MEDIA: Book Review –
February 28, 2020 – In her new memoir, Strung Out: One Last Hit and Other Lies That Nearly Killed Me, essayist and advice columnist Erin Khar writes candidly and at length about this particular difficulty: “Shame is a gatekeeper. Shame takes old shame and turns it into a new shame. The heroin helped push the guilt to the side. The grief I couldn’t acknowledge stayed buried underneath, pulsating but muzzled, like a drugged dog. The high coated me with enough apathy to make it through the night.” This shame, clearly compounded by the stigma surrounding her drug use, didn’t originate there for Khar, but rather in early childhood trauma. The first time she escaped the pain of being inside her own skin, when she found a bottle of expired Darvocet pills (a pain reliever in the opiate category) and took one, she was only 8 years old. When she was first offered heroin and tried it, she was 13.