Feb 08 2016

Watch: This “All-American” Super Bowl Heroin PSA Is an Embarrassment

“Give me an H! Give me an E! Give me an R-O-I-N! What’s that spell? HEROIN!” So began a bizarre Super Bowl Sunday advertisement about heroin that the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NCADA) Saint Louis chapter ran for Saint Louis-area viewers. It chronicles the “All-American” girl—a prett...
Feb 17 2016

What It Was Like to Hand Out Clean Needles With Cops Threatening to “Beat Your Ass”

In the late 1980s, Richard Curtis, who was conducting a study of police crackdowns on open-air drug markets, saw first-hand the misery HIV infection inflicted on New Yorkers who used heroin. “I was so overwhelmed by what I saw that I couldn’t walk away from it. I just couldn’t,” Curtis, who is now a...
Feb 10 2016

Does the Lead-Contaminated Water in Flint Pose a Danger to People Who Shoot Up?

In January, President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency in Flint, Michigan over the city’s water supply, which had been contaminated with lead after the water source was switched from Lake Huron to the Flint River. Residents have developed a slew of health problems like hair loss and ...
Feb 12 2016

I’m Not Sorry That I Keep Falling in Love With Men Who Are Addicted to Heroin

Four months ago, I dropped my boyfriend James* off at rehab—the same rehab I took my first boyfriend to 10 years before. While James filled out paperwork and spoke with counselors, I worried that his insurance would only cover the five-day detox that never worked for him. I worried that he would die...
Feb 16 2016

Rehabs’ Failure to Give Lifesaving Naloxone to Vulnerable Clients Is Unacceptable

Jeff Cullen was a handsome, athletic young man. A great surfer, who loved goofy comedies like Dumb & Dumber and had an affinity for animals. Pretty much the stereotypical California Golden Boy, except for his long, serious problem with heroin. On August 5, 2008, he signed up on a four-week waiti...
Feb 25 2016

One Year on, Is Rural Indiana Really Tackling Its HIV Crisis?

February 25th, 2016 One year ago today, an HIV outbreak in Indiana prompted a frenzy of headlines in outlets across the country: More than 20 cases of HIV in southeastern Indiana had been identified, with the majority linked to injecting drug use. The opioid epidemic in the United States appeared to...
Mar 03 2016

Five Important Ways LA County Will Keep Festival-Goers Safer This Summer

Los Angeles County officials have responded to festival-related drug deaths at Los Angeles’ HARD Summer Festival last year (and others across the country) by deciding on measures to prevent festival-related deaths in 2016. Notably, the LA County Board of Supervisors banned festivals from the county’...
Mar 03 2016

Watch: Why This Mom Wants to Legalize Heroin Even Though It Killed Her Sons

The United States is not the only country struggling with overdose deaths—the UK has its fair share of prohibition-related problems as well. One mother is now speaking out against the country’s failed drug policies after she lost two of her sons to heroin overdoses, but her advocacy may not be...
May 19 2016

“Light That Fire”—How Drug User Unions Fight for Better Laws and Self-Defined Recovery

May 20th, 2016 In a small room at a health clinic in Greensboro, North Carolina, five people are gathered around a wide table beneath a whiteboard bearing inspirational slogans. An addiction recovery meeting, right? Well, kind of. “We’re a national drug user union,” a woman tells the newcomers aroun...