JUNKe Life

What’s Inside: Street Heroin
February 21, 2011, 6:43 pm
Filed under: Stuff

Sometimes we’ve got time to kill (so to speak) while waiting to score. Since we don’t just mosey into a store to buy our stuff, waiting is a familiar routine for we who must see da man on a regular basis. Sometimes I’ve gotta stand on an windy cold street corner, freezing my feet off. Other times I’m parked in a massive parking lot outside some mall, hoping I’m waiting a the right entrance.

Occasionally the meet will take place in busy store, such as Walmart, at the magazine section. Last week that’s where I waited, and I browsed through Wired Magazine for something to do. The word “heroin” jumped off the front cover. Inside I found this very interesting little article: What’s In It

Very interesting some of the cut that has appeared in street junk over the years. So-called “junkie lore” claims that dealers practices a form of harm reduction back in the day when they added quinine as an adulterant:

Junkie lore says that dealers added this to the supply as a public service, after a malaria outbreak among needle-sharing users in the 1930s.

BTW, I’ve found quinine to be helpful with leg cramps when I’ve had the displeasure of withdrawal. It can be obtained by prescription, or by drinking real Schweppes tonic water (but you’ll need several glasses).

Merry Ho Ho Hoe
December 3, 2009, 11:17 pm
Filed under: JUNKe life, Stuff

Christmas comes but once a year and thank goodness for that. Christmas is such a tough time for many, and for junkies and tweakers it is doubly tough. Its rough and tough and all too much for some. So much of the expectations of society come crashing down on a drug user at this time of year and if they don’t watch out they can get flooded with feelings of uselessness, failure and self-disgust. Not only can’t they afford to buy presents for loved ones, a major reason for their immediate poverty is that every last penny goes to dope for themselves. That sort of realization, in the light of Christmas and its family values perspective, can be a heavy load to hoe.
Families (many of them anyways) get together at Christmas. But woe is the strung out junkie. They don’t feel like going on dismal display for relatives to appraise critically. Even if a user can find the money to make it back home, and get enough of a stash together to make it through the holidays, they know that they’ll likely stand out like a sore thumb amidst the yuletime cheer. Yet if they phone in some bogus excuse for why they won’t be coming home for the holidays, that too is just another reminder of their failure in the eyes of their family. They know there will be gossip about why they aren’t wolfing down the turkey with the rest of em.
Sadly a lot of suicide is brought on by the pressure of the holiday season. And a lot of depression. And a lot of over-using just to try and blot out the sadness and worthlessness one feels as a junkie during Christmas.
Even for those users who have come to accept themselves and have developed a pretty thick skin in the face of societal condemnations, making Christmas happen is quite an effort. Money is always so hard to come by to begin with but a user has to dig pretty darn deep to manage to get presents for the essential relatives and keep themselves well in terms of their habit at the same time. It takes a lot of planning to pull off a reasonably successful Christmas at the best of times but for a user they’ve really got to have things will thought out and have a bit of luck thrown in as well. It isn’t easy to get together enough drugs in advance to sustain oneself throughout the entire family affair that often takes place in a city which the user isn’t familiar with so that they could score easily in an emergency. Nothing is worse than needing to get well and having to make excuses to a living room of celebrating relatives about why you’re got to borrow someone’s car so you can go downtown for awhile just as the turkey is bubbling away in the oven. Yes, of course I’ll be back before dinner… yeah right!
Somehow thousands upon thousands of us manage to make it through the holidays without a major bummer. You can be damn sure a lot of work went into pulling that off. Right now we’re planning for the family visit and trying to make sure we don’t find ourselves short at precisely the wrong time. That’s a whole lot of stress on top of the normal stresses of this season. Here’s wishing well to all those users out there struggling to pull off another Christmas for themselves and the sake of those they love. And a remembrance for those who won’t be making it home for Christmas.

(Part 2) A hit to die for… on close circut tv
September 24, 2009, 11:29 am
Filed under: JUNKe life, Stuff | Tags:

… previously was Part One

The bus doors opened outward and out stepped Mr. Dealer Man. He saw me immediately because I had begun moving toward him, quickly and aggressively, the second I saw him leave the bus. I could see a perplexed fearful look come to his face, not surprising since my body language clearly announced “Danger!” and my eyes surely were firing with a violent intensity. Baring down upon him I was as focused (and fucked up) as a desperate coke fiend trying to do their fifteenth fix of the evening. Before he’d taken a dozen steps I was upon him.

“What’s going on?” he asked, cautiously, obviously recognizing I wasn’t my normal mellow, even docile, junkie shows dealer deference, self.

“What’s going on is you’re going to front me a couple of pills and you’re going to give them to me right now!”

“What? Why? Just a sec..”

“No just a sec! I want those friggin’ pills and I want them right now. You know we get our money tonight [everyone knows when welfare day is] and you know I’ll be by tonight to pay you. So just give me the two pills now! You know its my sweetie’s birthday and we just want to chill at home. We’ve bought tens of thousands of dollars of dope from you. You know I’ll pay you tonight. So I want a two pills front. Give me the pills now and lets be done with it. I’m not fuckin’ kidding!”

As this conversation unfolded we were still standing near the bus stop, directly in front of his apartment building. He was beginning to regain his bearings, no longer looking so nervous, and I knew from experience with him that he was starting to try to figure out some way to weasel his way out of upping me those pills. I was having none of that crap.


“What the fuck man! I said I want a two pill front, just two god damn pills. I’ve told ya I’ll be back later with the money. You know me man! We always pay on time, and we’ve never ripped you off. Never! So quit stalling and give me the pills! I’m serious man! I want those pills, fucking NOW! I’m not asking anymore man, I want those pills.”

I really didn’t give a fuck. I didn’t care that we were standing on a fairly busy street, in front of an apartment with balconies with people on them, or with open sliding glass windows, standing and yelling where any number of people nearby could hear us. I was at the point where I didn’t care about anything about being cool or keeping a low profile. I didn’t care about nothing but getting those couple pills so my sweetie didn’t have to run the streets, scrounging for scratch, on her birthday. In fact, as crazy as it is, I was quite prepared to kill him, right then and there, if that’s what it took to make sure I got those pills. Stab him multiple times, and rob him right there in broad daylight, if he didn’t cough up the pills.

“Fucking now man!” I literally screamed.

Finally the arrogant prick perceived that I was about to do violence. Finally he realized that he was going to be hurt if he stalled any longer. He was scared. Finally he submitted.

“Okay, okay, okay. Not here.” he said and started moving toward his building’s front door.

In my mind I figured he might actually be thinking of unlocking the apartment’s front door, slipping in, and pulling the door shut, trying to lose me. He probably wasn’t, but I wasn’t taking any chances.

“I said NOW man, I said fucking NOW” I yelled, and grabbed his shoulder, and spun him backwards.

We were now standing at the apartment’s front vestibule, where the apartment residents are listed on the wall, beside the two way speaker system you use to get buzzed in. Up in a corner was a security camera pointed at whomever is standing at the front door. Lots of the building’s residents defaulted their tv’s to the channel that security camera appeared on whenever they weren’t watching any particular show – particularly the druggies so they could see cops at the apartment door or get a clear visual of who might be buzzing their apartment. So this altercation was on candid camera and we definitely had an audience.

“One last time man”, I said with clear menace, “I am not fucking kidding. Give them to me now or I’m fucking taking them from ya!”.

The all-purpose multi-tool knife, all-purpose except unintended for the lethal purpose I was sickenly close to using it for, was still clenched in my fist. I had not forgotten about it in the least. I had clearly run over in my mind, many times, how I would hold the tool, and stab with the solid pliers end because it would do the most damage.

Finally he exhaled and shook his head in resignation, “Ah fuck” he sighed, and began undoing his belt. I knew then I was getting the pills. This dealer always kept his stash in a bag, tucked down beneath his bag. So there he stood, at the front door to his apartment building, in direct view of the security camera and all who might be watching, pulling his pants down to his knees, and withdrawing his stash bag from within his briefs. You know I’ve had a good laugh about this many times since.

Out came the plastic bag from within the stash bag. It contained literally hundreds of pills of dozen different shapes and colours, several half-point flaps of junk, plus a couple baggies of coke powder. He was the kind of small time dealer who spent most of his earnings on dope and often dropped by his coke dealer after his selling downtown was done to get an eight ball for the evening. Altogether it was a pretty considerable stash that he’d exposed, along with his bare butt and nuts. Looking truly pathetic, he held forth the baggie and pleaded, “please don’t take it all”.

“Please don’t take it all. What the fuck man. I told you I just want a couple pills. A couple pills and I’ll pay you for them tonight. Fuck man, you know me. I’m not going to take your fucking dope. I don’t do shit like that. I just want a couple pills”.

He picked out two greys and handed them to me. Then he looked at me, like some kid who standing before a teacher at detention. He wasn’t going to do anything, he just stood there, pants around his knees, he wasn’t going to move until he was certain I was satisfied.


“Okay” I said, and turned to leave. After a few strides, I stopped and looked back. “I will be by just a bit after midnight to pay for these”.

He was bent over, wiggling his pants back up to his waist, and I don’t think he even heard me.

“Fucking asshole” I muttered to myself, and started hightailing it outta there. Mission accomplished. My sweetie wouldn’t have to hit the streets on her birthday.

Later, after midnight, i phoned him to say I had the money and would be by in a couple minutes to pay him. Not too surprisingly, he said I shouldn’t bother coming by because his old lady was pissed at me for yelling at her over the intercom when she’d turned me down for a front earlier in the day. It was that b.s. which drove me to start stalking the front of his apartment waiting to confront him when he got home.

“Sure thing man” I replied, “Just don’t forget I was willing to pay you tonight. You don’t want my money now, okay, but know I would have come and paid you for those two pills just like I said I would” and I hung up.

What a day! That bastard had come so close to dying. And I was insanely close to spending the rest of my life in prison because I had reached the snapping point with dealer power tripping. And the day wasn’t over yet. I had intended to buy several more pills when I saw him that evening. Now that he wasn’t letting me come to his place I had to hunt down someone else to score from. Fucking hell! Does the shit ever end?

A biggie $100 smack bust at TO airport…
July 29, 2009, 10:11 pm
Filed under: heroin, Stuff

heroin traffic

A lot of dope was confiscated in Toronto in several busts which followed a three week investigation into heroin importing that was sparked off by an observant border guard at the Pearson International Airport. All in all some 117 keys of heroin were seized, and three people arrested. On July 28 policy held a press conference and outlined some of the details: see article.

It’s a seizure that points to a rapidly developing heroin market in Canada…

“There has been a real cultural shift that we’ve seen here in Canada over the last 4 or 5 years,” [RCMP officer] said. “We have seen a huge increase in the amount of opium products coming into Canada, not just in the form of heroin but certainly in the form of opium as well.”

… doesn’t yet know if the stash was all for use in the Canadian drug market because the investigation is ongoing. But [officer] said Toronto is becoming a trading post city for heroin importers and exporters. “We’re becoming a shipping country for heroin.

Limerick on Christmas morning…
December 28, 2008, 2:59 pm
Filed under: Stuff

‘Round about 5 am Christmas morning I woke to to take a pee with the rhyme of a limerick dancing in my head.

Limerick Map

My partner stired beside me, so I announced “hey, listen to this” and recited the following silliness:

There once was a junky named Ryan,

When asked if he was selling or buying,

He replied “Just give me your shit”,

“I’ll do all of it”,

“Then you can ask me again, this time crying”.

She laughed. I laughed. And then I scribbled the silly limerick onto a scrap of paper… for posterity.

A new dawn…
November 10, 2008, 10:14 am
Filed under: Stuff

Hope is a precious commodity. Hope can keep one going in the face of harsh and painful conditions. Hope can sustain one through the roughest of circumstances. Hope can win an election. Yes it can!


Eventually hope can turn to despair if its promise is not eventually fulfilled with concrete improvements because hope, despite its magic, cannot fill a hungry belly or wipe out a lethal virus. We cannot overcome by hope alone.

The election of Barack Obama as the next President of the U.S.A. has brought hope to people the world over. Across the globe people hit the streets in celebration. Mr. Obama’s victory is felt as a victory for downtrodden people everywhere. But will this hope be fulfilled?

In his initial speech upon winning Mr. Obama began to temper people’s hope with clear words about the long and difficult road ahead. He understands that unrealistic expectations can only lead to let down and cynicism and thereby even the modest opportunities which are possible will become unrealized if people become demoralized and deactivated.

What can drug users hope for from Obama’s Presidency? Can we expect more compassionate open ears will listen to us when we speak out? Surely that is the least we can hope for. So let’s organize ourselves and make sure drug users’ voices are a strong part of the dialogue about what needs to get done.

Speaking of organizing ourselves, I recently had the privilege of attending IDUD 2008 – International Drug Users Day – in Copenhagen, Denmark. Hosted by the Danish Drug Users Union, nearly 100 user activists from around the globe – literally – came together for discussions and celebrations of user culture and our collective struggle for human rights and safe conditions.

The most important lesson arising from this incredible gathering of drug users is that we can raise our voices in every community in this world. To do this takes bravery and commitment, and lots of hard work, but it is a task that only we can do. No one can truly speak for users but us ourselves. Have a look at some of your peers already speaking out for user rights: IDUD 2008 Photos

Kick back and watch a couple videos…
July 31, 2008, 8:51 am
Filed under: Drug Politics, Stuff

The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union has a site called Drug Reporter. Lots of good videos. Check it out.