Prized possession : heroin
“I’ve been a heroin addict for 13 years,” Drew asserts. Now thirty years old, his life has resembled a roller coaster since adolescence. As he rolls up a sleeve to display a tattoo of Chicago, his hometown, Drew opens up about his past. “I got into the rave scene in high school. I was down for whatever. Kids would have some (heroin) at parties. It was kind of the come down drug. I just started doing it.” He wasn’t the only one in his family get hooked. “My older brother and his older friends became junkies. After a year I’d wake up feeling the urge. Before I knew it I had the fucking needle in my arm.” Soon a full-blown addict, things quickly got worse. “At 17, I went to jail for four years for aggravated robbery.” The experience changed him. “I learned how to be a man there. I couldn’t even grow facial hair before that. I’ve always had a little brother complex. People took me under their wing there.” Drew’s life has remained a cycle of new beginnings, heroin addiction, and prison stays. “I came to Colorado to snowboard, to Steamboat Springs. I was boarding everyday and it was good. Then I blew my knee out. I was taking pain meds and pain meds. I kept pushing my surgery back to keep shooting up my meds. Before long I had my friend dropping me off in this park in Denver to score dope.” After another nine months in jail, Drew moved back to the mountains, before eventually returning to Denver, drugs, and jail. The next time he was there for 18 months. Upon release, he moved back to the mountains and got clean in a program. It was another fresh start. “I had a year out, an apartment, had girlfriends, I was in school. Then I fucked up again.” At rock bottom, living on the streets, addiction in full-force, Drew admits its sometimes impossible to stay positive. “I think about suicide everyday, but I can’t do that to my family. But my family is just so fed up at this point. They’ve had it.” You get the feeling that this is someone you grew up with. A regular kid, who’s made some bad choices and gotten stuck time and time again.
Prized Possession: Heroin. “Its my most prized possession because imagine waking up with the worst flu of your life and the only thing to help you is a shot of dope.” He continues to explain the nightmares of withdrawals. “You shit, you puke, you sneeze non-stop. I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy. I don’t even get that high anymore, the drug just stops me from getting sick.” Prisoner to this substance, wanting to get clean but scared of the transition, he concludes, “The only way I’ve been able to get off of heroin in the past is going to prison.”