For three years, I took weekly AA meetings to a detox center for the homeless and indigent in Kansas City. I met and heard stories from many addicts who had hit deep, deep bottoms, like the ones in the article below. I shared my experience, strength, and hope about recovery with them.
Yet I believe they gave me far more than I gave them. They taught me to love and to value the seemingly unlovable, to see their humanity, that I had far more in common with them than I imagined, and that, “but for the grace of God go I.”
Trapped by the ‘Walmart of Heroin’
A Philadelphia neighborhood is the largest open-air narcotics market for heroin on the East Coast. Addicts come from all over, and many never leave.
There were already about 30 people in the lot, injecting, defecating and sleeping. One of them, Krista, 30, told me she started using heroin after she was raped in college. She was crouched over a lavender purse cleaning a crack pipe and wore a T-shirt that said “Perfect is Boring.” “If I’m a little further away, I have this nervous feeling that I need to come back to Kensington,” she said. “It’s like a big dysfunctional family. I guess this is the one place I belong.”