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Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Heroin Folklore

     Popular folklore has it that people who do dope don't eat. That stereotype of the reed-thin drug addict is partially a matter of economics, and partially ideology. Yes, if you're a junkie living on the street, you're not likely to make eating your first priority. But for the rest of the heroin-using population, food consumption has more to do with metaphor. Some embrace the image of the junkie as vampire, a creature of the midnight, cut off from normal human needs, requiring only heroin. But just as many junkies maintain their weight…

     The attenuated, fashionable body of "heroin chic" ads may be what you have in mind when you start doing dope but in reality long term use can make you bloated in odd places…

     The frightening thin dope users I've known were either people with some kind of eating disorder that was articulated though heroin, or those who are unable to keep food down on dope.

Ann Marlowe, How To Stop Time: Heroin A to Z, 1999

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