The Case for Legal Narcotics

If you spent most of your life struggling with heroin addiction, what would make you give it up? Our latest Instaread looks at the journey of the late activist David Poses, who hid his addiction from loved ones for years.

In the Beginning

Poses got the idea to try heroin from a drug prevention assembly. The police officer said that heroin made people stop feeling things—and that’s what Poses wanted more than anything. He had been diagnosed with clinical depression when he was 16. Increasingly suicidal, he pestered his friend Rob for a hit. Poses was instantly hooked. 

He initially used until he was 19, when he tried to detox on his own. It went poorly, and Poses’s parents put him in rehab. He thought he wouldn’t be there long…but his ordeal was far from over.

The Downward Spiral

Over a period of years, Poses went through relapse, alcoholism, illness, and prescription opioids before he considered himself better. He became a writer and activist speaking out against opioid addiction as a national health emergency with drug laws at its root. 

The majority of overdose deaths are caused by illegal drugs, whose potency is unknown and inconsistent. Because of the widespread belief that using any drug invalidates sobriety, only one-third of US rehabs provide long-term opioid therapy. But this invalidation of sobriety never mattered to Poses because his goal was never to abstain; it was to feel okay. 

About the Author

David Poses was a writer, speaker, and activist. His writing was published in the Los Angeles TimesThe Washington Post, and New York Daily News, and he was featured on TV, radio, and podcasts. The Weight of Air was published on July 5, 2021. Poses died of unknown causes less than a year later, in February 2022.

Read our full summary of The Weight of Air . . .

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