Review the Chapter 2 interview of Jimmy, the currently-retired person who speaks

Review the Chapter 2 interview of Jimmy, the currently-retired person who speaks

Review the Chapter 2 interview of Jimmy, the currently-retired person who speaks about his heroin habit which he gave us decades ago. Provide your own thoughts about the following questions:
Did you think that an addiction to heroin was a death sentence, that survival to old age is improbable? Does the fact that he is in his seventies and apparently in good health surprising?
Jimmy seems to be a well-adjusted guy. What does that say about personality theories that attempt to explain drug addiction?
Jimmy has experienced tragedies in his life. Is this more in line with these theories- that the way he lived his life, the impact he has had on people who were close to him, was directly related to the dysfunctionality of a person’s life?
How does Jimmy fit into your views on addiction, as well as the historic trends in drug consumption? Does it fit the research and data on drug use and abuse?
Here is the interview:
ACCount: Interview with Jimmy, a Former Heroin AddictJimmy is currently retired and in his late 70s. We talked about his heroin habit, which he gave up decades ago.EG:OK, you told me that when you were younger, you got involved with heroin for a period of time. I wonder if you would fill in the details about this period of your life—how did it start? And how old were you?J:I was very young, probably 13, and I started with barbiturates. My use weighed very heavily on me and on my parents. My philosophy is that if I want do go to the moon, I don’t want to stop off in Nebraska. I knew some people who snorted heroin, and I knew I wanted to try it. So, I bought some. I snorted three bags. In those days, in the fifties, dope was really dope. Not this weak-ass, diluted shit that’s out there on the street now. I got sick—really sick. I puked and puked and puked. Later, a friend told me that I had just put a substance in my body. He said, “From now on, your body will recognize that substance.” But I told myself, “This is really great! I love it—I want to do that again!”When I was a teenager, we had family issues. My mother had colitis. She took a medication, an opiate drug, in liquid form. One day, I went into the fridge, and I saw a bottle, three-quarters full, and I read the label. I took some, then filled what I took out with water. Later, when my mother took it, she realized how weak it was. So, she made me understand that she was taking it for medical reasons. She told me, “If I can’t take it, I’ll shit all over myself.” And my father—he was verbally abusive. He never had anything good to say to me, and the more he abused me, the more I stayed out of the house. Snorting it, I began developing a “chippy” habit—small and recreational, not a true addiction. But a friend of mind told me he had works; he told me he could stick it right into my fuckin’ arm. Instead of snorting it and waiting for 7 minutes to get high, by shooting it into my arm, I got high in 7 seconds. I said to myself, “Where have you been all my life?” I wanted to do it again and again. When my dad berated me, when I took the heroin, I was wearing a bullet-proof vest. He’d never get to me. I didn’t care. As issues developed, we had an altercation, I laid my hands on him, and he threatened to call the cops. So, I left the house at 15. I packed a little bag— T-shirts, underpants, basic stuff. For a couple of weeks, I lived in a park; in those days, it was open after midnight. I met an older woman, 30 years old, and she said, come stay with me. Let me say, she was taking a chance. I’d steal from anyone in a hot second, but I did have certain borders
I wouldn’t cross. Still, if I was sick [having a heroin withdrawal], anything goes. So, I was with her a while. But she caught me in bed with another woman, and she kicked me out. Meanwhile, my habit got worse and worse. Before long, I was a flat-out junkie. But I educated myself about drugs. I read a lot in the library. I thought that junkies were insane, so I figured I must be crazy. EG:At the height of your habit, how much heroin did you use? J:You hear a lot of former junkies brag about the size of the habit they had. They’ll say, “I did three bundles a day.” A bundle is 10 bags, which would cost about $80–90 today, but to get that price, two bundles for $170, you have to tip the dealer $30. In those days, tops, I did about 25 bags a day. In New York City, a bag currently costs about $10. I never had what you’d call a controlled habit. I’d go to sleep with three bags, wake up at two in the morning, shoot the three bags, and have to go scrounging when I woke up. I’d have to spend half a day raising the money to buy the dope, and if I couldn’t buy the dope, I’d get sick. It was a horrible fuckin’ feeling. Now, you’d think after throwing up a few times, I’d get the message. You go to a restaurant, walk out, and throw up, you don’t eat there again. But I tell you, after all that, years of addiction, if someone offered me a speedball [heroin and cocaine in combination] today and he could guarantee that there would be no negative consequences, no cost, no pain, no sickness, no addiction—I’d take it. EG:How did you earn a living? What did you do to get the money? J:I was a thief. I never committed armed robbery. I’d steal whatever was lying around. I stole unattended purses. I’d have a black garbage bag I’d throw the purses into. Sometimes there was a buck-fifty in a purse, sometimes two or three hundred. I had a scam with a woman. She’d pretend to have an epileptic seizure, and women would look at her and forget about their purse, and I’d steal the purse. Whatever wasn’t tied down, I’d steal.I got into smoking crack, which is not technically addicting—there’s no withdrawal. Last time I smoked crack, 30 years ago, I was on the roof of a building. And I thought to myself, “The only thing I can do is to jump off this roof.” I had what we call in NA [Narcotics Anonymous] a “sober moment.” I thought, “I’m going to jump off the roof and I’ll break every bone in my body, I’m going to wake up in a hospital, and I’m going to demand a morphine drip for the pain, and the nurse will say to me, ‘You are paralyzed from the neck down, you don’t feel any pain, we’re not going to give you a morphine drip.’” That was my nightmare. So, I didn’t jump. I had a number in my pocket—I had had it for years. I was so depressed about my habit that I decided to call the number. This was April 12, 1984. I called the guy, and he took me to NA meetings. I was still totally obsessed with dope, and people would call me and say, “It’s going to pass, it’s going to pass,” and I wanted to punch them in the face. I got a job in a Jewish rehab center. Had it for about three years, but it went out of business. EG:What about alcohol? Ever have a problem there?J:Nothin’. I’m fuckin’ grateful I never got into drinking. If I had gotten involved, I wouldn’t just be an alcoholic, I’d be dead. I never had nothing to do with alcoholism. At all. Period.EG:Tell me about your arrest and incarceration record. R:I got arrested when I was 16 for a misdemeanor, but my lawyer worked out a probation deal, no jail time, and I was released. When I was 18, I caught a felony conviction, and I served 2 years at Elmira,
a state penitentiary. When I was in Elmira, after about 6 weeks, still in orientation, a guy took me under his wing. He said, “If you do what I say, you’ll never get in trouble here.” I don’t have any complaints about being in the joint. I used dope when I was in prison. You have to know somebody. I had money, cigarettes, dope. Came home at 20 and used right away. At the age of 25, I got pinched again, a misdemeanor, served 9 months in Riker’s. A few years later, I caught another felony, I was locked up for 14–15 months. For 30 years, I haven’t been arrested. Haven’t even had a conversation with the police. Haven’t gotten into trouble since then. Nothing illegal. No way in a million years, I’ll never get locked up again.[We’re sitting on a bench in a public place. An attendant wheels a disabled man past us in a wheelchair. We both watch him go by; he’s in his seventies, has a cloth stuffed in his mouth, and he looks feeble and sick.] J:That could have been me. How many funerals does the average person go to in a lifetime? Their parents. Older relatives. Maybe a few friends. Really unfortunate accidents. How many? Three, four, six? Twelve? I’ve been to a thousand funerals. Maybe only 1 percent aren’t drug-related. EG:Have you ever been married?J:Seven years. I destroyed my marriage. EG:Any children?J:Two. One hanged himself. It was drug related. The other won’t have anything to do with me.EG:That’s sad. [Long pause.] Why do you come here to this park? You live in the Bronx. There are lots of nice New York parks closer. J:I like it here. There’s nothing like this place. Central Park? Forget about it. Tompkins Square? Belligerent drunks. Guys on the needle nodding off. It’s peaceful here. Nothing bad happens here. EG:What’s your housing situation like? J:I live in a HUD apartment. Housing and Urban Development. I don’t know about God, but I do know that from time to time, somebody intervenes to help out. A woman who’s living with her mother had a nice apartment in the Bronx, small, one-bedroom, kitchen, living room, bathroom, nothing fancy but nice, said to me, “You can have the apartment.” I live there and I love it. And I come here [to Washington Square Park]. EG:Can you sum up your experience with dope in a few sentences? J:I wouldn’t wish the experience on anyone. Everything I did, I did to myself. I have no one to blame but myself. QUESTIONSWhat’s your reaction to this interview with Jimmy? Did you think that an addiction to heroin was a death sentence, that survival to old age is improbable? Does the fact that he’s in his seventies and apparently in good health surprising? What would you ask him? Jimmy is a very friendly, well-adjusted guy. What does that say about personality theories that attempt to explain drug addiction? At the same time, he’s experienced tragedies in his life. Is that more in line with these theories—that the way he lived his life, the impact he’s had on people who were close to him, was directly related to the dysfunctionality of a person’s life? How does Jimmy fit into your views on addiction?