Dear Aunt Agony... Where Does A Heroin Addict Inject?

Dear A.A,

My boyfriend is an injecting drug user. I do not have much experience of addiction and drug addicts, and even though we've been together for over eighteen months I am still very confused over what is the truth. My boyfriend acts very open about his problem and tries to guide me on what is happening but I often feel like he's giving me disinformation so as it's easier for him to cover up his signs of use. One of the main things is injecting. He frequently pulls his shirt off and throws his arms in my face, telling me to inspect them as some kind of proof that he is not using. And it's true, I can't see any mark or sore or bruise on his arms, but the thing is I KNOW he has used! I CAN TELL by his eyes, his talk, even his eating habits! But his arms are clean and then he makes me feel all guilty for accusing him of using and even says that I'm 'paranoid' and that I've even put the idea of using in his head now. Please, where else can an addict inject (apart from the arms)? Is there any place someone can inject which leaves no trace? [Katerline]

A.A Says:

Hey Katerline, it seems your boyfriend is using some very common behavioural traits to try to play down his addiction. That's not any kind of criticism as I've done exactly the same myself and it's often necessary if the life is going to be even a little tranquil. I guess by you 'inspecting' his arms and wanting to inspect other parts of his body that he's not so much 'putting his arms in your face' as he is finally giving in to your relentless questions (maybe moods) concerning his drug use until he finally offers up his body for inspection so as he can get some peace (possibly you too). I don't think you're paranoid. If you know the signs and you're sure then you have to believe what your eyes tell you and not what someone tries to convince you of. Concerning injecting, addicts can inject anywhere there is a vein... no matter how small. Have a look over your own body and count all the places you spot veins – they are all potential shooting areas. Personally I've shot in just about every place you can get a needle: arms, hands, front of fingers, back of fingers, palm, chest, abdomen, legs, behind the knees, along the shin bone, the calf (both sides), the ankle, the forefoot, my toes, the inner underside of my foot, my forehead, shoulders, wrists... wherever there's a vein, there's a shot. One of the great myths of injecting is that it marks the body. Yes, it will if you continuously shoot in the same places (or with older addicts like me who find it hard getting any vein) but with new fresh veins there are often no marks left, and many times there's not even blood from the injection site. Needles are very very fine... ten times smaller than a sowing needle. With that in mind, you can imagine how tiny the pin prick is. However, some people scar very easy and terribly. I've never scarred much, and apart from a track mark running down the middle of both hands, you'd be hard pressed to find any tracks on my arms. So yes, there are many places one can inject and leave no obvious mark as to what it is.

For further info read this graphic and detailed account of the injecting process: The Pain of Painkilling

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Dear Aunt Agony... How Long Does a Heroin Addict Live?

Dear A.A, how long does a heroin addict live? What is the life expectancy of a heroin addict? (Anon arrived through such a search term)

Aren't Agony Says:

Hey Anon Searcher,

It's not an easy question to answer and I can only do so in a very general fashion. I guess the average life of an addict (through my experience) is around 45 years. However, that's speaking about street addicts. If we refer to people who are on long term prescribed heroin (for certain illnesses, disabilities) then their life span is not affected by the drug. Their mortality rate is as good/bad as anyone else's (as long as they're not being dripped heroin for a terminal disease). It's not really the heroin that kills but the diseases, infections, bacteria that gets into the body with the smack. Also, and this is VERY important, life expectancy is ONLY around 45 years for needle addicts. Someone smoking or snorting heroin will have the same life expectancy as someone who's never used heroin before. More than the heroin, future and historical studies will show that most addicts died prematurely from: HIV, Hepatitis, and lung and heart infections. The Overdose is kinda a romantic myth and most addicts just aren't that lucky. The majority waste away to nothing in some grotty hospital gown, in an even grottier hospital with not a soul to even bring them in a fix.

Dear Aunt Agony... Do Heroin Addicts Become Violent When They Are Ill?

Dear Aunt Agony,

Is it true that heroin addicts get violent when they are ill? My friend wants me to babysit him through withdrawals and I am willing to do it but am scared that when he's desperate he may go crazy on me. Do you think I should accept to babysit him through withdrawal? I've done it once before but it didn't even last two hours before he made an excuse to go to the toilet, then said he needed some air, and never came back. But this time I think he's serious as he's been talking about it a while and seems to really want to stop. I hope he does anyway.



Aunt Agony says:

Hiya Sarah,

This thing about heroin addicts being violent is pure media myth served up as an indirect way to have people believe that heroin addiction takes such a strong grip upon the addict that it turns them into knife wielding drug crazed maniacs. But the truth is, when an addict is properly ill, it is one of the weakest physical conditions someone can be in (without being dead). It's pure torture just laying still, nevermind moving, or doing anything strenuous. Often the addict is so ill they cannot even score themself. So no, an addict who is ill is not dangerous or violent. More than anything they will be an emotional, begging, pleading, groaning, cursing mess... but they'll be so unwell that they'll not be a danger to anyone. The point where an addict is capable of doing something completely out of character (maybe violent) is just before they get ill... when they know it's coming and have to do something within the next few hours to prevent it. As time ticks on, and as the addict becomes more uncomfortable, so he/she considers more desperate means to raise money. If a violent act may occur, it is there where it will happen... the threat of it at least. I say "the threat of it" because hitting someone isn't going to get you well or get you money. But a show of rage, scaring someone, could frighten them into giving up 20 quid. Really it is this: if your friend doesn't have a violent temperament he will not become violent: no matter what. If however he is known for chucking the occasional right hook when frustrated then that will not change. Still, with proper withdrawals I cannot see anyone becoming violent. Dope sickness is an illness which puts psychopaths on their backs... any prison guard or mental health worker will tell you the same.

Babysitting??? for me that never works and always ends the same: the addict begging to be let out – to the point where the babysitter just cannot take it no more. If by some miracle you can put up with it, and don't fall for one of the any number of tricks that the addict will use to taste fresh air, then there can be anything from a room fire to the addict feigning death to have the door opened. If ever there was a detox plan which has less success than even government funded schemes, then it's that one. But that doesn't mean to not do it. It just warns you that it's very rarely gonna end in success, and more than likely, if your friend did make five days, as soon as it's over he'd leave and immediately score just to get rid of the stress of the past week.

Now my question, as something in your first mail intrigued me. You say the first babysitting attempt didn't even last an hour? Can I ask, did you give your friend money that day? Let's say for some medical supplies.... paracetamol... herbal relaxants.. energy drinks, etc?

Until soon... all my best, Aunt Agony. X


Hello auntie,

thanks for explaining things about the violence, so now I don't think i've anything to worry about but I have heard so many stories and not always from the media. I know you say it's hopeless but i've decided i will babysit my friend. I'd like it to be me who sat through it with him if he did make it. If it does no good, well, it cannot do harm, and so i think it'd be best if i am there no matter what. We have planned to do it on monday as he says he wants to have that as a clean start and time to get his head fully around the idea. So fingers crossed. I hope he he succeeds because he struggle(suffers) so much with his problem.

OMG how did you know about me giving money for medicines? did you read my story on the experience project? No one ever read that!lol


Aunt Agony says:

Hi again Sarah,

The Experience Project??? I don't even know what it is. So sorry to disappoint you but still no one has read your piece... maybe tomorrow, lol. No, when you said he had disappeared after an hour it reminded me of a few stories I've heard and even not too far from something I often used to do when funds were tight. I knew because I'm a junkie... there are some gains to be had in all of this!

Oh, things are NEVER hopeless. I just let you know the real chances of this kind of detox working so as you don't end up disappointed, or worse, thinking your friend somehow let you both down by not succeeding. And as I say, even if your friend actually makes it through the withdrawals that's still not time to celebrate and toast his saved soul... that's just 5 days out of a lifetime. When he leaves the room every phone line is a direct line to a dealer, every street the walk to a meet. Detox is one thing, but shirking the monkey for good quite another. So I was just letting you know, and if it seems a negative thing to tell you, it's not... it's only the truth.

Anyway, let me know how you get on... and if there's ever anything else you can mail anytime.

All my thoughts, A.A . X

Dear Aunt Agony... Why Do Heroin Addicts Have Dirty Fingers?

Dear A.A...

my boyfriend is a heroin addict (was when I met him) and his fingers are always black. He's not dirty and showers every day but always seems to have these horrible grimy fingers. Can you explain where that comes from? Is it drugs on his fingers? And if so could they get into my system?



Aunt Agony says:

Hiya Izabella,

I will explain what the dirt is, but will you first tell me if your boyfriend:

a) smokes or injects heroin
b) uses crack cocaine (and how)

Thoughts, A.A


Thanx for replying I really didn't think you would.

My boyfriend smokes heroin and smokes crack.



Aunt Agony says:

Izabella, the dirt on your boyfriends fingers will come from two different things.

Firstly it will be the soot (carbon) which forms on the underside of the tin foil he smokes his heroin on. Unless your boyfriend washes his hands after each time he smokes (which would mean him living in the bathroom) his fingers will get this black residue on it. (Some users preheat the foil and then wipe away the carbon before using it to prevent this, but it doesn't stop it completely, and in a rush there's no time to be preheating your foil before taking a boot.) Secondly, as your boyfriend also smokes crack, his fingers will get dirty ashing up his pipe (carbon again) and picking up crumbs of rock that are on the table/tile around the ash etc. It looks much grimier than it really is.

Finally, no, the dirt is not drugs. If it was your boyfriend would have smoked his own fingers years ago. There will be some trace elements but nothing to worry about.

Hope that explained what the dirt is... All My Thoughts Agony. X



LOL. It helped a lot (really).


Dear Aunt Agony... How Can I Score in London?

Dear Aunt Agony...

Do you know where i can get a decent bit of kit in london?


Dear Chris,

As you'll understand I can't give you dealers numbers, but you can do 1 of 3 things and I guarantee you'll score within 20 minutes.

1) Find your local needle exchange. Wait for the first person to come out and say you need help. Offer them a £15 bag to score and introduce you to the dealer.

2) Approch a young/middle aged beggar. 70% have heroin problems and are usualy just begging until they raise 20 quid to score.

3) Go to the nearest methadone Clinic. Most are still using and will be able to help you. Again, for the numbr (and to ensure you're not robbed) offer to buy for them also. No one will do that for a
stranger for free.

Good Luck and let me know how you get on.

A. A. x

Dear Aunt Agony... Is My Boyfriend Injecting Pain Pills?

Dear Aunt Agony...

Hey my name is Shazza. I wanted to tell u somethings that is going on with my boyfriend so i can understand better. I find his collection of spoons and needles of course i throw them away. From what i understand from a friend .He shoots up Oxycontins, roxys, and other pain pills. Can u shoot up pain pills? Hes also on methadone can he shoot that to? Anytime i say anything about the needles or spoons, he gets so angry and said he hasnt used in awhile. He said he doesn't talk about it because hes ashamed. He finally told me it is so hard to stop .And he wasn't doing it anymore.But i find cotton with a dried blue substance on it. And me i dont know much about any of this. His arms look better ,where else can you shoot up? Its sad he or should i say we live with this,.Dont know if i should go or stay but scared it will make matters worse .Any advice would be great, i'm alone in this. Fear to talk to friends or family. I'm not sure how i can help him. so does this make
him junkie or addict i'm confused .Also he gets sick throws up, runs a high temp, upset stomach and everything that goes with that. And this is going on up to three days a week. And he jerks hard and cant control it. But doesnt jerk all the time. ~Idk~Whats going on with all that ? Thank you for your time!


Aunt Agony says:

Oh, it's no problem mailing me... anytime. Yes you can shoot pain pills, many people do.
Methadone... not really, bu there is one kind you can shoot though i really doubt thats what he's doing. The cotton with the blue substance on it will be Oxycontin. Heroin filters are pale yellow or

Regarding shooting you can inject anywhere there is a vein. If not the arms or hands then the legs or feet. Someaddicts shoot in he neck and some in the groin (not the actual groin, the pit of the inside thigh).

If your boyfriend lives a normal life, but shoots pain pills everyday, he's an addict. If he needs to steal, cheat and lie to get money for his drugs, then he's a junkie. It's a small thing and not really important. Many will say that if you are addicted to opiates you're a junkie, period

Getting sick will be withdrawals. His brain and body needs opiates. The jerks are a side-effect many users have. It's because the muscles relax under the influence of the drug and then jump to control when the brain mistakenly acts to control them. . It's a spasm, like sometimes you have while dreaming.

Keep in mind that most people who shoot Oxy's also shoot heroin. Though heroin is much stronger and more expensive.

All My Best, Auntie. x

Dear Aunt Agony... Boyfriend Won't Forgive me for Two Lines of Coke!

Dear Aunt Agony...

Random.......I'm hoping you can help me with something urgent because nobody seems to understand and after reading your blog I figured maybe you could help....I have a situation with my boyfriend who was about to propose to me. He found out that I tried cocaine twice and now is willing to end our relationship and I don't know what's left to say?...his really touchy like that and truly thinks I lost all my dignity and self respect, mind you I tried this two years ago. What the hell can I tell this guy to make him "forgive" me!?

Im sorry this is random, but your a guy. You should know what to say/do......being your from london boyfriends from there as well.

- Jennifer from Austriala

Aunt Agony says:

Hiya Jennifer,

Thanks for mailing I'm a bit rushed here so will get down to it.

For the business with the cocaine and your almost fiancés reaction towards it, well it sounds a tad extreme to me!

Is your boyfriend also a jealous type? I've a feeling he is, and that there is something else bugging him about your little dalliance in the snow. I suspect he has heard all these silly stories of coke turning people into nymphomaniacs and is possessed with jealousy imaging you getting fucked left right and centre by the entire town. I may be wrong, but I don't think so. The cocaine is just his means to have something concrete to focus his jealousy upon and justify the chances of his worst fears being true. I would also hazard a guess that he has no experience of the substance and so bases his thoughts on what it does from the weekend tales of his work colleagues.

How does he know you tried cocaine twice?

With someone that hung up about it I think the best thing to do is lie and try to convince him that it isn't true. In a way that's what he's pressing for anyway. Maybe say something like you was trying to act 'cool' and wanted to impress him. Something like that.

If he keeps up his whingeing and threats not to marry you, fuck him off, telling him that he'd never have been able to satisfy you anyway... not after fucking for England coked out your mind, and taking three Irishmen and a chimpanzee in the park! That'll freak him out.

All My best Aunt Agony X.

Dear Aunt Agony... Subutex or Methadone?

Dear Aunt Agony...

Hope you had a decent xmas and new year. We had a wonderful white xmas over here in Fife,Scotland. Story book stuff it was.

Anyway,i wanted to say that I'm currently on a waiting list for the local methadone programme (16 weeks waiting list) as i'm struggling to buy it on the street now what with everything else im using.

I wanted to ask you about Subutex/Suboxone as you mentioned it in your blog. I know everyone is different and there are a lot of factors involved but the stuff i've read about it is conflicting. Is it a poor cousin of methadone in your opinion?

Would it spoil my enjoyment of heroin and other stuff if i was given Subutex instead of methadone as some say it's a blocker?

That's been said about methadone but when i use H on top of methadone it certainly doesn't block or take away any enjoyment.

Thanks for reading and i hope your doing well man.


Ed x

Aunt Agony says:

Hiya Ed,

Oh, I'm not too bad... though it could be better(quite a bit better, haha!)

Yeah, we had a white christmas over here too. Normally if I'd have said that it would've meant there'd been a lot of crack about, but not this time... not in france. Just cold cold snow.


No, it's not a poor cousin of methadone, it's very different and more like heroin than methadone. Unfortunately after being a heroin addict it then only serves to keep illness at bay and you don' get any of the classic opiate effects. I prefer methadone. But you can shoot subutex.

Yes, subutex does act as a blocker., and Suboxone is even worse. friends of mine stabilized on subutex tell me they don't even feel the effects of a shot of H unless they've not taken subs for at least 24hrs. Though on low doses you can feel it, but it's still weakened.

I'm the same as you,I don't feel methadone blocks the effect of heroin, though it does depend on what dose you're taken and how long before you've just knocked it back. I find the effect of smack is lessened if you use withing the first 5 hours of drinking a usual dose of methadone. But it's only weakened, not blocked.

When Subutex was first introduced as a substitute (in general) it worked like this:

Methadone was prescribed to injecting addicts, and subutex was preferredfor those who were snorting or chasing. But over here in france there are more IV users on subs than on juice. Another problem I've come across is that injecting addicts were not initially held at ALL by subutex
and were getting sick even after being medicated. The period of stabilization is certainly harsher for sub users. Personally, I'd always choose methadone, but I also know people that swear by subutex. I suppose is what ever you get used to and what you know psychologically will hold you.

Why don't you try this:

buy some subutex on the street (say an average daily dose x 3) try using it and see how it goes. If it's agreeable maybe try speaking to your GP and seeing if you can cross over bu on the strict condition if you feel it's not foing what it should you can swich right back to methadone... it shouldn't be problem. This happens a lot, as many people suffer horrendous migraines with
buprenorphine (subutex) and are then put on meth.

What's not in doubt is that Subutex WILL block the effect of heroin. So, if you want to continue using H it's not the best choice.

Let me know what you do and keep in touch...

All my Thoughts

Auntie. X

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Dear Aunt Agony... How Long Can My Heroin Addicted Relative Live For?

Dear Auntie...

I came upon your site after googling "How long can a heroin junkie live?" I'm very sorry if it is too forward of me to email you, but my cousin is a junkie. She is the worst of the worst. She lies/steal/sells/prostitutes etc. She has been using for a long time, but was clean for 4 years. She has a 4 year old son. I believe she was on suboxone, and weaned herself off because she wanted to have another baby. She began using again within a month. I believe she started using again in August or September, but it has been in the past 2 months that I hear things have gotten out of control (again). She is living (meaning in a house with no phone, television, washer/dryer, etc) among other addicts and has sold everything she owned. She stole her own sons Christmas presents. I have no way to contact her, but even if I did, I don't even know what I would say. I just wish I could hear her voice one more time, or feel her once loving embrace, but I am realistic and realize that this likely will never happen. I want to know how long someone like this can be expected to live. I have done all of the "online research" if you will, that I can, and it seems like textbook bullshit. I want to know the truth. I want to prepare myself. She has already contracted hepatitis c (years ago), has overdosed (once while pregnant) and been resuscitated, and almost lost her arm from shooting a dirty needle into an already infected area. She has a scar that is probably 2-3 inches thick at it's worst running from her wrist almost to her elbow. I wouldn't be surprised if she has AIDS. How possible is it? I believe she is living among mainly male junkies, and is prostituting herself to support more than just herself. I can not find anyone else that will tell me the truth. How long can she possibly stay alive (if you can even call it that). I am so lost in loving her, and it is consuming me.

I am so very sorry to bother you, but you seem like someone who is truthful and not afraid to "tell it like it is," for lack of a better term. Everyone else that I have asked responds by saying..."Well...uh, it depends how far along she is" or "I would have to see her to tell you what I think." I want the truth. I want to know what to expect, and noone will tell me. I read about 3 seconds of what you had to say and was immediately intrigued. If I am out of line please tell me, but if you are willing, please tell me what she is going through and what I should expect. I live every moment waiting for the call that she is gone, as I don't see there being any other outcome.

Even if I don't hear back from you, I thank you for what I have already learned from your blog,


Aunt Agony says:

Dear Haley,

Firstly thanks for reading my words and seeing someone you thought you could approach to share such things with. Your questions are not easy to answer, but there are some important clues in all you say which allows me to give an informed answer.

Very briefly, I think your cousin will be dead within the next seven years. I think she has a 95% chance of being HIV positive, and I will explain why I think this. (Please do not lose sight that this is all conjecture.)

Living in a house of addicts = (hints at) group/shared usage.

House is a wreck = makes any kind of hygiene impossible. They must be living and sleeping around each others blood and needles.

She has hepatitis C = is a strong pointer to suggest she has shared needles and/or equipment in the past.

Prostitutes herself for drugs = The most dangerous kind of prostitution. Non-addicted prostitutes set the terms to the client, and if the client doesn't agree then she will fuck him off and wait for someone who accepts her terms. BUT, prostitution through addiction is very different. There is much more urgency to get cash and get out of there. Many will sacrifice safety and the health risks involved for the quick buck. In this instance it is the punter who dictates terms, and if he wants sex without protection, and goes to pull his money away, the chances are he will get it what he wants.

Almost lost an arm = (hints at) decreased immunity to infection. A huge majority of addicts who lose limbs are HIV+.

So I think from all you say that there is a huge chance your cousin is HIV positive. I'd be surprised if she tested negative.

But, let's suppose she is not HIV, then what? Contrary to what people think heroin overdose is extremely difficult (the addict has to take 5- 10 ten times the normal amount for it to be anywhere near fatal). But OD is very possible if alcohol or tranquilizers are taken on top with the heroin. I'd
say from how you describe your cousin she is almost certainly doing that. It's mostly the very poor addicts who use downers and alcohol on top of smack. One, as it serves to exaggerate the effects of heroin; two, because they are never quite sure when or where heroin is coming from and so have go into the daily habit of stabilizing themselves with downers and booze. But OD is still not easy, so don't have nightmares about that. It's a very small percentage of addicts who die due to OD.

Another thing to keep in mind is that heroin is NOT a quick killer. People think that an addict will live for 2 or 3 years at most, but that's a myth. Heroin is a long term addiction and it is on average 10 years before the user successfully manages to quit and stay clean. I know many addicts that have
been using for 25-30 years. It's not as dangerous as what it is made out to be... it's not true that addicts are living on the edge every second of every day. Yes, they've a greater chance of dying than a non-user but that's as far as it goes.

Anyway, here's Aunties 'official predictions' of your aunt's life expectancy based on a few different scenarios and taking into account she has Hep C:

With HIV and continuing to use heroin: 5 years maximum
With HIV but quitting heroin: 5 - 10 years
Without HIV and continuing to use heroin: 10 -15 years
Without HIV and if she stops 10 - 25 years

Still, regardless of anything there still exists the small chance that some weird tragedy could come visit her tomorrow... same as for you and me. But let's hope not.

I hope that has helped a little? and if not, well, it was kinda fun to do...

All My Thoughts & Wishes, Auntie A. x

Dear Aunt Agony... I'm In Love With a Junkie 2

Dear Aunt Agony...

my name is bo and I am in love with a heroin junkie...
I say junkie becasue she lost her job a while ago and spiralled down..she lies to me and says she only been shooting for 3 months but her family says atleast 2 years..
She funds her habit by prostitution and I used to work as an escort also...
I was very mean when I found out she was using and judgemental and she shut down and stopped talking to me...when we first meet she was straigt up honest told me she was a heroin addict that her life was fucked up she flunked out of college and now is homeless...lost her job stole money from her parents and got kicked out....she went away to detox withouth telling me...and when she came back she was so happy and we where full of life...and told me she detoxed and was never getting back on H again...I was suprised she didn't tell me then one friday she went to see her old friends and came back sick as hell puking sweating...
She said she was sorry and she didn't care about anything...I was upset and judgemental and now she does not speak to me...I am trying to make her open up me..I been trying to love her and be supportive and make her trust me again...
Is there hope? I belive she detoxed for me as a suprise becasue she wants to be loved...but now she is so cold and I don't know how to reach her again...

Aunt Agony says:

Dear Bo,

From what you write I will tell you that the relationship can and will never work,(not even if your girlfriend wasn't a heroin addict), so I won't waste my time trying to glue ice together.

I think you've maybe just as many problems as her, and together, well...

Sorry I can't be more helpful, but I tell it as I see it, and all I see here is disaster.

You Keep Well, Auntie. X

Dear Aunt Agony... I'm In Love With A Junkie

Dear Aunt Agony...

I am not an addict or junkie, never tried it and never will. I am not a hypocrite, I have tried pot, cocaine, extasy and steroids but used them in moderation and quit years ago on my own. I don't understand pain pill addiction or heroin addiction or any type of addiction other than the one I am suffering from currently: I am in love (addicted) to my heroin junkie (yes after reading your description she is a junkie) girlfriend.

At first I suspected pills, I had no idea she was taking anything she could get her hands on including heroin. I made her come clean, there was no more hiding it. She had gotten noticeably worse and is on a horrible downward spiral. She is going to die of an overdose. She is young, (21) thinks she has it all under control. She takes heroin, percoset, tramadol, soma, anything she can get her hands on, alcohol and pot on top of it all.

My heart won't let me walk away yet my mind is telling me to run. This is so painful, I am sad for her every minute of every day, the few moments a day when I have 'normal girl' are so great. Watching her suffer when she needs is horrible, watching her fiend for it kills me. She told me she wanted to quit and asked me to take her to a methadone clinic the other morning at 7am, she was sick, she needed something, she was getting angry they were taking so long, when she finally got it, she said it wasn't enough and she was going to get some more on the's been 2 full days now since i last saw her.

I am sick, sicker than a junkie without and terribly heartbroken. I know she will show back up, she will call from somewhere at 2 in the morning. My mind will wander thru all the scenarios of where she has been and what she has done to get her fix. I worry about her constantly, when she is not with me I am ill with fear of what may end up happening.

I am so sad for her, so mad at the people giving her what she needs, so lost not knowing how to help her and so confused as to follow my heart or my mind.

Yours, InLovewithaJunkie.

Aunt Agony says
Dear InLovewithaJunkie,

thank you so much for reading my words and taking the time to contact me. I'm very sorry that you go through this - it's never a good experience. The first thing I will advise you is stick to your guns and DO NOT start using to try and get closer to your girl. It will not help and will only drag you down further into a place where you can be of no use.

Help??? I will be truthful and I will not give you false hopes, but there really is nothing you or ANYONE can do. Even if you understand the reason why your girlffriend uses, it will not help her to stop. Heroin is a longterm addiction and the addict will normally only consider quitting once they've got no cash, are being threatened with jail, or after they are repeatedly junk sick.

As a nobody I tell you WALK AWAY. As a person with a heart and a brain and with the experience of love behind me, I know that is impossible. So you stay and you try to support her habit. Not financially but mentally. Accept it, accept it all and try to gain her absolute confidence. Even if the truth hurts hold in your anger or hurt... cry alone if you have to. If she trusts you she will let you into her addiction... she will let you help and make you apart of her plans.

With openess you will at least know the extent of the problem and how she is funding her habit. If you can help in anyway to help fund her, consider doing so (many will lambast me for saying that)... but do not give her your last pennies. Allow her to use in front of you and do not get annoyed, or if you do make it a private thing. The addict needs security and somewhere peaceful and safe to use. If you stress her and ask all manner of questions or moan or cry about her problem she will only learn to lie and hide it from you. But if she feels you're a part of it, fighting on her side, she will take you right in with her. Of course, it'll mostly be to get your money, but unfortunately thats the biggest part of the addicts problem.

From what you say she is certainly using a mixture of drugs because she cannot fund heroin everyday. Heroin does satisfy, so if she is using all the other pills on top it says she is not getting enough heroin. Is she on a methadone program at the moment? I know you say you went to the clinic but is she on a daily dose or did she quit the program as soon as she got better?

I'm not really sure what else I can tell you. You are in an impossible situation and one that will break your heart... I've seen my loved ones around me suffer because of my use, and no-one could have stopped me from using... NO-ONE.

Anyhow, you have my email address, contact me anytime and ask as many questions as you like. I
will never ignore you and will always try to help. I will at least always give you the truth as I see it.

Until then, you take care and you think about some of the things I have said.

My thoughts are with You... My love and wishes too.. Auntie H. x


Hi Auntie...

I really thank you for your response and honesty. I sat down today with Becca (my girlfriend), we had a conversation about if she considered herself a junkie or an addict. She thought addict, I had her read what you initially wrote and she changed her tune. Then I had her read what I wrote and she opened to me. We read your response together, I almost had her but lost her again. I am sure it will be a day or two before I see her or talk to her, she is in a jam. She is not ready for help and I realize that. She knows I am here for her but I know that I must limit my availability to her until she hits bottom. She is a great person with a sweet heart but she is too afraid to stop, it's too easy to keep going on the path she is on. I will keep you informed and once again I thank you for your honestly.




Keep in contact and if you need any help or advice or you don't understand Becca's behaviours just send a mail. I will always be here and will always help or advise in any way I can.

You take care and try not to worry too much. I can only respect you for even sticking it out for one day... Love and Wishes, Auntie.

PS: Keep this in mind: heroin OD is possible but very difficult. Unless done on purpose it's not easy to misjudge so greatly one's dose. To take a fatal OD the user has to take at least 5 -10 times their normal amount. Try not to endlessly worry that every time Becca uses she is dancing with death. I've been using 10 years (5 times daily) and the addicts around me the same. Between us we only know of 1 or 2 fatal OD's. I have no personal experience of them.


Thanks Auntie. She called today, I was working and told her I would be done around 7, she was going to call at 7 and have me come pick her up. Of course that didn't happen and she will call me later tonight or tomorrow with some excuse. It's so hard and I don't know why I care so much when I know I shouldn't.

Dear Aunt Agony... Can You Help Me Score?

Dear Aunt Agony...

hello, my name is enrique, and have just moved here to lyon from australia, and i found your site, and as you have guessed by now, i am looking to score. my numbr is 06X8 XXX 7X2. if you could ring me and meet, as you know, you look after me, i will look after you,
hope to hear from you.


Aunt Agony says:

Dear Enrique,

I'm not a dealer. If you need to score here's the only advice I can give: go to the L'hôtel Dieu hospital. It's a substitution centre... full of addicts. I'm sure you'll find someone there who will help you. Don't worry if you can't speak french... your money will talk for you. You should also sign up for a substitution program whilst you're at it... you'll need it here.

Good luck, Auntie.



i apologise if i offended you, i never meant in the email to assume you were a dealer, its just that scoring on my own has its hazards. what i was looking for was maybe an introduction to someone safe. in australia i could introduce you to good safe people all over the country, i also have to be careful because of the family here, old time lyon people, well known and respected.

i had several restaurants in australia, we sold them, and have moved here to be closer to my wife's family, but i still have an itch that needs severe scratching! if you could take the time to meet me and get to know me, see i'm for real, no cops, all i ask for is to be introduced to someone reliable. i'm sorry for my straight forwardness, too many years in business, i get straight to the point. so if you think that its not possible, please let me know. you have my number.

thank you for your quick response




You didn't offend me. What were the names of your restaurants? How was you using (injecting, smoking, snorting?)

BW, Auntie.


Auntie, thank you for replying, plus im glad that i didnt offend you. we had sveral restaurants in diferent cities on the gold coast in queensland. we had XXXXX at marina mirage on the water, cafe XXXXX at robina town centre, XXXXX bar and bistro at broadbeach, and XXXXX in broadbeach, then in darwin, northern territory, we had XXXX cafe at cullen bay, plus started the mopeds pizza and pasta. i'm a little tired of hospitality now, been in it 25 years, im 38 now, so i basically grew up in it,

to answer the other, i inject, started of snorting, but one day was introduced to the other, and well, the rest is history,




I think you're genuine.Your IP address to my blog worked out and your Google search of 'Where to find heroin in Lyon France' brought you to me. I cannot meet you today, but we will get together. I will contact you to let you know when.

I will introduce you to someone that will put you onto a contact. Can you speak french? it will help you a lot?

Also, I will warn you before anything... french heroin is not like what you will know... it's shit. It's still heroin but very weak. Occassionally a better quality stuff arrives, but not often.

Where abouts are you in Lyon... just the area?

Best Wishes, Auntie.

ps: I'll need to see old visible track marks on your hands and arms. I won't take no bollocks over that. If for some bizarre reason they've all cleared up, or you're wriggling with good veins, I will leave.


thanks, i live in croix rousse
ill hear from you then,


Enrique, if you've got the tracks, have the money, and want to score we can meet this afternoon. let me know ASAP*.


*Obviously Enrique had those new big thick police veins I had initially suspected him of having. I never heard from him again.

Dear A.A... Can Someone Use Heroin Without Getting Addicted?

Dear Aunt Agony...

Your blog is fascinating I can't wait to sit down and spend some time reading all of it! You've had an amazing life.

I guess my main question is: Can someone do heroin without getting addicted?

When my son was 17 he was snowballing, using coke then heroin. He did it a few times a week for several months. When I got him in the hospital to detox he said the coke was what he liked not the heroin. But then a few months later I found evidence that he was smoking it.

I don't know what to think of that, he says he's no longer using.

I know a lot about drugs/heroin. My true love chose heroin over me 20 years ago, and coincidently he just showed up in my life ago (as a friend only) a few weeks ago with 18 months clean. The longest he ever went clean was 4 years. you think my son can "use" without being an addict??? You're obviously an intelligent person and I'd love your opinion.

Thank you! Barbara of Seville

Aunt Agony says:

Hiya Barbara of Seville,

Firstly, the reason your son started using heroin after coke is because coke leaves the user very agitated when the effect is finished and an immediate way to get rid of this is heroin. Many people end up on heroin through cocaine. Why they finally abandon coke to heroin is normally economical - coke is 3 x the price of heroin. When funds are low it's better to buy two bags of heroin which will last all day rather than two bags of crack which will last an hour.

Heroin usage normally leads to addiction. I don't know anyone who used for a sustained period and kept it casual. I know people who used casually for a while and then stopped completely. If your son uses heroin daily for long enough he will pick up a habit. This has nothing to do with the person or willpower, it is science.

If you're wondering what you can do as a mother to stop him, I'm afraid there's nothing you can do. That sounds harsh, but again, I've never known anyone to backtrack from heroin for any other reason than themself (sick of the drug... sick of addiction, etc). Also, and this is very important: it's not your fault! And no matter what, you must know and believe that. Why someone turns to heroin (or any drug) is a multitude of differing and complex reasons.

I hope this reply is of some help and I wish the best for you and your son.

Auntie. x

Dear Aunt Agony... My Brother is a Heroin Addict!

Dear Aunt Agony...

i understand english but i don't write it well. My brother is also a heroin addict, he leaves lyon... i miss him, and all my family hates him, even my mother can't stand him, she wants to try to forget him... but i can't, i want to help him, but i don't know how i can help an heroin addict, he lose control, he don't even know who he is, he lose his hair and some teeth. He's 25 but looks older... i want to save him, because i can't just forget him and let him destroy himself, he's my brother, there is the same blood running through our veins... he's my family, i love him.

i don't know why i'm saying that to you, but i never know an heroin addict, well i've meet heroin dealers in lyon, but they are too nasty and they loose all discernement, they scared me, and i feel, by your way of writing in your blog, that you are better than them... i'm 17, and i've some addictions, but i always refuse heroin because i know what it is, but sometimes i just wanna to try because i really don"t care about all my fucking life, my parents are already dissapointed... And the guy i love is also uses drugs.

Don't you ever tried to stop ?

please, répond moi, say me what i can do, to help my brother.

I don't now if i used to be alcoholic, but I used to drink alcohol every day, sometimes i can't go to school without drinking, it's like my oxygen, i can't feel good without alcool, now, i want to drink, and i always want to drink, i spend all my money on alcohol, but you know when i come back to home, this feeling of guilt just invades all my mind, and i cry, and my respect for my parents, for the education they give to me, you know, I've found the strength to stop. And now i only drink with my friends, i go often drunk to school but i only drink 2 or 3 times per week, and the week ends when my parent organize some parties, i tried to just drink beer and champain.

I don't know why i'm telling you all that... but i just need to speak...
Sorry for the mistakes but i'm french and i dont write well english...

Bisous. Gina.


Aunt Agony says:

Unfortunately you cannot help a heroin addict... there is nothing you can do. Your brother can only help or stop himself. All you can do is love him and be there fot when he finally stops - and one day he will.

I never tell anybody to take or not to take heroin... it's a free choice. All I say to you is you have seen the damage that it has done to your brother and it will do the same to you. Be sure, it will fuck you up and take your teeth and all your beauty. If you're lucky it may kill the pain of living for a while, but don't bank on it.

I stopped once, when I first came to Lyon. In that moment I didn't speak any french and so it was impossible to find and haggle over smack. After six months my french had reached 'basic scoring level', I could finally say, "excusez moi, je cherche l'héro. Tu peut m'aider?" And so I found a dealer here and began using again. But it's hard and my french is still quite basic so supplying my habit is a huge headache each day.

Anyway, back to you and just to recap: there is nothing you can do for an addict... even if it's your brother and even if you love him so. I'm sorry to tell you that, but I say the truth as I see it. That will be hard for you to believe... but I will not lie to give you hope. You could probably contact L'hôtel Dieu (the main substitution hospital in Lyon) and they will give you much better (and worse) advice.

You can mail me whenever you like... I'll always respond. Next time I may even try to answer in French! You can write in french if you like... I can read french very well.

All My Thoughts, Auntie.


Dear Aunt Agony... (translated from french)

Merci to have taken the time to reply. Actually I was waiting on it, it's true, but only because i feel so powerless in front of heroin.

I think that for my older brother he is finished... that he'll never be the same again, but i'm not able to accept that... I will never be able to accept it. You know, sometimes i have the impression that the world is against me, everything becomes crazy around me. My family is split and there are only ever arguments, so, what can I do? I know my older brother has lived the same things as me, his relationship with our parents was very strained and he was no longer able to support it. I know heroin has been his escape, but I don't understand how it has been able to turn so bad? Sometimes I cry when i look at old pictures of my brother, he's called Daniel, and he was very handsome, and now... God! I'm no longer even able to see him and have not much news, and no-one even knows where he lives...

In June I leave for a holiday in South America to see my family, but i am scared to return to Bogota in case I find him laying in the street like a tramp. I never want to see that. I would die.

happily my younger brother, Walter, is very clean. He once took a puff of a cigarette and hated it! He also never (or very rarely) drinks alcohol. He likes to go to parties but he is not attracted to those vices. I'm very proud of him; finally someone who doesn't suffer from an addiction.

Do you like Lyon? I was born here and like this city but she tires me a little. I prefer Paris where my father lives. But I enjoy myself in Lyon and I adore the district of St Paul and also Foch... it's where I often hang out. There is also the Hotel de Ville, where one can watch the skaters who I like a lot. But above all I adore to sit along the bank of the river Rhone with my friends and drink through the evening... it's really beautiful and makes me feel very well.

Take care, kisses, Gina.


Hi Gina, [translated from bad french into even worse english!]

I've always the time for people... it's something very important.

Don't give up all hope for your brother, he still exists but is maybe hurting a little in ways he cannot tell you, in ways he cannot tell anyone, and finds heroin numbs the pain. It's not always the end of the world... many times it isn't. When the day arrives that he'll stop, he'll be there once again as your brother... though he may look a little different. More than your brother it's your own life you must worry about. You're 17 and the world is on it's way.

The reason your brother may look how you described can be due to many things. Heroin in itself doesn't change you physically (not to that degree) but the lifestyle, poverty and the diseases around addiction can cause devastating physical changes. You'll notice that heroin addicts and the severely mentally ill often have the same comportment, it's because they are both preoccupied with something else, and all the things that keep us wide eyed and bushy tailed go out the window. But you've not seen your brother??? So maybe he doesn't look quite as bad as your family report? or they only see him when he is withdrawing and in need of heroin. There's a lot of myth and lies and exaggeration around heroin addiction, so keep that in mind.

Yes, I like Lyon. It's very different to London (9 times smaller) but in many ways I prefer it here. London is a very dirty and grey city and after a while it becomes depressing. But it is my city of birth and she is right through to the marrow of my bones, and do I miss her... Sometimes terribly. In Lyon I live in Jean Macé.

Evenings along the Rhone are beautiful. I often take walks just as the light is fading and the city feels like its dying. Sometimes with the sky in the distance and calmness stretched out forever, the river looks like it will lead to heaven. And just as you wish the moment will last forever, it's gone...

Thanks again for your mail, and you can write whenever you like (happy or sad).

I'll take care if you do the same...

Auntie A. X

Ps: My younger brother in england is also called Daniel, named after one of the saddest songs ever written: 'Danny Boy'.

What's the best way to support a heroin addict?

Dear A.A My ex-boyfriend has always had a very healthy ($300 a day habit at times) heroin addiction. He went to jail got clean and started working when he got out. It seemed he wanted more out of life and believed it to be possible. Shit happens. We broke up I moved away for a couple months anyway long storey short (2 years later) we live in the same house as roommates. Last year his son lost his battle with cancer. He was only 7. In the last 2 weeks the guy I love so much has started injecting his dope. He doesn't care about anything or anyone. He is consumed by his self loathing and guilt. I know there is nothing I can do to get him to quit but is there anything I can do or say to help him? It was so much easier when he was in love with me because he wanted more but now I don't know if anything I say even makes it in or if there is anything to make it in to. He is just numb. I am scared. Any thoughts or input you have would be greatly appreciated.  

A.A Says: 

Hey ya D... If you really want to stick around the only help you could possibly be is to not constantly nag and pester him to get clean and try in whatever way you can to help stabilize his addiction financially That doesn't mean give him unlimited cash or anything like that, but maybe together work out how you can cover the costs and make it work. For the loved ones of addicts it is really a hopeless affair. Everyone thinks there must be something which can be done, but there isn't and that is the brutal truth of it.  

 But my advice wouldn't be the above. Heroin doesn't rob people of their souls or love and if you say he doesn't love you anymore then that is a problem which goes far beyond heroin. Rather than thinking how you can help someone who is treating you like that I'd much more advise taking care of yourself and making sure his addiction doesn't ruin your life and health. People have to earn peoples love and care and it doesn't sound much like this guy deserves or would even appreciate what you're willing to do for him. Take care of yourself... don't go so far for someone who you say no longer loves you. It's not the heroin which has robbed that love it is life and time and that passions and feelings change. Whether you stick around and help or move on and don't help the result of his life will be the same. You can still let him know that whenever he is clean or if he ever wants help or needs a friend you'll be there, but his struggle and problems are not yours and don't sell your life down the river with his... unless I'm wrong and you're still both in love with each other. If that's the case then I'd advise all wild lovers to stick together and fight life side by side. X