Friday, November 14, 2008


Every morning I walk by the building on the southeast corner of Broadway and Houston and without fail there is a gathering of middle-aged, smoking, drug addled people milling around in front. There has to be a methadone clinic in a nearby building.

I applaud these people's efforts to kick their habit, but the truth is, they still really look and act like junkies. I cannot imagine any of these people holding a job or having a normal life.

A 2005 HBO documentary Methadonia exposed the recent phenomenon of methadone patients mixing it with prescription drugs like Xanax or Klonopin to get a heroin-like high, and I can't help but think that there are 'scrip dealers among the morning throng. The thing is, since they are "in program", it's all normalized.

It reminds me of the old East Village when half the neighborhood used to line up when a certain building had heroin.

Maybe these people are a little better off not doing heroin. In the last few years I have substituted my raging cigarette addiction with addiction to various nicotine replacements and occasionally revert back to cigarettes. I know I am better off chewing nicotine gum or using a dissolvable tobacco like Ariva, but I cannot for one minute imagine living my life without nicotine.

Thank God I never tried heroin.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your perception of the methadone clinics is well observed and thought out. In reality they are still junkies but somehow they have convinced society this is an acceptable practice. The addicts love it because they are getting there fix to feed their cravings and the owners are making millions. Sadly, they do not get people off of drugs just provide a replacment.

Mothers Against Medical Abuse. Org