I've seen this poem in various detoxes and rehabs. I came across it today posted on a blog and wanted to comment on the inaccuracies. These types of art are widely praised in the treatment world. This poem may be an accurate description of some person's experience with heroin but it is by no means universal. These things reinforce negative stereotypes about heroin users and only add to the dehumanization users already face on a daily basis.
So now you've grown tired of grass,
LSD, goofballs, cocaine, and hash
And someone, pretending to be a true friend
Said "I'll introduce you to Miss Heroine"
Reinforces the debunked gateway theory of heroin addiction. Why is the offer of heroin incompatible with being a true friend? Offering a guest drugs is considered being polite and a good host. In the US we use alcohol. Other cultures use khat, coca, cannabis and opium.
Well honey, before you start fooling with me,
Just let me inform you of how it'll be
For I will seduce you and make you my slave
The majority of heroin users are not dependent on the drug. It's impossible to get exact numbers but based on surveys only about 1 in 5 users are actually dependent.
I've sent men much stronger than you to their graves
You think you could never become a disgrace
And end up addicted to poppy seed waste
Heroin is not made from poppy seeds but the latex in the seed capsule. Not only is it the major source of morphine but many other non-narcotic, medicinally important compounds. Users are defamed as disgraces. I guess Thomas Jefferson, who grew poppies and used opium, would be considered a disgrace by modern standards.
So you'll start inhaling me one afternoon
Then you'll take me into your arms very soon
Once I have entered deep down in your veins
Heroin can be taken in many different ways. Prohibition encourages IV injection. There is evidence of alcohol being used intravenously during alcohol prohibition. This is unheard of today.
The craving will nearly drive you insane
You'll need lots of money as you have been told
For darling I'm much more expensive than gold
More expensive than gold only because it is in high demand and illegal. Pure heroin in a free market is only pennies per mg.
You'll swindle anyone just for a buck
You'll turn into something vile and corrupt
You'll mug and you'll steal for my narcotic charms
This is insulting to every user who lives a moral life. That is they work, take care of their families and do not cause harm to their communities. Those that steal do so due to the black market prices. When is the last time you heard of a mugging to go and buy tobacco?
And feel contentment when I'm in your arms
The day you realize the monster you've grown
You'll solemnly swear to leave me alone
But the vomit, the cramp, your gut tied in a knot,
The jangled nerves screaming for just one more shot
The cold chills and hot sweats, the withdrawal pains
Can only be saved by my little white grains
There's no other way and no need to look
For deep down inside you know you're hooked
You'll desperately run to the pusher,
The idea of a pusher is a myth. Drugs, unlike other products, sell themselves without the need for aggressive marketing.
And just as I foretold
I know that you'll give me your body and soul
You'll give up your morals, your conscience, your heart
And you'll be mine, til death do us part
So users of heroin lose their body, soul, morals, conscience and heart. In other words they cease to be human. When you treat people as less than human deprivation of their human rights follows.