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Chasing the Dragon: Images of Heroin’s Resurgence


Reporting by Ryan Schill.
Photography by Clay Duda.

Heroin may be about to get a mean on. That’s what JJIE’s Ryan Schill wrote about in this three-part series. Though statistics don’t show an enormous surge in heroin arrests, both current and former users, as well as counselors report an upsurge in use among teens, mostly white, mostly suburban. Increased supply, its relative low cost and the prevalence of opiate-based prescription medications all play a role in what seems to be going on.

These aren’t happy stories Schill tells, and these aren’t pretty pictures photographer Clay Duda offers. So, you should know, this series may not be suitable for all readers. It is sometimes difficult to stomach. It is rife with profanity and disturbing details. Some of the images are graphic. But it is, quite simply, the brutal reality of a life with heroin.

For the most part, it’s a sad story. Yet even in this nightmarish place, there is some hope and in this case it is recovery.

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