May 27, 2022 – Every day for a couple of years I left my house with a river view and drove downtown in South Yonkers to meet my dealer. I know a letter carrier who once worked that neighborhood. He told me there was a time when you could buy an Uzi on his route.

I knew the first time I bought heroin at age 48 that doing so probably meant the end of my life. But compared to withdrawal, that was fine by me.

Looks and bias may deceive, but numbers don’t lie. The United States hit a record of overdose deaths last year. And the great, gaping hole of the response to the opioid epidemic is that withdrawal is the most important aspect, and it’s barely given lip service. I often wonder how many suicides are a result of people unable to bear it. There is no net. The window of time between putting down the drug and even a whiff of hope is too long. The only place to land is hell.


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