A day in the life…

This was a day in my life for a long time. Every addict is different, but this is how it ran for me…

Typical scene from a street-injection

5am: Wake up sick: shivering, sweating, stomach cramps, restless legs
5-7am: Lie in bed wondering how to raise the money to score today
7am: Get out of bed, scrape through pockets and check bank accounts in case some money miraculously appears
7.15am: Try and eat something. Stomach too agitated to hold it down
7.20am: Throw up
7.30am: Shower to try and feel a little better and wash off the night’s sweat
8am: Trudge out into the world to try and raise some cash somehow


From this point on, the scene changes for everyone to some extent…


8.05am: Find out that there is little to no petrol in the car (if you have a car that runs, of course)
8.10am: Assuming you have petrol, drive to the nearest shopping centre
8.30-9am: Wait for Big W or K-Mart to open
9.05am: Enter store, trying not to look suspicious
9.10am: Stuff as many books under the shirt as possible without looking stuffed full of books and then exit store while trying not to look suspicious
9.15-10.30am: make as many return trips as possible without looking suspicious (this depended on how many entrances and exits there were, and the alertness of security guards and shop-assistants)
10.35am: Work out resale value of stock, and either go sell them or go to another store and steal more
10.40am: Drive to 2nd hand bookshop, negotiate a sale price for the misappropriated books. If enough to score, then drive to Richmond and score

From this point, relax and enjoy the high until at least lunchtime, and then start all over again for the afternoon score, trying to make enough for an afternoon taste AND an evening taste


5am: Wake up slightly sick, even though I had a taste the night before
5.02am: Have a shot with what remains of yesterdays gear
7am: Call the dealer I score heroin through
8am: Meet dealer, pick up half a gram of heroin
8.15am: Have another shot
8.20am: parcel up remaining heroin into five $40 deals
8.35am: Catch bus into town
9-9.30am: Sell four $40 deals
9.40am: Call dealer and arrange to pick up another half gram
10-11am: Meet dealer (they are almost ALWAYS late)
11.15am: Catch bus home
11.40am: Have another shot
11.45am: Make up four deals of heroin
12.03pm: Catch bus back into town
12.30pm: Sell four deals
On and on and on…

For both scenarios, this goes on, every single day, seven days a week. No day off, no respite from the sickness, no holidays, no breaks. On top of this, you have to throw in trying to maintain a normal appearance in front of any kids, picking up methadone or other maintenance therapy, finding cash to pay for the maintenance therapies, seeing doctors at least once a fortnight

The ONLY time you get a slight break from the routine is on payday, usually fortnightly. And then, if you spend all your money on heroin, you need to take into consideration how the hell you’ll ever pay the bills and put food in the fridge…

This is a shitty life, believe me…

4 thoughts on “A day in the life…

  1. Robin Eduardo says:

    And what about those who have no place to sleep, or shower, or eat? The ones who lost their residence because they couldn't afford their rent because it was the drugs or paying bills? Sleeping in stairwells of apartment buildings, in parks, or other places, stealing food just to put something in their stomach. Committing burglaries, stealing from their kid's piggy banks, or your own mother's jewelry box…just to get that fix. KNOWING what you are doing is wrong, but feeling helpless to stop yourself. That is a shitty life.This is all too familiar to me.

  2. GNBraun says:

    I accidentally commented under Dawn's profile.This post is my own subjective experience. I have suffered homelessness, but early in my life, so it seemed irrelevant here.I wrote what I experienced as an addict, so others who are homeless experience daily very different things than what is outlined above…

  3. mxavier says:

    This is familiar to me as well, but from a different point of view. My brother has been addicted to crack since he was 13. He has stolen from friends and family, been homeless, robbed homes and stores, stolen from his children, been in and out of rehabs, in and out of jail, prostituted himself, and worse. Now,at 44 he looks to be in his 60s. When friends see pictures of us, everyone assumes he is my father, even though there is only a five year difference in our ages.He is a shriveled, shrunken husk of the man he could have been. I have much respect for you, and your determination to break the cycle. I know far too well how difficult it is.

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