Credit: Andrea Bauer

Heroin addicts are the pleasantest, kindest people. There’s an altruism that I’ve never seen in any other addiction. If I’m a crack addict, and I’ve just bought a rock, and I see you coming down the street, I’m going to duck in an alley so I don’t have to share it. But if I’ve just spent my last ten bucks on heroin, I’ll share it with you so you can get your sick off.

When I ask people how they got addicted to heroin, they tell me, “I always knew there was something missing, and I didn’t know what it was until I used my first bag.” They become addicted because at some point before they use the drug, their brain stops making enough endorphins. When kids at a party use heroin, they’re trying to get high. When addicts use heroin, they’re trying to get normal—the way you and I feel on an average day. That’s why abstinence-based treatment for heroin addiction has such miserable results, and why substitution treatment with methadone or suboxone is so effective.