Right on the heels of yesterday’s over-long post! Just when you think you know something about drugs and addiction, something like this comes along.
Desperate heroin users in a few African cities have begun engaging in a practice that is so dangerous it is almost unthinkable: they deliberately inject themselves with another addict’s blood, researchers say, in an effort to share the high or stave off the pangs of withdrawal.
Most of the addicts she has interviewed who practice flashblood, [said Dr. Sheryl A. McCurdy, a professor of public health at the University of Texas in Houston], are women. For them, sharing blood is more of an act of kindness than an attempt to get high: a woman who has made enough money to buy a sachet of heroin will share blood to help a friend avoid withdrawal. The friend is often a fellow sex worker who has become too old or sick to find customers.
Whether or not someone can actually a get drug rush from such a relatively tiny amount of blood has never been tested, Dr. McCurdy said. Humans have about five quarts of blood and the flashblood-user injects less than a teaspoon.
“They say they do,” she said. “They pass out as if they just got a high. But I’ve talked to doctors who say that could be entirely the placebo effect. — NYTimes
“Share and share alike.” Why, it’s practically biblical. A pity it’s fatal, too.
And yet, once you get past the horror (which I haven’t), it’s somehow inspiring, yes? To see such generosity and concern for one’s colleagues? To compromise one’s own feeling of well-being, if not existence, by sharing quite literally one’s own life blood?
Ladies and gents, I believe we’ve found Christianity in its purest form. Those dead and dying African sex workers are saints and martyrs. And evidently they’re not just dying for our sins, they’re having a high old time doing it.
Why do they remind me of presidential candidate Newt Gingrich?