Dear Heroin, OC, and All Opiate Addicts in General,
I know an open letter seems really impersonal for a subject this heavy and taboo, but how else am I supposed to reach you? None of you answer your phones. None of you come to gatherings. None of you send out emails or hang out on Facebook. If I COULD get you all in one room to talk to you about this, I would.
But we all know the sad and glaring reality here is that the only way I could get you all in one room is if I promised all of you dope, and that is not gonna happen. Don’t get me wrong, I am far from straight-edge and make that very clear to all who read or meet me. Drugs are a great way to expand consciousness and also, have some fun and break out of the constraints of day to day life.
Thing is, there are just some drugs you don’t ever fuck with, period. Opiates are those drugs. Do some blow, smoke some weed, and eat a tab of acid. Take shrooms and hit a hash pipe until you find yourself. Thing is, opiate addiction is not like taking some Molly a few weekends out of the year. Opiate addiction is not smoking some bomb trees while listening to Explosions in the Sky and chilling. Opiate addiction is fucking ugly. It is the closest thing we have on this planet to actual zombies.
Opiate addicts may LOOK like the person you know, but the truth is, you turn your back they will rob your for their next fix. They are zombies, they just don’t bite us and kill us right away. They nibble slowly away at us until there is nothing left. Honestly, a zombie would be easier. But real life is not the movies or TV or any of that shit.
Real life is uglier, and I am writing this as a plea to all addicts. From Cape Cod (where I grew up and was once one of the most stunning places to be in all the Northeast) to it’s constant shadow it casts over L.A, coast to coast, no one is safe, and the epidemic is spreading. Listen, addicts. We need you to stop. We know it is a disease of sorts (although a self imposed one), but it is getting to the point when this is getting TOO big. Stop yourselves or we will stop you.
By any means necessary.
Fuck this Opiate addicted, Walking Dead-esque universe where people stumble up to your car and beg you for money through your closed window, while they shake from withdrawals. Fuck this Opiate addicted society where we watch friends and family become husks of their former selves while we sit back and do nothing. Fuck it, because if we don’t stand up and say that in unison, it is going to take over and fuck us. Let’s’ stop being so passive about something so damning, huh?
Let’s take this one step further and really compare opiate addiction to a fictional zombie outbreak like I hinted at earlier.
So what makes a zombie dangerous? It kinda looks like us but has no soul and a constant hunger it needs to fill at any price, regardless of consequence because they are soulless.
Hmmm, sounds an AWFUL lot like an addict to me.
And how do they put a zombie down, do you know? The ONLY way to stop a zombie?
You shoot them in the head. Kill the brain.
So am I not-so-subtly saying that maybe we are reaching a point when we need to treat these epidemics the same? So what, Remy, are you saying I should take my heroin addicted son outside and shoot him in the head because he is no longer himself?
As hard as it is t say, if you are asking me genuinely, yes and no. Has anything we are doing right now as a collective society helping at all? Well, put it this way. The town I live in decided maybe lowering the cost of syringes would lower the AIDS rate and at least make it SAFER. Outcome, mere months after making all the local pharmacies sell fucking clean syringes for a quarter, the end result has been A FUCKLOAD MORE OVERDOSES.
So much so, in fact, that ONE WEEKEND alone there were 13 Opiate overdoses found in PUBLIC BATHROOMS! ONE FUCKING WEEKEND, and that was JUST from bathrooms open to the public. Now do you see how fucking deadly serious this is? Would you rather enable a person like that so the rest of their lives they literally live like zombies, or would you rather take them outside and put them down if you knew the epidemic would end and so would their suffering?
It is not something I want you to answer to ME. It is something I want you genuinely to ask yourself. Enablers allow that behavior and enable it until death, therefore perpetuating it in an unending loop. That is the very definition of insanity. Doing the same fuckiing thing, over and over, and expecting different results.
The other thing you can do is section these people, lock them up in your basement (or your private rape trailer or whatever) and FORCE THEM to withdraw for days and let the demons out. Thing is, 80% of heavy drug users and addicts all relapse. So really, it is just a matter of allowing the people we love to live like zombies and suffer whilst also ruining all our lives by stealing our shit, almost dying over and over around us, and forcing us to very slowly watch them kill themselves.
So THIS is why this letter, this plea, is to addicts. I am begging you guys and gals, really, for yourselves, your families, your fucking souls, stop this shit.
But I am also telling you as a warning.
You, stealing our subwoofers and pawning your mom’s wedding rings and shit.
You see, as tough as it would be for some of you, if my Mom got bit by a zombie, I would put her down in a second rather than let her become something she would (and all the world) would hate and fear. And that’s my Mom.
So if you think I won’t pull your shifty ass into some alley and stab you in that nasty thigh vein that will cause you to bleed out in under two minutes to make life better again for all of us, you are thinking wrong. I have best friends who are addicts, so don’t mistake this as fun to me. It isn’t. Some people will hate me when this article goes live, but guess what?
I tried calling, writing, and stopping by, and you fuckers can never be found unless you need something. So be aware, this time we need something. We need you to stop. You need help, to talk, therapy, any of that, and we will all help. We will do whatever we can, honestly.
BUT (and there is ALWAYS a but when it comes to addiction), you keep breaking in our cars stealing our stereos and dying in the bathroom of our friend’s stores and cafe’s, we are just going to get fed up and beat you all to the punch.
And now, I will end this with a line from a song written by a man who would go on to die of heroin addiction only years after writing said line, with the very line itself addressing the demon who he knew would kill him. The man’s name was Layne Staley, and though he was best known as the lead singer of seminal 90’s band, Alice in Chains, this is from his side project, Mad Season, which he co-formed with all addict musicians he met in rehab (including Pearl Jam guitarist, Mike McCready). The line is…..
“Slow suicide’s no way to go.”
So this epidemic ends now. How it ends is up to all of you, but also, only for now. We all take responsibility too for letting you all take it this far, but this is as far as you will take it. Please get help, it is available to you. If you choose not to, don’t be shocked if your numbers start dwindling quicker in increasingly strange and bizarre “accidents” that we all know local police won’t look into because you were “just some addict”
Their words, not mine.
So do the right thing, not even for us. Do it for you. Life can be amazing, and you are all sleepwalking through it and walking straight towards a sheer drop you can’t even see coming.
I Wish You the Best, I Believe in You, and I Will Be Checking Back,