Long-time friends and partners in their efforts to maintain a heroin addiction that has consumed the majority of their lives, “Spoons” and “Country” agree that, statistically, they should be dead.
Both men have called Pittsburgh “home” for the past decade as they vacillate between temporary housing, living on the street and short periods of sobriety.
Each has resuscitated the other countless times using Narcan (naloxone) and both men inject heroin—often in combination with other chemicals— daily. Though their minds and bodies are slaves to a drug, each has moments of clarity and insight where they express a desire for a life free from their addiction.
The state of Pennsylvania has the fourth highest fatal overdose rate per capita in the country (CDC) and in Pittsburgh, the number of annual, reported overdose deaths has more than doubled since 2014—with 737 in 2017.
In January 2018 Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf declared the heroin and opioid epidemic a statewide disaster emergency.