Hearing about the dangers of heroin abuse does not always relay how devastating the drug can be. Sometimes in order to really understand the severity of addiction someone has to see the images of the lonely, emaciated, desperate people that spend their lives craving for, and seeking out heroin. In order to educate young people and the community that heroin abuse is a problem that affects more than just the addict, public officials and different organizations are coming up with hard hitting ways to get the word out to the public.
One way of showing the heroin abuse problem is by bringing the public into the world of addiction. Chuck Jines has submitted photographs that he took of heroin addicts throughout the city of Chicago and surrounding areas that were viewed at Edward Hospital. The striking photographs were taken over two years as the he documented different addicts throughout the city. “The stuff I’ve learned through doing this (heroin) project has really blown me away. It’s absolutely gut wrenchingly sad. I can’t think of a more pitiful existence than being addicted to heroin,” said Jines. This is the exact sentiment that he hopes others will feel after viewing the gallery.
The event was supported by a non-profit group that was created by Brian Kirk after he lost his son to a heroin addiction. “(The photographs) show you how bleak and how terrible this epidemic is. We don’t want to offend people with the pictures…but I think everyone out there needs to sees what this is really all about,” explained Kirk. He hopes that the event not only educated people about the horrors of heroin, but it helped them to understand that something needs to be done to help those who are addicted. Investing in treatment centers and more extensive prevention programs may help to save other young people from the fate that Kirk’s son suffered.
The powerful photographs will also be released in a book later this year. The more people that open their eyes to the heroin problem throughout the country, the more people that can possible be saved from a life of addiction.