Homeless Heroin Addict Shares the Truth on Opioid Epidemic and Drug Addiction

Homeless Heroin Addict Shares the Truth on Opioid Epidemic and Drug Addiction


– [Interviewer] Cameron. – Yes. – [Interviewer] We’re
here in Fort McMurray and you’re homeless, tell me about it. – Hmm, I’ve been homeless
off and on for about six or seven years, up here
I’ve been homeless off and on for approximately 15 years. I started my journey of
homelessness and social retardation in Vancouver and brought
it up to Fort McMurray, and I’ve been struggling with drug addiction and homelessness,
for about, six, seven years in Fort McMurray and I’ve had
periodic jobs here and there, off and on, nothing
steady, as addiction goes, your jobs go and everything goes, and it’s just the way it
goes, you get stuck in a rut. And in Fort McMurray
there’s not a lot of ways or resources to get out of that hole or rut you get stuck in. There’s just not the
services, they don’t offer it. Whether it’s treatment
or whether it’s anything, accommodations, you know, they
have one homeless shelter, year-round homeless shelter
for people to stay at, and, you know, social
services or anything does not help you in any way
for anything, you know, that most provinces or
places would help you with. So I mean this town is extra
hard to get out of a rut when you get stuck in it. – [Interviewer] Oh my gosh. – Yeah, so I mean, it’s not
a town, it’s a great town if you’re making money
and doing the right thing and you, you know, you’ve got the trade but if you have any sort
of struggle or any sort of downside or anything
going on in your life, it’s the worst town to be in. I’ve never seen a town so, you know. – [Interviewer] And you
just told me that, you know, we’re actually next to an
area where your girlfriend, a dumpster, she fell asleep in it, and they took it to the dump. – Yeah, last year they came
in the morning and dumped it and I dunno whether they didn’t hear her, I know she didn’t wake up
’cause she’d been up for a while and she was on the nod,
we’d done some Oxycontin and proceeded to dump the body, and they looked on the camera
and you see me getting out, but you don’t see her getting out before the garbage truck came and dumped her, and as I said, once again, a
show of the lack of whatever that some people have towards homelessness or drug addicts that they just didn’t put 100% effort into finding the body and giving her a place to rest, I mean, that’s no place for her to rest. Her kids, there was no
closure, there was no funeral, there was nothing we could
do, ’cause we didn’t have a body or anything to
do it with, so I mean, it leaves an open page where, you know, you have no closure at all. – [Interviewer] So you’ve
been fighting drug abuse. – Yeah, drug addiction, yeah. – [Interviewer] Drug addiction. And how, has healthcare
helped you out at all or? – Not really I mean, I have certain things that I’ve acquired over
the years of my addiction that I can’t get rid of, and once again, that puts me in a different category where there should be some
sort of help in some way, I mean I’m not asking for a hand out, it’s just the drugs I do
are physically addicting and unless I get off them or
get on a maintenance program which, that, once again,
they don’t offer up here, then there’s just, you know
what I mean, there’s no chance. I need to get fixed up before
I can do anything for the day, otherwise I’ll be sick and
my day will last two hours and I’ll be so sick I
won’t even be able to move. – [Interviewer] Sick. People don’t understand dope sick. – No they don’t they think, you know, just pull up your socks
and get through it. That’s fine if it’s a mental addiction, but what I do is physically addicting. People say what’s it like? I say when you’re dope sick,
it’s like the worst flu you’ve ever had, multiplied times 10, with diarrhea and vomiting,
and that’s the only way they can come close to
fathoming dope sickness, and they don’t understand,
just pull up your socks, grit your teeth and just do it, well it’s easier said than done, you know. It’s not mental, it’s completely physical. I’d love to stop doing it, but. – [Interviewer] I always tell
people, if I was dope sick then I’m vulnerable and if
I’m vulnerable and homeless then I’m mugged. – Yeah, exactly. It’s a vicious circle that,
you know, there’s no way and once again you’re
in this town, I mean, I’m from East Vancouver
where 10 dollars will get you feeling better and get
you moving, up here, 80 dollars for a, they don’t
have, what I use, heroin, in Vancouver, they have clinical
heroin which is Oxycontin and the cheapest you get one, it’s 40, it’s a buck a milligram, so
for me, even just to be able to move and stop the
sickness, it’s 40 dollars, and 80 dollars if I wanna get a buzz. – [Interviewer] And people
also don’t understand it takes over your life. – No, exactly. – [Interviewer] Cause you are not– – I don’t wanna do this, I’m 42 years old, I want a life, there’s
still things I wanna do that I haven’t done, I
mean, I don’t enjoy this. This is not enjoyable,
I don’t have one second, I might have 15 minutes of enjoyment a day and that’s when I do
my fix and I’m un-sick. As pathetic and stupid as that sounds, that’s the only enjoyment
I get out of life. Sex doesn’t excite me, nothing excites me except getting money in my pocket and getting my fix, that’s the
only thing that comes close to happiness for me, you know, as pathetic and hurting
as it sounds, right? – [Interviewer] So,
what’s your future like? What are you trying to do to– – Well, it’s bleak if I don’t get off it, but once again, I’m going to, you know, I’m going to have to go
back to the west coast where it’s easier for you
to get access services that can get off because you can’t, even here, the detox will keep
you for five to seven days, and then they want you to hit the streets, because treatment usually takes a month, month and a half to get into, and there’s no safe place you can go to stay off the dope for
the six or eight weeks. When you’re in the mood
that you want to get clean, you want to keep it going, you don’t want to have these breaks, and they want you to hit
the streets for a month, try and stay clean, until
you get your treatment date, and it’s physically impossible, and by the time your
treatment date comes around, you’re already back into
full-blown addiction and the mindset of getting clean is gone. You’re right back to doing it, so I mean, the only answer for me is to go back to the west coast, where social services and
people will pay for you, and you can stay in a safe place until you’ve completed your treatment. – [Interviewer] And then when
you complete your treatment, you just can’t go back to homeless– – Exactly, there’s got
to be resources after– – [Interviewer] Because
then you go back out and drink and use, you know? – Exactly, there’s gotta
be a safe place or resource after the fact. Before, in the middle, and after, especially after, you need to
be out of sight out of mind, and you know, not be surrounded by people where that’s all they talk about. Otherwise, once again,
you’ll be right back into it, all that three months or 90 days or 30 days or whatever
your treatment program, it defeats the purpose of doing it because you’re right
back into the full swing, so you need pre-care, middle-care, and after-care. Big time after-care. You know, once you’re
clean, that’s the easy part. It’s staying clean and, you know, I can get off the drugs,
it’s staying off, you know? I can stop using it,
that’s not the problem, and once again, mine’s physical. I need some where I don’t have to move or be bothered for a week or two. – [Interviewer] You gotta detox out. – I don’t need to get up
at seven in the morning and have to struggle and go somewhere, and then I can’t go anywhere
else till five at night when they open again, you know, I need to just not move for two weeks, and I can get rid of the sickness. Even that, I’m not asking for drugs or anything to help me get off, I can grin and bear it. And jail becomes an alternative. A good alternative. The last time I was clean
was when I was in jail, I was off everything, it took me a month before I was sleeping right, but that was the last
time I was ever clean. When jail sounds good and
becomes a good alternative, you know something’s
wrong with that picture. – [Interviewer] But to society,
jail is 250 dollars a day. You know what I mean, that’s
the expensive alternative. – Rather than put me
through a treatment program or help me, you know? – [Interviewer] It’s more cost effective, business-wise, money-wise. – Which is bullshit, because I’m a thief. I’m out here draining resources by stealing from stores, razing, you know what I mean, it’s a whole circle that they don’t understand, the 250 or whatever it would cost to put me through treatment
would be a lot cheaper than me out here stealing
500 dollars worth of stuff, getting rid of it for a 100 dollars, so I can get a fix. And I do that every day. And they don’t understand that either. – [Interviewer] If you had three wishes, what would they be? – Three wishes would be to be clean and never have to use drugs again. Become a brother, a son, an uncle. And just stop taking. Being able to give. Just to stop being a taker and being able to give,
and being in a position where I can give something to people without expecting
anything in return. I really want to be clean, I want to have a life. I want to be regular. I don’t even want anything, the dreams aren’t even, they’re not huge. I just want to have a
place to rest my head, I want to pay my bills, I want to get angry because
my phone bill’s too high, I want to be normal. Whatever normal is, I want to be it. As close to normal as I can get. – [Interviewer] Thank you
very much for talking to me. – Yeah, no problem. Thank you.

100 comments

  1. "Drug abuse?" "No, drug addiction."

    This is a perfect example of an individual completely robbed of their autonomy and sense of responsibility. They do not abuse drugs, drugs have them held at gunpoint – according to them. I am glad to hear he got clean, I can only assume he had a drastic change of perspective.

  2. How the fuck every drug addict you interview is so well spoken. Are they even real? I mean, every pot abuser that I spoke with is like: "yyyy", "eeee", "hehe", "uuuu".

  3. "Its not mental its completely physical." Not true, when your mental is strong enough you can endure the pain

  4. How does america have a "drug problem"? Unless people are giving you drugs on purpose and forcibly making you shoot heroin your arms, its all up to you buddy, no one to blame but yourself.

  5. "Clinical Herione which is just Oxycontin." Addiction and addicting drugs are the direct result of greedy pharmaceutical companies.

  6. We need institutions that deal specially with addicts physical problems. No shelters unless MANDATORY drug treatment is involved. The human condition cannot be improved under the influence of heroin, meth, and crack. Addicton is the number 1 issue facing our society at least in the USA.

  7. I love how the guy corrects the uploader on it being addiction, not abuse, but then he still calls it "drug abuse" in the description lol

  8. I'm a former heroine addict and I can confirm that everything he says is true. I'm lucky to live in Sweden where we have free health care and I've been in the Methadone maintanance program for about 8 years now, and here in Sweden we don't have to pay for the Methadone. It's really hard to get Methadone maintainance in Sweden but when you finally get it its great. I'm alive today thanks to my methadone. I truly hope this guy is doing fine nobody should have to live like that. Much love from Sweden

  9. So he is homeless and has no responsibility and complains the town he lives in sucks and won’t help him. So what exactly is stopping him from finding a better city with more resources.

  10. Richard,
    Years ago I would have agreed with everything you wrote.

    For the last two years I worked with drug addicts and homeless people. Anyone who uses these poisons known as opioids is either stupid, severely depressed or suicidal.

  11. Why should the taxpayers pay to have some drug addict have a funeral I say hauling them off with the trash is appropriate

  12. To you liberals that feel sorry for this piece of trash. You more then likely paid to have all his teeth implanted ( lost them from drug abuse) got this loser into a apartment that is way reduced or free rent, and got him into a safe space so he could reproduce and now you have his kids to feed.

  13. You can ONLY quit when you want to quit. There are rehab facilities in all 50 continental United States. Once you make up your mind that you’ve had enough misery in your life, only then can you accept sobriety. Good luck, cuz

  14. This guy has a great story and speaks well. With some practice would be a good public speaker to make change for the homeless

  15. He says “ I’m not asking for a handout” . Then proceeds to ask for a handout. I don’t blame him though. He’s very right about the physical addiction of opioids. He can be a contributing member of society again but he needs help from his fellow man.

  16. If you know what is going to happen to you if you do drugs….what did you start doing it?..
    SIMPLE. .

  17. All I hear over and over is this guy pointing the finger at everyone and everything except himself and having any type of introspective look at himself and how his main priority needs to get clean, whatever it takes. He even complained about the treatment programs available. They are not exactly how he needs them to be. What a joke. Man the fuck up and take a hard look in the mirror at the plight you put yourself in.

  18. I don't give two cents about drug addicts because all druggies want you to feel sorry for them. " i get so sick if i dont have my drugs " oh well

  19. Sorry i'm lost? Some one help me understand. This guy has a crippling addiction that he has brought on himself and the system where he lives can't handle. He knows another place where the system is better. He doesn't go there. He also is able to get what he needs here to be together enough to give this interview? It seems to me one who is resourceful enough to stay addicted is resourceful enough to get clean if they wanted too.

  20. Even if this retard gets clean his opioid receptors are fried for life. Good luck with cancer pain dumbass. You will feel every bit of it because there is no treatment for pain better than opioids.

  21. Dope sickness.
    Shut the fuck up you dont care.
    All excuses from a drug addict/alcoholic.
    You can quit it. And you wont die.
    If you keep doing it. You will die. Junkie

  22. Sorry but why should i feel sympathy for these people? you get shot, someone stabs you, you loose a leg in an accident, you get sick, all these I can understand you didnt choose that. but drug addiction you choose to do that. no one forced you to do drugs. and dont start with ohhh some people had bad luck so they choose to do drugs in order to forget or feel better. AGAIN that is your problem your choice and now you complain that you do not get the help you deserve? you do not deserve help since it was your choice to begin with. life is hard deal with it seriously. iv had a bad life myself but in Germany we have a saying "Ein Indianer kennt kein schmerz" meaning an an Indian (native american) doenst know pain. you get up from the bottom and and do fight thru it. stop looking for people that hand out shit you got yourself into that mess, so get yourself out. ALSO i am all for helping people but not people who did this to themselves. I might understand if something is not known like way back in the days cigaret smoking, but doing certain drugs is known what it will do to you and now you want help? naaa seriously people always looking for other people to get help instead of man up and do it themselves.

  23. He hit the nail on the head. It is easily to get clean staying clean is the hard part. I've been on maintenance drugs since 1993. I know 12 steppers will say I am not clean but I am alive and I function fine.

  24. This is unacceptable- makes me so angry that no one gives a dam about people- shame on Canada and the US.

  25. It's great that he is doing well! But man, the amount of people, especially mentally ill men, who fall into homelessness and addiction and have almost nowhere to turn makes me so sad.

  26. You know there are so many people through no fault of their own good jobs for done away with paycheck to paycheck and money Runs Out they're homeless this guy is complaining and it's his fault he's on drugs these families had no choice that's awful

  27. People act like these people always wanted to grow up to become homeless addicts. Get real, these people are just like anybody else.

  28. Wait…. didn’t u tell the trash driver ur girlfriend was still in the dumpster???
    U just watched him drive off?

  29. This is the problem with the opioid crisis you can’t just stop the most uneducated thing you can say too someone that is dependent on these meds are why don’t you just quit you don’t know what your saying and if people think this is going away buy stop prescription it’s just going too put gas on the 🔥

  30. I'm sure it had nothing to do with Alberta's Conservative government and the federal conservatives reliance on oil energy

  31. Ik what that addiction is all about. I've finally gotten clean off heroin. Pain killers & the fear of having a serious back surgery started me down that path & I was a nurse. They NEVER taught us about opioid addiction when I was in nursing school back in 2000. Idk if they do today but if they don't shame on the medical community!!! They led us to believe it was just psychological addiction NOT physical addiction & YES u will beg for death when u r withdrawing. U can't function w/ out it. U begin to do it not to just eliminate pain but to just function as a normal person from one fix to the next w/out even getting high. Its no way to live & it took me to prison to get clean. It WAS awful. Now it's hard to find a job cuz nobody wants to hire a felon or an ex drug addict. My prayers r for all who go thru this!

  32. What a good guy. Just got caught up in something to powerful. Glad he got clean. There is hope for all addicted.

  33. Got no sympathy for these people clamming they are addicted. Lace up your boot straps and get off the shit fools.

  34. Come to America, our treatment is to kick you and throw garbage at you. That's when we're not imprisoning and deporting you. It keeps the ignorant proud.

  35. The opioid crises effects those of us who have chronic pain and need opioids to reduce our pain so that we can function. I can not get the medication I need because the medical community’s hands are tied. I have never been addicted to anything nor would I ever mis use medication. I just want to stop suffering and live a happy, productive life. It’s sad for those addicted and sad for those who really need them. What struck me is he said he wanted to be “clean” and normal but he also said he got “clean’’ in jail. What happened? If that is what he truly wants, why did he start using again? I wish he would have been asked these questions for clarity.

  36. Being dope sick is pure torture ….. When you are so ill and you have got your fix your body becomes so excited sometimes it's hard to control the intense excitement that is coming from fixing a shot……. Heroin should literally be capital punishment for dealing it…… your Government supplies it… Fact

  37. The plethora of excuses junkies pull out of their ass is uncanny. Everything wrong in their life is everyone else’s fault. It was my mom, my neighborhood, the state, my dogs fault I’m addicted to drugs on the street. Never do you hear them say this is my fault for where I’m at, never.

  38. Dope is the stupidest thing I’ve ever done to myself. I’m sitting outside at this very moment trying to understand why I did this to myself. I’m killing myself with a drug that doesn’t even get me “High” anymore. Because I’m too much of a coward to be “sick” for 7 or 8 days. I am so ashamed of myself and I must try really hard to not end my own life because I am a spiritual and mental weakling. This is not the life I promised myself as a kid, this is not the life God gave me to live, this is a lie and I am a liar. I lie to myself every time I put this poison up my nose. I’m not looking for sympathy or even compassion at this point. I am completely and utterly lost. The thing is, I know better and I knew better the first time I put this poison in my system. Now, here I am at a crossroad, either I make a choice to live or it’s time to die. I’m “sick and tired of being sick and tired” and unless I make a change, I see no reason to continue. Hard Drugs Suck and they are a lie. I’m wishing Everyone well.

  39. I relapsed for 8 years. Finally I stayed on 2mg of suboxone for 8 months. Gotta treat the addicted mind after you get clean

  40. I fell off a roof. I broke all my ribs…pelvis…and everything else. 50 feet. I've been homeless off and on lately. The addiction will never leave me…because I'm always in physical pain. Kratom leaf helps with the dope sickness ..as long as you take it before you get sick so you don't throw it up..and force yourself to eat

  41. Very smart man addicts are some of the smartest believe it or not it’s true I’m 19 years old struggling with opiate and alcohol addiction been to rehab just so confused with everything

  42. Just looked up his fiance kyla Gould's IG, seems like he passed away recently. Dont know the details but rest in peace, Cameron. Hope you are at peace

  43. He sounds smarter than most politicians and other well payed people in gouvernments around the world. These interviews are really interesting, it only takes a few minutes of listening to this man you just wanna wish him the very best and hope for he's dreams to come true.

  44. I'm only 24 and I'm a victim of opioid addiction. I was addicted to shooting up dilaudid for 4 years. It was horrible. I'm still recovering. Only 1 year sober. I'm on a low dose of suboxone and it's helped me immensely. I have mental problems and trauma.. I also caught Hepatitis C. Thank God I had a treatment that cured it. I'm very lucky to have realized my addiction so early on. My whole family struggles with addiction and mental illness. My father who I never lived with or really knew had alcohol addiction and then in recent years he's addicted to pecocets and oxy Cotin(plus the drinking).. And he's on methadone now.. But I don't like that either because it's really unsafe. Plus his job is driving a truth all day.. he's been in many accidents… I just pray everyday for people who are lost and confused.. I pray that they find out who they truly are. Realize they're existence is important… we all have a purpose.

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