zip-lock plastic baggie.  Like all smokes sold in Canada they have to have a health warning on them.  In order to comply, the native smokes get stuck with an address label that has a warning typed on it.

When we finish a baggie full, we dump out the loose bits of tobacco and save the baggie.  Well normally I never read the label on the baggie, but today as I was putting an empty one into a kitchen drawer, I happened to notice what it said.  And I just had to laugh…

heroin warning

Noting the desperation in my previous post – well, its all true.  Yet right now I’m feeling (a false sense) fairly safe and contented.   This is because we obtained quite a stash which means there’s no worries for a couple weeks.  Because of that relative length of knowing we’re supplied, its like I have no worries right now.   Of course, this will all change by the end of next week as the bottom of the bottle will start appearing, and the necessity of re-supplying rears its incessant demands.  But for now, all is quiet, and everything is chill.

It is such a relief to have a few days of respite…

Relentless tension of the scoring cycles…
February 22, 2008, 7:37 pm
Filed under: JUNKe life

Of late we are just barely making it through our scoring cycles. For us a scoring cycle is the dates we are able to score. We need to have enough dope to carry us through to the next scoring date, and then of course, score enough on that date, to carry us through to the scoring date following. Usually there are several scoring cycles within a month.

For example, we’re scoring “reds” from someone with a script for those grand daddys of the MS Contin’s, the 200 mg “reds”. If they pick up their script on the 22nd then that date becomes a target date within our scoring cycle. And then someone else gets their script of greys on the 3rd of the next month, and we normally get 100 greys from them. So, we will need to get enough reds to make it from the 22nd to the 3rd, and then on the 3rd get enough greys to make it until whatever is the next target date. We need to make it to that date, and the next date, and the next date. Lately, the background tension is ever-present.

To some extent we’ve gotten privileged to have scoring cycles that stretch for weeks at a time, and where we score dozens or hundreds of pills at each point upon the cycle. There was a time when we lived from injection to next injection, and we never had any breathing room whatsoever. As soon as we did a fix we had to start scrambling to score again. We never had enough money to get ahead of the game. Every dollar, as soon as we made it, went directly toward getting our next fix.

For awhile we had the luxury of having a lot of stock saved up. So we’d score when a good deal came along, but we never really had to score. We had enough stockpile that we never ran out. However, that luxury has been whittled away as our habits have increased. Now we really need to score because if we don’t we’ll be sick.

junkie on auto-pilot

Even worse, we’re worried that we won’t even have enough to last until our next scoring date. Maybe that date is still ten days off, and yet we count our stash and figure out that at our present daily rate we’ll run out in eight days. So what do we do? We either cut back a hit or two per day, and maybe feel a little jagged, but at least we’ll make it to the day we can score without getting really sick. Or we find someone else we can buy a little bit from – if we have any money to do that, that is.

Ah yes, money! Not only does the dope run out, but money runs out also. So not only are we struggling to ensure we have enough dope to make it through the scoring cycles, but we’re also scrambling to make sure we have enough money to buy our dope when we can.

And let’s not forget the flukes – the unforeseen events that throw a wrench into the machine, too say the least. Such as a dealer getting busted, or a patient whose script we buy ends up having to go into the hospital and therefore doesn’t pick up their script from a street pharmacy that month. So we show up at their door, having just barely managed to keep ourselves well enough to make it there. We have nothing left in the cupboard, so to speak, so we are totally relying upon buying their script that day. We knock on their door, and their husband answers, with the news that the wife is in the hospital and there’s nothing for us to buy this month.

Yep, its getting tense. No more foot loose and fancy free. No more large reserves that could carry us months if need be. No more bank accounts which could pay any emergency prices without batting an eye. We’re now at the point where we’re counting every pill and we’re counting every dollar and we’re counting the days we need to get through before we can score again. We aren’t yet quite suffocating, but there’s little breathing space.

We are upon the razor’s edge. We can still dull it occasionally, like after we score two weeks worth, and figure “what the hell, let’s do an extra hit or two tonight and get ourselves high”. But doing that just adds to the eventual tension because it makes it just a little bit more difficult making it through the scoring cycle, and that’s difficult enough already.

Using citric acid when mixing your hit…
February 8, 2008, 3:12 pm
Filed under: harm reduction, heroin | Tags: , , , ,

Of late a number of harm reduction agencies are beginning to distribute little packets of citric acid or vitamin C along with clean needles, condoms, sterile water, and other supplies.

The Ontario Harm Reduction Distribution Program provides supplies to needle exchanges in the province, included packets of VitC or citric acid.

citric_acid_packets    vitc_packets

The OHRDP has produced a little video showing how to use citric to prepare heroin injections. Remember to use as little citric as possible since it can be quite rough on the inside of one’s veins (burn, baby, burn!).

Have a look see: Heroin / Citric video

A lot of these packages of acidifiers – whether VitC or citric acid – ends up being used by folks to make their crack from cocaine powder. Which is alright, provided these smokers have access to good glass pipes.