a picture is worth a thousand characters

Ronnie’s eyes glaze over as heroin creeps into his brain. Addiction is one story photographer’s are drawn to. It is a graphic horror too easily exploited. I was reluctant about doing this story but was convinced by a good friend, himself a former addict. I wanted to show the hollow life in which individuals are trapped and which the addicts so eloquently describe. It was a cold January day when I met Ronnie and his flatmate Dave. They had signed up to a detox programme and were being documented through the process. We sat around watching daytime TV quiz shows, drank tea and went to the supermarket with this calm normality interspersed by drug sessions. The drugs were the symptom of a deeper problem- for Ronnie the boredom of unemployment in a former mining town. Drugs offered escape and a community. Heroin numbs the user’s emotions like ice and the thaw of detox brings a flood of emotions, guilt and fear. The terror drives them back to be comfortably numb.

subjects: behind the photo  stories