The Dry Season

In far away places men were being killed. I watched it on the TV as I cooked up smack, fell asleep to journalists embedded in a war zone that was safer than their home streets. The biggest risk was friendly fire. It was 2001 and Afghanistan was smoking and choking on democracy.

In the streets of London there were marches every day. The mosques had become underground bunkers where rallies and demonstrations were organised. Inside, you could even keep your shoes on – that's how pissed off Islam was. As I wormed my way through the crowds, en route to meet a dealer, I would read the banners: “Stop The Afghan war!” “Troops Home NOW!” Sometimes I'd even shout a cliché myself. But I didn't really care, or had stopped. The Morning Star was then just a paper I held so as not to look too inconspicuous while standing at disused bus-stops. Politics had become a luxury, and came (if at all) at the end of a long line of other more pressing matters. Out of touch, my thoughts were not of black oil or corrupt foreign policy, but rather of a light brown rock that I knew only in 'theory' came from the same place.

During the first two weeks of bombing, as mighty Allied Forces took cities fighting back with catapults and stones, heroin on London's streets was rampant. It was so rife that it was actually easier to score junk than to buy the Vit C needed to cook it down with. And then one day, without warning, I received a call from a friend asking if I had any numbers, that she was having problems scoring. That call was the first hint that the war was actually going to effect me, and by seven o'clock I was half sick, frantically redialling the numbers of the twenty or so dealers I had, only to find every phone turned off. The single response I received beeped through in text: No Bisto bro. Gravy drowt. shld b bk on in day or 2. He never was.

In a dingy, one bedroom flat, dark forms sat huddled against the walls, jittering and waiting for time. Every so often I would rise and answer the knocking on the front door. From out of the cold, in would crawl another sweating junkie, eyes struck wide open and cursing. They'd all ask the same: “Anyone on? Anything?” Murmurs and “fucks” would rise up around the room, and then sniffling and groaning. As phones clipped shut, the latest corpse would flop down and join in the aching. But apart from Grace none of us lived there. It was a flat that had turned into our own bunker, the place we had gathered to rack our brains and kill our phones -  to try and find a score in London.

I never did get sick that night, though only thanks to two dirty tricks. One from me, and one from the person I scored from. It was another user, a user who hadn't yet got wind of any supply problems. I phoned him and asked if he had a bag he could sell me, that I'd pay double. Seeing a quick profit he said he had two bags he could sell. I met him and he sold me the last of his stuff, unaware that the money I had given him may just as well have been fake, that he would make no profit this time, that there was no-one to score off. His trick was when I opened the bags they were triple wrapped and a third the size. But it was gear, and it was enough, just, until the next day.

The next day I was ill. We all were. Twelve of us laying around in Grace's living room and kitchen, cursing the world and trying to find a comfortable second in the discomfort. There were junkies stripped naked and laying on the bathroom tiles, others wrapped up in blankets and huddled against the wall, Grace thrashing about on the bed, moaning and hurting and cursing how bad it was. The rooms were full of mucus, shit and tears... our disease was seeping out our bodies. We were all down with the same flu and the real fucker was this: our pockets were full of cash. It got so bad I even heard Portugese Jo praying, either that or cryng. There's not so much difference.

“There must be one fucking dealer on!” someone would moan. On that we'd all try our phones again. “It's ringing!!!... shssh!” another would start up excitedly. We'd all sit hushed, hanging on with bated breath. We'd hear: “What, just White? Ya got no B?” Then we'd all deflate and sink back into our own individual hells until a new thread of hope arrived. Ideas would come and fade and old names of old dealers would surface and become important for the first time in years. Even the rip-off merchants hawking light weights of God-knows-what were worth considering, but no one had anything, rainy old London was dry.

On the third day, three hundred mil of methadone between the lot of us, we got wind that there was smack knocking about in Ladbroke Grove. We put in together for a taxi and four of us hobbled into the back of a beaten up Ford Sierra, wiping our snot on our sleeves and pointing out the quickest way to get there. “It's just a fucking red light!” we'd scream, “ignore it!'

On the way we passed the usual scoring haunts down Uxbridge Road and around Shepherds Bush Green. Far from being empty the meeting points were chock full of addicts, hanging around, all as sick as dogs. They were not waiting for their man though, just standing there because somehow it felt less hopeless - in and out of phone boxes, living to the redial button and the “We're sorry but the mobile you have dialled is switched off.. please try ag.....” And then the receiver would be walloped into the cabinet as more money rattled down BT's throat and clinked into the belly of the beast.

In Ladbroke Grove we were served by a small west Indian dealer with a violent kind of beauty carved into the left side of his face. He came cycling into view with a whistle and we followed his back wheel as he carried on past us and turned off into a small alley. The bags he was selling were half size, half heroin and twice the price, but it was something. Anything to get well - get well and give us eight hours of health to track down something better. That was the deal.

After scoring we didn't return to Grace's flat. It would have been too cruel, and the junkies who had wanted no part in the risk of the deal would soon change their minds once they saw our illness recede and heard our voices start to draaaaawwwwl. But then there would not have been enough, and there was no more from that source. What we had just bought off Ritchie had put his phone out the game too. So we split up and went off on our own to escape heroin sickness and have at least half an hour relief before the panic started again.

That evening Mikey phoned me. Everyone knew Mikey but I had a good relationship with him and so enjoyed the privilege of knowing he was holding first. Thinking only of myself, I told him immediately I would buy every bag he had. I did. He turned his phone off as I stood with him and said he didn't know when he'd reload, that heroin into the country was not getting through. Other than that he didn't know why, just his man higher up the chain was also on the sidelines, also waiting for the call. We were all waiting for the call.... just it never really came.

The gear Mikey sold me was the worst I'd ever had. It cooked up red and left a weird furry black residue in the spoon. It had no effect, but stopped me getting ill and so the teeniest quantity of heroin must have been in it. It got me through the next three days and I was sure by then phones would start coming back on. They didn't.

Over the following days and weeks junkies and dealers interests were put into finding out the reason as to what was causing the heroin shortage on the streets. It turned out that US troops on the Iran and Pakistan borders had accidentally blocked off one of the main arteries of traffic, and so the smack due for England was kinda going through a heart bi-pass operation. There was heroin, tons of it, a 'bountiful crop', 'huge surpluses', but it was being rerouted around Asia and Europe and no-one really knew through where or how long it would take. It took more than three days, I know that, as on the fourth day I crawled home from work sick, found all my numbers off again and this time didn't even have the reserves to go and join the junkie coalition who had pooled their nothingness and sat moaning and wailing around Grace's. Instead, I crawled into bed and cried. I was ill and so out of sorts I just cried at the world, and for the first time really cursed the fucking war, and even more passionately than the humanitarians, I wanted an end to all the bombing and devastation. But my tears were not for humanity, they were for me. And personal tears are always more genuine than any others. All tears are personal. Really.

After discovering a possible cause of the drought and why my life had been so abruptly gatecrashed and turned over, I started paying much more attention to what was going on overseas – at least the part of overseas that affected me. I became a firm supporter to have the US troops out of Afghanistan... at least away from the fucking Pakistan border. These arseholes weren't even blowing up the poppy fields, they were just loitering, fucking everything up without even trying. That's how bad America had become: they could fuck the world up by just being in it.

During the proceeding month heroin was almost impossible to get. Now and again bits and pieces would filter through, but it was so inconsistent that one could not hang a proper habit on it. Sometimes the gear was rushed through and hit the streets at dangerous strengths, other times it got through cut with dangerous agents. But mostly gear got through because it was bash, no smack in it at all, and so was more or less legal traffic. It was a truly horrendous time. Junkies were scoring twenty four hours a day. Buying a bag here, finding it was shit, travelling there, making calls, receiving estimates, going to the next man: the same. The next: the same... and so on until we either found a gouch or bankruptcy. It was a time of huge frustrations and desperation, and was made even harder due to the hike in price that the fake dope was going for. Most dealers had tripled prices and cut the weights, and to top it all they were selling gear which we'd have returned at any other moment in history. But we couldn't just stop and wait, that's not an option when you're full on smack. Waiting is illness, that is why the addict is very vulnerable in many ways. He is always against the clock and if someone holds out long enough they'll get what they want for the price of a bag – because a bag can be worth as much as a man puts his health at. Bags are health. Bags are measures of life. That is a proper junkie fact.

Of course we tried to score methadone in that period, but that was hopeless also. All the addicts who usually sold theirs to fund heroin habits were now drinking it themselves. You could could buy green water or piss, but neither served any useful purpose, not even to cheat a urine test. We were all clean anyway. Some junkies tried desperately to harass the substitution clinics for methadone, but that was even more useless than phoning dealers. They'd fall in the clinics ill, cry, beg, vomit and shit themselves, but methadone maintenance clinics don't care for defecating or dying addicts, they want redemption. They want you to walk in and dump your rotten soul on the table and tell them you're giving up smack because it's killing you, not because there's none to kill yourself with. Even the most caring MMT nurse is unmoved by real junk sickness, unless it was brought on by their words – their sadistic means to have you proove you're serious about quitting by forcing you to turn up sick. But the real option of walking in sick and being treated is not an option at all – not even for those addicts who found God when their last tenner went up their arm. Even if you turn up at hospital, in a condition that would put anyone else in intensive care, you'll be kicked out. You would die before anyone in healthcare would give you so much as a fucking codeine pill. So you sit it out,  and the tragedy is this: the dealers will always get to you before the system. They are better organised and certainly more caring. At least they gain something from you, and so stand to lose if they don't kiss your pains better.

During the second month of serious drought the situation improved, though without ever returning to normal. Every other week there would be word of “drought.. drought” but at least one of my twenty or so dealers would then always be on, and holding half decent gear. There would be no more days spent laying around in Grace's squalid flat, pooling resources with the sick and dying and muttering prayers to a God which none of us believed in. Once again, We were all flying solo.

It was almost a year later when things finally returned to normal. Afghanistan had been set up with a new dummy government - which wasn't quite as westernized as everyone thought - and as military presence dropped in the area US forces accidentally unblocked old supply routes and once again Britain became swamped in smack. Prices returned to normal and then continued the pre-war trend and dropped to record lows. On the streets there were now more junkies than ever, and the bumper crop which the Foreign Office had told us about soon began arriving by air, sea and mail. Methadone maintenance clinics did not have any significant increase in enrollment, and the small rise which there was remained just a statistic, as once the streets were playing the correct tune again the addicts who had applied did not even turn up to their first initiation meeting.

And so it is, nothing ever really changes and certainly not by accident. Drug traffic and supply is a circle which turns and is just as monotonous and regular as heroin addiction itself. But it is in that habit, that monotonous revolution of the wheel, where lies its true strength. To stop anything we must change, and change is a very scary and destabilizing thing. When that change involves the loss of dollars and when the world is run by dollars, change is almost impossible. It's not the junkie who needs rehab; it's the world. A blue planet floating in an eternity of shit.

As you read this Britain and Ireland are once again in the midst of heroin drought, and this time there seems no end in sight. 2001 is horseplay in comparison. Have a thought for all the lost souls who are at this moment even further away from themselves than ever. Junkies or not, there's a heart behind the hand that holds the needle, and it's very often broken.

Take Care All,
My Thoughts and Wishes, Shane. X

Online Independent - Heroin Drought 2011 (with Yours Truly)


Anonymous said...

bless you shane ,you say it so well !!!I live in shepherds bush and i know all the places you mention,its home...and its fucking tough at the moment even though i am scripted.I've nearly given up trying to score cos its desperate when you take it home and smoke air..The junkies who hang out near the market are starting to look positively healthy!I'm not cos me and methadone don't agree.Keep up the story telling,its keeping me sane,your honesty shines thru x

Anonymous said...

Thanks Shane, It's Sam(male) here I added you on f/book. Yet again another amazing well written fact. The way you write just makes me want to read more and more, Keep uoo the good work! And yeah the u,k is shite at the moment i've spent £400 in a week looking for REAL gear! WHY?? because i'm an addict!!! Take care mate. x

Ruby Tuesday said...

Fantastic post... The prejidice against drugs really pisses me off..When will they learn and legalise it? Think of the revenue it could bring this bankcrupt country.. Addicts would get purer gear and crime connected to it would fade. People do not realise that alcohol is our main dangerous poison and it's encouraged to binge drink in our culture..and of course it's tobacco xx

naomi said...

i remember so well the drought of 05/06 i believe it was, maybe even 07. ok, it only lasted about 3-4 weeks but it shook me the core. horrible. thats when i dropped out of college, was running around scoring all day long and couldnt make it to any lessons (where id just gouch out anyway, but it was a tick on the register nonetheless). this drought, in the uk now, i have been clean since november last year so im not in contact with any dealers or users... is it still continuing?

Mr. Orange said...

just the THOUGHT of drought still makes me shiver and sweat.... your description of it pushes me half way into dope sickness... normal people would scoff if ever i told them.... but i feel bad for every junkie in london... very very bad..

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Anon (Shepherds Bush)..

First bus stop on Uxbridge Road (Lime Grove) outside Cheque & Pawn; that was one of the street scoring points I refer to... probably the biggest around. I never scored there as it was for street users and a really filthy scene. The only white dealers I knew served up there. Actually, they weren't dealers but users who bought fifteen bags a day, skimmed a quarter out of each and then sold them on. because it was adapted to the finances of beggars and the homeless, you could even buy £3 hits there. Not a bad thing if you're sick I suppose. The reason it was located there is because the Lime Grove hostel is just around the corner and they all used to congregate there at nine in the morning, vomitting on the shoes of corporate London as they travelled in to work. I'm not sure if it's still a hotspot, but as there's a pawn shop right out front it probably is.

Anyway, you take care and:

Keep Sherpherds Bush Dirty!

Thoughts, Shane. X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Sam... Yeah I remember You, remember thinking: God, I bet that gold SN ring has laid a few people out! And I bet it has.

Thanks for all you say... it's written for you and so I'm glad you enjoy it.

Oh I'm glad I'm not back home... It must be a nightmare. And this time it goes on and on and on and on... it's unbelievable. Well, I hope it picks up soon... I'm sure it will, we've one of the biggest black economies working to put it right. And money may be evil, but it normally gets its way.

Take care Sam, be careful and then we'll be able to speak again soon...

Shane. X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Ruby... Yeah, whenever people ask me did you fall straight into heroin or was it a gradual procession through other drugs? I always answer: Well it began with tobacco, and then alcohol...

When its spoke about one drug leading to another (which I don't buy into) it always starts on cannabis as the drug at the bottom of the ladder. Cigarettes and alcohol are completely looked over. It's so weird how people cannot see that it is only a law that makes them any different. Actually how brainwashed people are, that if it's legal it's OK. The biggest social and domestic problems are alcohol related. Most broken homes I have seen are fueled by alcohol... most homes are.

Anyway, thanks as ever for your words Ruby... it's always a pleasure. And one day when I'm back home we'll get to meet up and I'll stand you a coffee and then tap you for a score! Love and Thoughts, Shane. XXX

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya naomi, I'm not in the UK but I have a couple of interests there and yes, it's still continuing. Some say it's picing up a bit, but you'll see the comment above that it's not for all. There's gear about, but it's so much in favour of bash that its hard to get to it. Bash is really a frought phenomena. Outside of drought I've only ever had non-gear once.

Hope you're happy clean, and if you are then it was worth it...

Love and Thoughts, Shane. X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Mr Orange... It's a pleasure. Yeah, some of these things it's very hard for a non-addict to comprehend their significance. When your total wellbeing and life depends on these things it is a very serious business. It's the same with junk sickness, it's impossible to describe that in a way a non-addict could really identify with. People know illness (cold; flu, etc)as something bearable... something which you must suffer through and cannot do much about. To describe an illness as debilitating as junk sickness (and a known cure only ten dollars away)is an impossible task. they will still think: but just grit and bare it!

I still try though... it 's like surviving a war and then seems kinda urgent.

Take Care Mr Orange and hopefully we'll speak more soon...

Thoughts, Shane. X

Anonymous said... usual.

unjustifiably a little bit broken hearted

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Anon... whoever You are.. Thank You...

Justifiably broken Hearted & Co.


Bello Johanson said...

What you are writing here is poetry. I am not sure I have ever read anything quite like it. The opening line alone I will never forget. You have got yourself another jealous admirer.Bello

Anonymous said...

you are a crazy motherfucker!

Dusty Rose said...

that was really really really amazing.
i can't imagine the things that you are going to create if you just keep getting fucking better and better (like you do.)
there was so much heart in that.
i don't think i ever had to deal with a drought here in america, our government tends to like us doing things that take the focus off how shitty they treat us.
it's been a while. i think i'm coming up on a year, at least. i've been taking pain pills for my leg but sparingly and i haven't yet had to confront that demon again, and hopefully never will.
all the beast,

Gledwood said...

Bang on, Shane.

No the fucking system does not care in the slightest.

I remember being treated by a bitch nurse and she ia a bitch. A mental health nurse, the type of person who gives one or two chances then forms a permanent, unalterable opinion ~ I loathe people like that. In all the time I was with her, hearing voices because I'd done crack when I was already fucked up enough to be seeing ghosts in the squat I lived at, she never once asked how I actually was it was always drugs drugs drugs then a lecture when I said I snowballed. I went quiet on that one after that. And continued doing it just as before. Silly tart. Anyway she knew someone who had worked in a diamorphine clinic. Diamorphine for addicts, not as pain relief.

These poor addicts, who were doing PROPER, because they were on PROPER stuff were first to suffer when the idiot suppliers suffered a fire at their factory or warehouse.

"They were put back on methadone" she said offhandedly. Not caring in the slightest what this actually meant.

Well I'm back on methadone. Not using. I've been in mental health clinics, psychiatrists' offices, mental health groups etc and suddenly these professionals listen to me. Being as last week I was so hyped up I couldn't follow what anybody was saying to me: HOW long do you sleep HOW high do you feel HOW fast are you going/your thoughts racing? WHAT do these voices say...?

See what I mean. One big reason I'm never going down that shitty addict route ever again. Finally after all this time (and my last negative drug test) People listen. But only because I'm so patently fallling apart. Despite the euphoria and irritation, I just try not to be bitter about it.

Hope all's OK with you :-)

2x PSs

1: are you sure that was 2001 not 2002? I'm confused now... I always think 2002... I was heavily on gear then; 2001 still on the slope down, I know that clearly.
2: i think i had something like what you said. "Ribena gear": bright red in the works. Held you overnight. Couldn't actually feel anything..! The bastard was guilty for breaking my promise and did £30 worth for £10 a good 0.6, despite the drought

Anonymous said...

well you made something beautiful from something that turns my stomach.
its better than it was up north, you either gets bashed gear or kinda how it was, which is scary nice when your man comes through for you. it takes my breath away, scary but so niceeee.
I had a big hit then read your post as it was making me nervous...had to check my gear was ok haha any excuse eh?!
muchos love
lele xx

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Brilliant writing, as usual, Shane. You are an old soul, brother. I adore you.



Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Gledwood, well I just hope there is something that'll keep you together... even if it's only your clothes. Mental Health is still an unknown science... they think they know, but they also think THEY ARE sane! I just hope whatever chemicals are pulling awway inside you soon settle down and we get the old Gledwood back... not the addict, just You.

You know, once someone forms an opinion of someone it is almost impossible to ever have them change that. They will go to the grave with that idea. Lets imagine someone we sum up as an idiot (unfairly so) but we believe it. No matter what that man will talk of, how brilliant he can argue any subject, we will only think him more stupid for even believing he could have an opinion on such things. What would idiots know about the problems in the Far East? Mental health workers should know that because it is a very basic law of sociology.

2001 it was Gledwood... the closing months. But I've no doubt something similar could have happened in 2002 also. I didn't experience it, but the drought went on for over a year in one form or another. So in the wrong part, no so many dealers, it's very possible you experienced that in 2002. But fuck knows... in the article I've linked to I told the journalist it was 2000!!! But no, it was 2001 absolutely definite.

Yeah, sounds like the same gear. Even running a bit on foil it looked like treacle. The black residue i'd come across before and since. Some say it's opium base... but I think that's nonsence.If it's any base it's earth.. dirt!

Take Care Gledwood and look after Yourself. X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Lele... don't blame me for your 'big hit'! I would never incourage that...

I bet it was good, though... bet it made ya do this: bjdsssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

bet it was like love... bet the room felt zll cosy... the monitor sedated you... did it feel like there were arms around you? Like the winter was a great time to be warm in? That the landlord could go fuck himself... whats a month rent arrears around here? Oh, I bet it did... d'you feel like another one? I bet you do. I bet that would feel so so great right now... go, on... do it... just for this comment... do it!!!

haha... You take care and hope to see you back here soon... X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya SB... thanks as ever and Love returned as ever too. XXX

Gledwood said...

The worst drought i remember bar the present ongoing one was definitely in the spring and it was, as i recall in 2002 ~ so that would have been the same drought.

But what I do remember clearly was how a formerly stingy dealer started selling proper half Gs (or 0.6s: I always thought they were smaller than other people did) for £20 and 2 for £35 blah blah in other words he was doing proper deals. Before that you had to shop around more.... I remember meeting the local guy who lived within 5 mins of me, who had gear nearly all the way through this situation. It got bad enough that there was once a crowd of ten or so junkies prowling the high street. In the end we scored off some bitch who did 0.2 for £20. it was proper gear but i was seriously unimpressed at being overcharged. i never did that grateful shit. gimme a good deal and i'll come back. dont and i wont scrub your number. i'll save you for absolute last. (that's why i never told a dealer to fuck off and do one, as you don't).

the judgemental nurse stuff: i think she expected me to come in like "oh i've got mental health problems!" when the problems were mood and paranoia related, not "cognitive" as such (not anxiety). what got me was that in mental health surely you have to be open to a change in people for worse or better. i certainly got worse and she seemed not to notice. in the end she dumped me ~ that is you change keyworker as you know. i've only dumped one once and i don't get why it has to be such a big deal. They do it to us all the fucking time, usually on lame excuses. Basically they're working with something they will not accept is deep rooted and that people can come in sincerely protesting how fed up they are for 10, 15 years or more before you see any change! And they're prescribing shit that doesn't work!

I thoroughly enjoy being on methadone now it's making me high enough to wake up feeling like i fell asleep at a full-on rave. Even when i'm tired, 2 black coffees do as much if not more than speed ever did. I'm not complaining it's fantastic to get free trippy Es all day every day. Even when it's not trippy E it's like speed or coke. All the time. That's about as good as life gets. Forget the fuck-ups, I actually FEEL wonderful. I'm only going to the dr. to secure my housing position and to get sleepers. Without sleeping pills I do 5 hours sleep in 48 (having carefully counted; the cycle is just very slightly shorter, probably about 45 hours)... but not sleeping sets me off more, so it's all good. It does get so ultra intense it's just interdimensional, but it's still better than standing in the rain waiting on a dealer who has bigger priorities than you!

Gledwood said...

Trust me to lose the point: JUST before this drought I remember struck, which was definitley spring, deals started getting better. In fact I've noticed that one before, their price seems to get lower and I always assumed there was a bit of conscious price hiking going on.

One fucker a lot of us scored off could only (I was told) have picked up 9-bars of B... whassat? A quarter kilo... at a time. Because the price he was selling at was very nearly what a bag dealer picked up at... a good 0.6, 0.7g for £20, 2 for 40, 3 for £55 and a teenth not worth it, might as well pay for 3 and get more...

... ones like that shrivelled up and I only knew one doing truly proper deals in the end. His were only 0.4 for £15 and 0.6 for £20. The 0.6 size wasn't absolutely assured so the 15s worked out more reliable.

I'd kill myself before I ever went back to giving MY wellbeing to those cunts again and I mean it. Never again. Fucking hell

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...


When I firstv started scoring in 1999 you could only get twenty pound bags... tens were not heard of. It was all twenty pound bags and had been for years. But there was one dealer called Trooper who was doing 0.9 for twenty quid. That was his deal and he was in the guardian for starting that huge drop in price around Shepherds Bush. We called them 'footballs'. Just after that twent bags went to fifteens and the tens and then your 3 for twenty five. Now theres even fivbe quid bags knocking about... have you come across that? Every dealer in Bush/Hammersmith/Fulham has started up with that. But nothing is really any cheaper. 3 for 25 is about 0.6 anyway. They'll say it more but it's not and the third bag is always small. It's easier than it was though.

I don't mind the lifestyle... of course not illness and the constant need, but the actual running around and waiting, I kinda take a pleasure in it. Not while I"m doing it, of course, but after... now... they seem like good memories. But that probably just goes to show how sad my lifes become.. maybe.

JoeM said...

'That's how bad America had become: they could fuck the world up by just being in it'.


Like most of your writing on H, this just makes me so glad I never got hooked. But then you rarely write about the good effects of H.

When you say 'Did it feel like there were arms around you? Like the winter was a great time to be warm in?' it makes me think it might be an interesting challenge to write about why H is so addictive and what the actual feeling is. Even if it's mostly a description of all the bad things it muffles.

You said somewhere that you rarely get depressed, which I found surprising. But if you've been on H/Methadone for so long maybe there hasn't been a long enough sober time to find out what your 'natural' state is.

I don't know why the government doesn't at least try making drugs legal for a period to see how it works out.They could make millions on taxes. And not everyone 'abuses' the legal drugs, not everyone becomes alcoholic or violent on it. Or smokes. Maybe some of the violent alkies would even switch to H or dope and spend all their time in a nice quiet little haze not bothering anybody (or having to rob).

But then who would the capitalist bosses get to do all the crappy jobs that that keep them in luxury?

I think I've just answered my own question...

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Oh Joe!!! That was my 'Line for Joe M' the exact one I predicted you'd pull up. I'm gonna start leaving my prediction in a little link under the posts (a new addiction) and we'll see what one's we get right.

I've been thinking about this “good side of H” for a while, even tried to start a post of the back of it, but it's difficult. And I spoke about this with Mr O'neill recently also. Heroin is a very boring thing. The good effects I could explain in two or three good sentences. There's not really a post in in.
The good thing is it makes you feel normal... laid back... warm.. loved, even. That's it. But they are HUGE things for people who don't feel that from the world, or man than don't feel it, cannot give it back. I am loved... tremendously by some people, but it's hard to feel that back and so I don't feel it at all. But with heroin everything becomes more intimate... dark nighats and music more romantic... sex more intense and sexual... and problems, they do not go away, but they sit at a safe distance where you can look at them calmly and rationally. To go any further trying to explain it always ends up in bloating the effects and normally by equatring it towards sex itself. But it's not that. It's much duller than that.

So basically, heroin is boring. Heroin addiction is boring. They are cycles and they go around and around and around. I may as well write a post about the spin dryer down the local launderette.. it'd be the same. But what is interesting about heroin is the life you must lead to maintain an addictuion. It is there, within that, that it gets interesting. Because it takes you through a life that not many see... to people that not many deal with. It changes your priorities.. your politics... your relationships.. your thoughts towards money. It's a huge melting pot for an artist to delve into. But the addiction and effect are very boring. It has the same 'good' effects as an anti-depressant. BUT, that doesn't mean you have to be depressed to enjoy the effects. Many people take anti-depressants to feel better, but they were not feeling bad to start with. Heroin is that, and it's boring, and also very subjective.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

And that gets on to why it seems I talk about the bad things. Well I do, if they are bad. But to me they are not so bad, and as I said in an earlier comment, I kinda enjoy that side of the life. Meeting strange people... their problems... their histories.. fucked up families, etc. It takes you through all lifes social problems and classes and you'll never be surprised at what may greet you. But I find that stuff fascinating, and not bad... same I I find it fascinating why junkies will continue to do all these things to themselves. But it's not bad... It's now just normal.

In this post, it encompasses a huge amount of stuff. From the loss of politics, to the selfish attitudes towards war, to substitution programs, the problem with healthcare around this, drug traffic, and then more down to earth things like how we score.. where... the dealers themselves... the dirty tricks. All of that is what is interesting, but getting home, cooking up the rock, taking two hours to hit a vein and then crashing out and forgetting everything???? Well, that's the least interesting part. You can make it interesting.. make it cooler than what it is, but it's a lie. Heroin is a habit and all habits are boring... thats the nature of the circle.

It's a bit like Orwells Down & Out. It's a bad life he writes of... theres nothing good there. But it's bad when you're reading it and not living it. When that IS your life it becomes good... fascinating. It has to, because it is all you've got. Or The Road to Wigan Pier... now that was a horrendous life and the guys barely earned enough from scraping coal to get a few jars at the weekend. They had about the same life expectancy as addicts as well. So what may seem the bad of a life can often be its heart.

I think for me as well it's slightly different. Because I write it is all experience... things to see and never forget. It can end up very profitable. So there is hope even in the worse things because they could lead to something great. Maybe all these needles in the skin are an investment... maybe my childhood was a huge blessing? They become posotive things to me and things I'd never change even if I could.

(Comment not finished. Will complete it tomorrow...) X

_Black_Acrylic said...

Thank you Shane for an incredible, urgent, apocalyptic post. I forwarded this to my friends and I hope that they'll read it. I hope it's read by everyone in the country... it's late and I'm tired so I'll look through the rest of the comments tomorrow, but thank you again
Ben x

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Ben... last post you came and insulted me and this time you take comment of the month! You're a confusing man... haha

The world is apocalyptic... the sun will only burn for so long. The problem is the apocalypse will be so beautiful I don't think I'll want to miss it..; I will, of course... we all will.

Thanks for the link... that's really kind.

Love returned, Shane.,X

Tonyoneill said...

A great post as always Shane. I remember this drought very well, I was in AA at the time, secretly using, and living with a geezer from AA. I had to keep it all hush hush to avoid losing the flat, but all of a sudden a couldnt get hold of anything and had to deal with a full-on cluck. It was brutal. You wrote - as always - with real grace and heart, and I always get excited wen I see you've got a new post up here.

i owe you an email - I'm leaving Ny for a few days on Friday, so have been running around like a blue-arsed fly trying to get organized. But I did get your mail, and I'll sit down and drop you a proper line tomorrow.....

Anonymous said...

wow i really got into wot u wrote and i like it cause its da truth, ive been an addict for 10yrs so the first drought back in 2001 it really didnt get to me as i was dabbling but now god its hard work and im from derby so compared to london its a really small city and untill i read this tonite i didnt think the drought was this bad i thought there would be decent gear down your end but coming up to derby its getting bashed more and more along the way!! but after reading more about the drought tonite im getting worried! :-( theres been some crap going about since before christmas but then a couple ov weeks ago one ov my main dealers got some ok gear in wot actually had gear in it but i scored ov him yesterday and hes telling me he only as 2 tennths left ov it and as im is most valued costomer you might say hes saving them for ne thank god but im thinking about wot im gonna do after this bit as gone cause wen ur feeling like shit u try scoring anywhere and the shit in derby thats going round so called gear u cook it up and as soon as its in the pin it cyrstalises and blocks, so by the looks ov things after this bit ov gear as gone it looks like the meths for me but surely this cant be going on for much longer can it?? like i say this is my first proper drought and didint think it was this bad but like people say it makes u want it more so i hope decent stuff comes back soon i need that nice hit!! lol

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Anon Derby

Email me:


Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Joe M (part 2)

Depression... I just don't have it. I'm happy, not ecstatic, but happy within myself. I've been sad, of course I have, I started using heroin to mask a sadness. But there's a huge difference between being sad and depressed. And I still get sad, and pissed off, and frustrated.... but in healthy doses. I don't think anyone who knows me physically would ever sense depression from me... it's just not there.

But maybe it is and I don't know? That's what you ask. I understand why... but I don't think so at all. I've said before that being a heroin addict (after years) is just the same as being straight. heroin finally makes you straight, makes you the person you was before you needed to use. So I am normal now... this is my normal state. The Shane now and the Shane pre-1999 are inseparable. Again, no-one who grew up close to me would have seen any difference. Sure they would under the initial effects of heroin, sitting slumped or dropping cigarettes... but mostly they are private moments and once that effect wears off you are normal... straight. I'm not sure you (or anyone) can understand that. It's like how can a drunk be sober? But a drunk can be sober.. I've sen it. With alcohol coming out his body at six in the morning that is not his true state either. But a drink later he is normal.. the man you've known for years. Four drinks later you may be ducking from his blow or insults, but that's because of the nature of drink. Heroin doesn't affect you like that... the effects of heroin are quite weak. It's a strong painkiller.. extremely addictive... but the effects are much less than many other drugs. We can tell a drunk... we can tell someone rushing from coke.. we can see and hear someone on LSD, but heroin... is sits silent. Your librarian could be an addict (oh sorry, you are your librarian!!! I forgot!) but you'd never know... probably just think he/she had been reading too much Chaucer or something.

In film it shows an addict slumped down in a corner... but that is a very tiny part of the reality, and for long term users that very rarely happens anymore. So I feel as normal now as I did before I started. But heroin wouldn't hide depression anyway. A depressed addict is as easy to spot as a depressed non-addict. Heroin can help, but it will not cure depression and will not make you happy just a little less down.

Yeah, the laws for afficts are very archaic.They stem from the idea that we've done that to ourselves and so we're lucky there is any support. I understand that arguement, its a cost that others must foot, but thats the same with almost everything. cancer, heart disease, liver, chest problems, etc. You name it, we do most of it to ourselves, but only because we are allowed to. So the argument is a hollow one. They need to prescribe heroin to addicts but of course there are huge arguments aboutv that. namely, it's maintains the addiction... stabilizes it but doesn't stop it or encourage the addict to stop. So that's one of the huge controversies with a replica medication... only legal. there's thousandds of arguments for and against it... I won't go into them. But actually, legal heroin is available and can be prescribed... it just VERY rarely is. And when it is, one of the nine criteria you must satisfy is being HIV positive. It's insane... you have to literally be dying to be treated.

Well Joe, you've got a reply to your comment worthy of a post and almost as long!!! It still probably doesn't answer what you asked, but I tried....


Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Tony,

Yeah I know that story of yours well... that's where you ended shacked up with the 18 year old 'weed addict'.

"you're 18, YOU'RE supposed to smoke too much weed!!" (Ya see... I have read it.. it's registered!)

Oh, take your time replying to the email... there's no rush. It's normally me apologizing to you...

Thanks as ever for your compliments... but, you're too kind and one hell of a liar... I'll still bank them though.

Enjoy your getaway... Shane. X

JoeM said...

I hope I forget you can spot my line picks - otherwise I’ll be thinking ‘No - that’s too obviously me!’ Though you can probably pick them more than I can.

I think what I get from your description of the ‘good side’ of heroin is that you’re not walking about ‘drunk’ or ‘high’ like those on alcohol/Coke etc. You say it makes you feel ’normal’ but also say ‘everything becomes more intimate... dark nights and music more romantic... sex more intense and sexual... and problems, they do not go away, but they sit at a safe distance where you can look at them calmly and rationally’.
So I’m getting that H just gives a glow that makes life livable.

There are certain types of alcoholic who drink constantly and slowly - they don’t binge and get high then hungover - that sounds like you on H. It just ‘normalises’ them. I remember one journalist saying that when he confessed to all his friends and family that he had been an alcoholic for years they said ‘But we never once saw you drunk!’ and he said ‘NO. You never saw me sober’. Speaking of librarians: Philip Larkin was one and he kept his maintenance supply of alcohol in a big drawer in his desk.

That’s why I think if they made it legal - safe, cheap - it might make a load of people get off alcohol/coke/prescription drugs etc. Obviously they’d have to use the non needles options since you say that’s not a long term option. Thing is, they’d probably tax it as much as alcohol and cigs so it could end up more expensive than it is now.

Some of the things you say about H also apply to ‘normal’ life/people - it being a boring cycle: so is going to work day after day! And all the other daily rituals. Also most people, even if they don’t think of the Afghan wars as linked to drugs, think of how it will affect them. If they think about it at all, which most don’t.

The main thing is that you’re amazingly creatively productive on H - quality as well as quantity! That’s not what I’d been told before at all. I suspect it’s what you say about depression - if you have that nature you‘ll probably still have it to an extent on H . And there are ‘maudlin drunks’. And those who are non artistic/non productive on H probably wouldn’t be off it either.

Anonymous said...

I've only commented once besides this
ages ago when i just just got out of prison but when you make the point of all the people sick because of a drought it hits home
no one cares for us "lost souls" as you put it
it is a tragedy that a whole country will feel that kind of pain but we are all kept behind the scenes, ignored, and our silent screams are rarely heard. I won't sleep well tonight knowing how easy it is for me to score and the thousands if not millions going to bed sick as dogs.

best wishes

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Jon,

Oh, no one would begrudge you the good fortune of having junk at hand... they'd maybe just wish they were besides you!!! (and you'd be stupid enough to dissapear to the toilet for a moment!)

But really, no-one would begrudge you that, and you've had tough times yourself so maybe it's just a little payback from life.

You enjoy it and keep in contact... X

Anonymous said...

oh no no I would care less about people begrudging me. I'm quite used to that as I imagine most users are. It's just I remember those desperate nights so well, where you can do nothing but lie there and moan half curses out and weight out the value of cutting your legs off. It's just terrible to realize that others, let alone a whole country, is going through those at the moment. I'm lucky enough to become quite good at chipping lately and don't usually get sick any as of late. Well most would say lucky but some days I wish for that desperation of being sick and knowing who i was and what I was doing, even if it was as simple as a fiend getting dope.

As of far as me having tough times though, at best they were nothing more than penance for a lifetime of sin. Eh that sounds terrible, I hardly know the words "tough times" though

Sorry to be so down when I speak but you know, some days are better than others I suppose

Best Wishes

Gledwood said...

OK I just deleted a "brown is shit, why isn't it H4" rant.

Nah I can't be bothered with any of it. I was craving this morning on fucking antipsycho meds which are as much fun as being on a fairground ride and some fucker putting the brakes on!

I don't think we normally got as much as nine points. Our dealers were doing what I called a half gram, it was like a sugar cube size. When I got scales (eventually) and weighed the Gs I was getting they were real, the arfurs of crack from a decent dealer came out at point nine. I was paying £40 for an arfur; when this Jamaican guy moved in next door he was paying a lot less and his white was always good. He wanted to steal my B dealers but not give his white dealers to me. So I told the B man not to serve him and he didn't!!

You know what I was really addicted to in the middle-to end (ie up until 2 yrs ago) SNOWBALLS! Speedballs if you prefer.

I also loved the other type of snowball: a yummy round headfucker E-type pill ~ they were meant to be MDA, we weren't sure it wasn't DOM, the 24l-hour hallucinogen, as we both went on tripping all the next afternoon into the evening, tripping the same music, the same visuals, both of us. And I checked years later and it was true. That feels pretty amazing.

You know I never got anything that brilliant from gear or crack. Not in the same league as E, except maybe a handful of times. I loved huge pipes, the type people will tell you you cannot smoke but you can (you might kill yourself, but i could people i knewe did... i also got chestpains and heart thumps like you wouldn't believe)... but the feeling like an H bomb going off in my brain was unreal, THAT is what I did crack for, not some feeling like a line of coke without the waiting!

I only came by to say hi and I emailed Valerie's deleted rantings.

I put them up then tore them down, wasn't sure if anyone would like them.

Well I saw the nutcracker docco. On pills or did I say x2, probably. Everyone knows I'm psycho now so who cares! Take it easy ;-)

PS o yeah do you know what took my craving this morning? A lovely dose of methadone! It works physically but not mentally, hence the other crap I'm on. I knew my fucking mood was wobbly years ago. Nobody listened.

Anyway I'm off. To NA!!

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...


Yes, you've really understood... it's a little glow which is internal. It kinda makes you feel famous... like you're somebody... someone special. Though after years of using you no longer feel that, just completely normal. So yes, it's like slow drinkers who never get drunk but stay levelled out on the good vibe that comes before that.

The lines I pick out... haha. Well, I actually pick out about five and then convince myself I got the right one. But it's not at all me predicting you, it's that alays the lines I find my best or poetical you see them too. And it's nice, because it's hard to judge your own words and so when your feelings are confirmed it makes the quality a little more real as it's not just you thinking that. So it's for that reason I like to see what lines you enjoy.

Ok, Joe... pass a lovely weekend, and one day I hope we can meet in person and I'm sure at some stage we will...

Shane. X

Gledwood said...

You know I keep coming back to what you said about druggieclinics that's so true.

So you weren't a raver/clubber? I was a clubber in the late 90s. I only did a tiny bit of raving. Somehow the soundtrack got Stuck in my Head bigtime so I think back to 1992 not 1998 for inspiration... no idea why, as I was EEeeeing more in 1998 than ever in 1992

Anonymous said...

Hi Shane,

Fortunately I stocked up with meth during that time, but I knew bout the drought and was affected, although not so bad as some....I lost my meth supply towards the end, and ended up nearly £300 in debt for some shit skag that hardly worked....Funny there was a coke drought on just as bad around the same time last year, which I remember well....seems its part of the game, that of prohibition, articificial droughts and shortages.

As you may imagine the drought was worse where I am, as I live on the South Coast rather than London, the streets in this town , or the rough zones were packed with people obviously desperate, turkeying, and the smack people did obtain did not work. My mate who shoots told me it wouldn't burn either...and did nothing if smoked.

What a life, huh? x

Ps spot on Ruby. Why don't they just legalise all bloody drugs? People like Shane and me are paying the price....

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Gledwood.. how you feeling my friend? Any better?

No, I've never been into the rave scene and cannot bear any drug which is even slightly hallucinigenic. I think hallucinogens fuck people up way more than any other drugs (the head). And I don't say that with no experience of them... for a year in my teens I was dropping LSD two-three times a week, every week and piping weed until I tripped. But hallucinogens always gave me bad trips. Of the hundreds of acid tabs i swallowed, I had three good trips.. no more. And then finally thought I was losing my mind.

So no, I never got into E's and the whole rave thing. i've taken E's, but it's really not my drug.

Anonymous said...

I used to score from SB...was where I had my first hit with a mate of Will Self, celeb smackhead and my only claim to fame lol x

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya Snow Queen

Yeah the guys without scripts must've gone through absolute hell... still going through it. i'm just glad I wasn't there.

There was a tiny drought here before christmas but nothing on the scale of what went on over there. Who knows why??? I don't even try to understand.. there is no understanding. It's a very black and murky market and the street will never know what goes on in it.

Anyway, lovely to see you over here once more...

Love and Thoughts, Shane. X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

PS: I'm really not a fan of Will Self and have huge doubts as to whether he's ever done anything stronger than a roll-up. He's a fake.


Anonymous said...

ya know,i never noticed the cheque and pawn and i have lived in bush for 11 years...i do know where cash converters is though...and i wouldn't want to "keep shepherds bush dirty" as i have 3 kids and spit and puke on the pavement ain't our thing.Just saying....x

TheRealImpostor said...

The heroin drought is artificial - it's been instigated to put the prices up so that the most powerful people in the world - gangsters and their straight contacts - can make even more money out of our natural urges to take drugs. Prohibition is more profitable than legal regulation of drugs. Heroin drought? Over and out.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Anon Shepherds Bush...

It used to be a smaller pawn shop which only dealt in jewellery so has changed in the last couple of years.

When I say 'keep it Dirty' I'm not talking about spit and puke, but am saying don't become one of the braindead masses who we are told are clean and healthy but are really sick. KSBD means: don't stop being You...X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

The Real Imposter...

I don't buy into that, nor any simple reasons that we can figure from our bedrooms. Why would such an all powerful organisation need a drought to increase prices? If there is a group with enough sway to stop heroin getting in then they certainly ahve enough sway to change the price on the street. Any autocratic economy can do that. So that idea is not for me at all. I ofgfer no answers, because I know enough about black markets and secret wars to know there is no real simple truth. There are so many involved that and the secrecy runs so deep into even licit organisations and businesses and governments, that deciphering the truth is an impossible task. Two CIA agents on the same job don't even know the real truth of what they're doing, so how can we? It's blacker and much murjier than what you give it credit for... its so murky that the truth may as well not even exist.

Thanks for your comment, though.. it was still an interesting take.. jsut not my thoughts on it.

All My Very best, Shane. X

USA Dopefiend said...

i recently came across your blog the other day while looking up causes of heroin hiccups. i havent been able to peel myself away from it since. a few years back, i had own myspace blog detailing the in and outs of my active addiction, but i had to close it due to my employer finding out. i love learning about users in other countries and the foreign drug game. keep up the good work!

Gledwood said...

Hey I've finally given this link right here in my Heroin Drought section and my comments. I was talking about the attitude of drug clinics. They're OK. I mean I'm their "client" I know the workers. They're OK but the system is flawed and doomed to barking up the empty Methadone Tree when the Diamorphine Tree is just dripping with Eastern Promise!

O man I've made myself want at dark chocolate Bounty Bar now. Because I'm not on gear any more I actually have change!

Now then: raves. E was my favourite drug of all time. Described it sounds piss weak "empathy" and other rappy stuf. What it really does is gives ecstasy. Being as heroin is really 4/10 in strength (not niceness) ecstasy is probably 6 or 7 out of 10 but ultra ultra nice. Coke is stronger but not nicer. And you need the party as a setting to talk or dance. E without being able to pretend to be a tree or just move move move is shit.

You really took acid x100s!! I did it about 12 times over a year and a half and had some shit trips. The first one was an all-time worst. Cannabis that UTTER CRAP shit made me trip. Now it just makes me so out of it it's not funny, in a ketamine without the fun type way.

I agree with you about the brain frying effect. I can't have done E more than 65 to ... maybe 100 times (only at weekends) even that had me hallucinating in the end. Nobody else was tripping and the trip came after the E bit, like my brain was saying "I've had enough!" I listened but I was also listening to heroin...

So good point. Like I said gear made no impression, not in the literal pressing-in sense. Acid definitely did. E was amazing, so did that. So pie-wise I'm about 75% ecstasy, 20% acid/mushrooms and only 5% heroin! Despite a decade lost to it.

Which is almost crazier than taking acid the state I was in... but there ya go!!

Anonymous said...

hi there, ive emailed u as u said just wondering if u gt it cause had no reply ov u m8, hope all is good.
chris x

The Real Impostor said...

Change (In The House Of Droughts) [once Deftones]

I watched you change
Into a fly
I looked away
You were on fire

I took you home
Set you on the glass
I pulled off your wings
Then I laughed

I look at the cross
And I look away
Give you the gun
Blow me away

I watched a change in you
It's like you never had wings
Now you feel so alive
I've watched you change
It's like you never had...

You stop. You change. Your price doubles.

The Whore of Heroin said...

Heroin drought coincidentally seems to be ending in more than one northern English city as of this week. It's still hard to track down, it's up to twice the price, and it's quarter to half average pre-drought purity, but I ain't complaining (I am, but it's a figure of speech). Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible. The problem was caused by 616 interacting variables, and a regression analysis indicates that a butterfly flapped its wings erratically in the Amazon jungle.

Prometheus said...



JoeM said...

The problem was caused by 616 interacting variables, and a regression analysis indicates that a butterfly flapped its wings erratically in the Amazon jungle.

And yet:

Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?

Yet let me flap this bug with gilded wings

Uh...reference to Jagger/Richards '60s drug bust. God, I feel old...if no-one else knows the context(s).

(By the way, Anonymous and Shane:

Get A Room!)

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

USA Dopefiend,

yeah I hear you about employers finding out. That's why I do mine so blatantly and under my real name so as all future prospective employers know who I am and don't ever consider employing me. On my CV I actually have the blog address!!!

Thanks for your comment..; all My Thoughts, Shane. X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

The Whore of Heroin...

Hiya, I don't think we've had the pleasure before... X

yeah, either an Amazonian butterfly or a drunken Indian bum farting liquid shit all around the streets of New Delhi... that could have caused it too.... haha

Who knows... I'll be fucked if I do.


Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Chris, I just mailed you my dodgy activities... X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...


I will reply via poem... but at this hour I couldn't rhyme slime. X Tomorrow.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Joe M, I'm not sure if I get that one.. was it the famous Mars bar incidence? keith Richards, I've always had suspicions as to whether or not he was a real junie.. I still do. Little things like he has huge veins all over his body does ot back up 30 years of needle abuse.... neither does the fact that he's alive!!! haha (if he is!) I really like him though.. even now there is something really wild about him. X

ps: get a room... no, you get out the room and leave us some privacy!!! The world interrupting our intimate moments... or am I really just an exhibitionist??? A hard-on is a great cure for shyness.

JoeM said...

OK it's confirmed, I AM that old.

This link explains all

I thought that about Keeeeeef too - excerpts from his book - all his addictions seem so very controlled.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hi again Joe,

Richards has definitely experimented, but I don't think he was a real, daily junkie... and certainly not for the period that it claims he's been. There's just too much that doesn't add up. It's a little like Irvine Welsh... I knew from reading his book that he hadn't actually been to where he was writing about. It was good, but there were too many little inconsistenncies in small details which did't make sennse... no addict could have written that because its just not how it is. But I don't dislike Welsh... I really like some of his stuff and his dialogue is in a class all of its own (well when he keeps it up north anyhow). So Richerds is the equivalent of Trainspotting. He seems absolutely for real, but when you peer in a little closer, study his body for a track mark... an old absess.. they're just not there. And theres many little things like that.

On the other hand, when you look at Johnny Thunders... oe Willy Deville... it is evident just from a glimpse of their puffy hands or scars up the forearm. It's unmistakeable and unhideable... but only if you know.

So I think Richards has dabbled (quite a bit), he's certainly taken some shots over his life but I don't believe he was ever a long term day to day addict. He looks it, and thats why he's gotten away with it for so long.


JoeM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

hmmm...what hard on? according to the amount of kisses i have received, i only inspire you to be polite...or at best, um, continental.


Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Anon.. the amount of kisses is normal, we don't know each other and though I play around I'm not the whore i smetimes pretend to be. The Kiss-o-meter really says: I only give lines of kisses and hard-ons to people I am in love with. I didn't get this far and stil be alive on one night stands... I'm proud to say that every person i ever shared a bed with I thought I loved. It's not Rock 'n Roll... I'm too loyal for the toilets back stage. So your job has now become even harder: not only must you seduce a seducer... you must also make me fall in love with You...

Go on... do ya worst... XXX

Anonymous said...

oh, shane…i wasn’t insinuating you were a whore or anything less than angelic. i definitely look like the dirty one here. make you fall in love with me? I’m afraid that’s not possible, but thank you for playing with me over the past few days. it means more than you know.


p.s. even though you may (or may not?) have just compared me to a backstage toilet, i am still thinking about you.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Anon... I know you wasn't insinuatig that... not at all did you. But I sometimes pretend I am when I'm not.

The backstage toilet thing wasn't a reference to you but saying I am too loyal for quickies in the toilets with people I don't know and don't love (again not referring to You.. just in general). Thats a Rock 'n Roll thing... but I'm not wild in them ways. I prefer giving my soul and undying loyalty to someone... thats wilder than hurting everyone around. Hurting people is easy... being selfish is easy... I'll leave that to the boys with guitars... you know them... the tough guys.. The one's who chuck themselves off bridges when they really get their heart broken.. and eventually, they all get their heart broken.


Sid said...

I have never know anything like it.. the worst drought I can remeember! I remember the 2001 drought, there were gangs of junkies walking around Hackney, and gangs of kids selling bags of screwed up plastic and bisto as they knew we were desperate!

Its slowly picking up again,. but it's gonna take a long time to get back to 'norrmal'

I read a BBC piece yesterday about how the company that does drug testing for DTO's/prisons and rehabs have reported a drop of 50% In positive opiate smamples!

People are clean without knowing it!:


Anonymous said...

i probably shouldn't have said anything. seriously, you make me want to punch something.

Herbert Barry Woodrose said...

"That's how bad America had become: they could fuck the world up by just being in it."

I've had a similar thought running thru my head for about three years. Something like "the world will be so happy when we're dead."

Not 'smug-satisfaction'-happy, not 'our-team-won'-happy. Real happiness. Beatles-happy. Barefoot-careless-in-a-field-of-tulips-happy. Birth-of-a-child-happy. First-rains-in-ten-years-thank-you-Allah-happy.

Watching events play out in Egypt brings this sharply to mind again. Why the fuck we don't just leave harmless people alone.

Great work as always S.


Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hey ya Sid.. a pleasure as always... X

Yeah, I think this has been the worst drought EVER... at elast in the last 30 years (speaking to the older junkies I know). The one good thing is that it WILL return to normal and it has to be soon. So hopefully its mostly around the corner and things will continue picking up, up up... and prices go down, down, down.

Anyway, You take care and look after yourself and I'll do the same.. All My Thoughts, Shane. X

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

H... You're back!!!! You've been sorely missed... really. But i know you've been busy and you know you can walk in here anytime (even after years) and your old chair will be there waiting.

Oh, it's not the Americans (though a lot hold a certain amount of blame) it's your administration... worse, it's the puppet master corporations who are holding the strings. I'm not sure if a politician in America has any kind of sway at all... I'm not even sure politics is worth much there at all??? Ok, there will always be small victories for the good guys... certain policies overturned, etc... but as far as change??? God, that would be such a huge task that I cannaot really even see where it could possibly begin? I've a feeling within the next fifty years tehre is going to be a huge internal struggle in your country. Not a civil war, something very different... I think change will come from there, but I don't think it will be peaceful.

But YOU are one of the Good Guys H... and there are thousands more... millions... and that is why there is still hope.

Hope you and the family are well... Love to Cathy (or is it with a K?), Shane. X

Gledwood said...

O wow comments form at last.

It was pissing around before, half loading the page.

Now Shane I have a query: isn't the gear any good in Paris...? Surely it's OK there?

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...


Everyone says "Oh the gear is better in Paris!" (even the french addicts) but I've had gear from paris and the price is the same and the gear is the same. Then people say "Oh, but the gears good in the south (montpellier/marseille)" But I've scored there and its the same. And I knew because if a GRAM is ten euros it's what we have in Lyon. But as I say Spain is exactly the same... I can't tell you why. I tried having a look around but everyone jkust accepts thats heroin in france. They don't complain of it because its all they know. It's weird. But when the gear is a little better than average quality five grams works out about the same as five bags and you do get a proper gouch off it. Its just VERY rarely that good.

Hope You're well... all My Thoughts, Shane. X

John said...

This has been so familiar over the last few months! However today I called and scored something pretty decent in less than 15 minutes.

Lovely job, and, even better, I've even got round to sorting out a blogger account.

Memoirs of a Heroinhead said...

Hiya John, yeah I joined your blog and left an historic first comment!!! lets just hope its 15 mins everyday from now on in... though I've a little feeling its not quite over yet...


Cannalyzer said...

Hiya Shane, just checking in to read your latest musings.
It's strange what a hard time people are having in the UK, here in HK gear is easy to score on the streets although it seems very expensive. Probably that is because my contacts are shit though...
Stay strong and take care,


Anonymous said...

I love to hear about suffering junkies...they deserve every minute of it.

Anonymous said...

wow you are truly a shit writer.
fuck Burroughs, Bukowski and HST?
mate you have no talent - give up.

Blogosławiona Blahggierka said...

Hello, Shane,
your Dry Season reminds me the Panic in "Requiem for a dream" by Hubert Selby Jr. Maybe the way of expression is not exactly the same, but is's still the same shit...
Man, I'm really shocked, I always thought that kinda scenarious exists only in my sick, deviant mind, and nowhere else/outside...
...People so desperate, harrassing the staff of methadone clinics, laying on the street vomiting, shitting their pantys and beging just for "few drops of relief"; for anything, ANYTHING???
OMG, I went through some Dry Seasons in my life, but it never were such an ultimate experience. The Panic here in Poland meant usually that there's currently nobody with the stuff running on the street and we have wait few hours...Just single episodes...Of course there were sometimes longlasting "Dry Seasons" occuring, however, it meant nothing than just a little bit longer waiting, quality "declined"/decreased and more confusion/mess by scoring than usually. When things start to look seriously, all it left us to do were catch the train to the nearest city, where "the scene" works always pretty decent(Katowice). So I've never seen users dying from cold turkey w/d on the streets...
It's because we were always selfsufficient ("homemade" stuff)-I mean the large-scale events like wars between gangs or "canceling" some big supply of gear doesn't concern us, as long as we are just a roadsides/sideways...

Take care, Shane

Jovita said...

Hello, Shane,
yesterday I commented your post "The Dry Season" and made some mistake(I'm still feeling a little disabled/lost in this whole computer things...). I somehow made the option of "signin' in my comment" turned off, or something like this... Hope the comment appears anyway---I really like your "Memoirs..." and wish to take my modest, little part in creating that awesome work...Commenting is the only way I could do it, so I care on they appears. It is not because of my "quest" for show myself off or selfpromotion, or so; it's just because I really like your site.
Sorry for the misleading...and for disturbing/hassle you referring to such a trivial thingie.

Best regards to you

P.S. THIS^^^is not a comment of course:), you can just delete it. Sorry to use this place, but your e-mail adress doesn't work.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shane :)
Yep, this current drought is a nightmare! Its going on for almost a year now. There is gear available now but its low grade rubbish. I'd say there must be a record amount of people that have got clean. I'm still waiting for that phone call, a call that brings proper gear, not the excuse for gear thats been sold at the moment. Are you living in France Shane? Was there a drought there? Or was in only UK & Ireland that was hit? I'm still enjoying your blog, its like i'm living every moment with you.! So brilliantly written!

Take Care! ---G :)

Anonymous said...

Discovered your blog a few weeks ago (along with some other UK heroin blogs) and have devoured it, re-reading many posts...

I am in a sort of similar situation to you at the moment, doing better in life than I should be with the dual addictions of b and w...

Interestingly, I thought it was great to find what was almost a foreign-policy post on a drugs blog (though clearly the two are related); interesting because I have developed a fascination with foreign policy over the past 5 years or so...

However, our instincts clearly run in opposite directions as I've slowly but surely become a dread neoconservative. I wonder how many junkie neocons there are? Anyway, while our adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq have been disastrous, they didn't have to be, and I think the original decisions to begin said adventures were absolutely the right ones.

Anyway, keep up the good work, and stay safe.


KimTHEharleyChick said...

Shane, wow...I'm coming late to the game apparently but I've just recently discovered your blog. In a matter on several hours, I've read EVERYTHING...literally. I'm inspired, shocked, moved, and absolutely enamoured by you and your words. I'm a ten year opiate addict myself, just recently in the past 2 years discovered heroin. Within 2 months I was on the needle. I have a great high profile job (in Behaviora/Mental Health..go figure) and just can't stop thinking about your writing. As of today I'm actually 3 days clean with the help of some higher than typical doses of loperamide (Imodium) and going out of my mind itching for a fix. Anyway, you've kept me company these last few sleepless nights...thank you for that. Keep on writing! Can't wait for your next post...hope you're doing well.

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