I know opiate addicts, but I’ve never known any who died. I’ve heard stories about deaths, but those were always friends of friends. I did not know them personally.
That changed a couple of weeks ago when a kid I used to work with was found dead. He was a friendly knucklehead who worked with me on the factory floor for a year or two before he got too sloppy and was eventually fired right around the time I got promoted to “upstairs”. He found work as a security guard and dedicated himself to taking the sort of drugs that he had been warned against his whole (short) life.
“Do this, and it will ruin and/or kill you” and they go ahead and do it. I’m against the drug war. Kids want to play that game they are going to do it no matter how much we power we give the police.
I left my small, safe little town a few months ago and moved to a nearby city. My neighborhood is what you call lower middle class and mixed race, but quite tranquil.
The panhandlers downtown are all white men in their twenties and thirties.