Heroin never comes off well in movies – ok, well maybe it does at first, like in Candy or Requiem for a Dream. But we all know that it’s going to end up in misery and torture, much the same as it does in real life. I’ve never done heroin but I know that even though the high is probably insanely good, it’s really not worth the years you spend trying to get off it. Alex Guiry took some photos at the Insite safe injection site in Vancouver where they help people get out of the seemingly inescapable nightmare that is heroin dependency.
Insite is a building where drug users legally and safely inject themselves with illegal and unsafe drugs. Insite is open 18 hours a day supplying clean paraphernalia for 800 daily addicts. This is the only harm reduction program of its kind in North America and 1 of 60 in the world providing trained staff to intervene overdoses, preventing hundreds of deaths a year.
How to get started:
First grabs some supplies your going to need some hypodermic needles, cotton balls, alcohol swabs, spoons, matches, tie-offs, and condoms. Some heroin aka Smack, Dope, Junk, Mud, Skag, Brown Sugar, Brown, ‘H’, Big H, Horse, Charley, China White, Boy, Harry, Mr. Brownstone, Dr. Feelgood will be the most important product to score.
You don’t want to look like a pussy so start off talking like a junkie:
Junkies – heroin addicts
Mainlining – injecting heroin into a vein
Skin-popping – injecting heroin just below the skin’s surface
Chasing the Dragon – heating the drug until it begins to smoke, and inhaling the smoke through a straw
Speedballing – injecting heroin combined with cocaine
Crisscrossing – snorting heroin along with cocaine
Shabanging – sniffing liquefied heroin from nasal spray bottle
The Works / Outfit / Rig – a heroin user’s set of tools and paraphernalia used for injection
Tie-off – used to tie around the arm (to constrict blood flow) in order to make a vein protrude
Each cubicle has a chair, a surface, a needle deposit box, a camera, and a mirror. The mirror allows the user to see who’s behind them for thier safety, also giving them another view for injection. As the nurse spots the user with the mirror they are ready to act on an overdosing addict. If everything goes as planned the user hits their peak eight seconds later, relaxes and goes to the “chill out” room, where they talk to staff about getting clean, getting jobs, getting housing, and getting their lives back in order. With Kool-Aid. OH YEA!
This is Ernie Block. B-L-O-C-K. Use to live 10 miles away from Abbotsford. Use to be a logger. Used to have a Wife who use to be Miss Canada in 73′ to 77′. Use to be a high ranked member of the Satan’s Angels. Use to use meth and crack. And Currently his sister is a prostitute.
Ernie shook my hand a few times was very enthusiastic about our new relationship. He was stoked on the past and cried when he started talking about present time, and had nothing to say about the future other then us meeting up on Sunday. Ernie told some good stories whether they were true or not they were far more interesting then most peoples. Even the third time around.
When Ernie approached me outside of Insite He asked me for some crack, and told me he quite shooting and smoking five years ago. I later asked to see his hands. They had recent pipe burns.
Looking for a hit. This lady scavenges for money while looking for crack on the ground of ally slash bodily discharge area. She’ll spend up to $200 and receive at least one non-fatal overdose in her drug cycle.
Clogged blood vessels in brain
9/10 addicts who shoot at Insite have Hepatitis C