Pubdate: Thu, 05 Apr 2001
Source: Mountain Xpress (NC)
Copyright: 2001 Mountain Xpress
Author: Name Withheld
Bookmark: (Harm Reduction)
Bookmark: (Treatment)


I've had a long-term problem with drug addiction, but what has seemed to
cause an even worse problem is: Where do you get help in Asheville? ...
When I called the Blue Ridge Mental Health methadone clinic, I asked,
"Can I please have help today?" The reply: No. [There is a] one- to
two-week [waiting period]. 

They don't understand: When someone calls and wants help and is told
they're going to have to wait one to two weeks, that's enough to send
some of us over the edge. 

When someone with a drug problem calls wanting help, you don't put them
off. They are either in so much pain, as I was, that I could have killed
myself just to get out of pain, [or go] to the street, to get anything
to get out of pain. 

Everybody's situation is different. I do have to take meds for four back
surgeries, and, at times, [my] tolerance gets too high. It takes more to
keep from hurting - and then you're on the street doing things you
should not have to do, if there was some help around here. 

I am sure there are people out there who care enough to take this
problem more seriously than what I have found. ... And I know there are
people out there in a lot worse shape than me, and I want to be able to

You don't tell a junkie, "You're going to have to wait"; that can be a
matter of life or death. 

I was on the street, paying outrageous prices [for drugs] just to be
able to feel normal. Sooner rather than later, it's going to turn real

As bad as I wanted help today, I did find some [relief on the streets].
If I was still in that pain, I would be thinking of dying. That's what
makes me think of people [who] might not be as lucky as I was today. 

Then there's tomorrow. 

Name Withheld, 
Black Mountain

MAP posted-by: Doc-Hawk