Conversation with a heroin addict 2 | Buzz Blog

Monday, September 21, 2009

Conversation with a heroin addict 2

Posted By on September 21, 2009, 11:40 AM

  • Pin It

Casey says the average heroin addict’s life span is four years. “I’ve being doing this for three,” he says. “I’ll be dead in a year.”---

He pays $8 for a “dime” of “cheese,” a relatively new iteration of heroin also known as “Smack with Tylenol,” since the drug is cut with over-the-counter sleeping drugs or painkillers. It’s called cheese, Casey says, because the main distributors are “cheddars,” gang members from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. Why these immigrant drug smugglers and dealers are called cheddars he didn’t know.

Kids come to Denver, he says, whether it’s from Seattle or Chicago, because of heroin’s availability there. A lot of people like living homeless, he adds. “No responsibilities.” Inevitably, particularly given Denver’s winters, panhandling gets harder as the year draws on. “People are cold and they don’t want to stop,” he says.

Casey’s angry there’s no needle exchange program in Denver. One of his friends is dying from Aids. Another, with whom he shares his needles, may have contracted Hepatitis C. Casey's waiting for a blood test to come back to find out if he's contracted Hep C. A Hepatitis C epidemic plagues Denver according to media reports. Casey says the rapid growth in the number of heroin users since 2005 in Denver has been swept under the rug by the authorities. 

He carefully wraps up the remains of his egg and bacon sandwich, puts it in his knapsack. His morning plans are simple: panhandle for his next fix.

On Topic...

More by Stephen Dark

  • Call it a Comeback

    Long mired in economic depression, Midvale’s Main Street dusts off its small-town charm.
    • Sep 20, 2017
  • Love Letters

    Correspondence between a young woman at the Topaz internment camp and her beloved sheds light on Trump's America.
    • Sep 6, 2017
  • Triggered

    Veterans Affairs exists to help vets. So why did the Salt Lake VA appoint an anti-veteran chief?
    • Aug 30, 2017
  • More »

Latest in Buzz Blog

© 2022 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation