Johnny and a nurse before he self-injects his medication at Vancouver’s Crosstown Clinic. Q: “How would you have liked me to take photo differently and why? What’s missing?” A: “I would like it if maybe they’d let me comb my hair, instead of looking like a real hard core junkie here. I didn’t realize my hair looked so bad when I take my shirt off. The reason why I take my shirt off is because I muscle the dope, I don’t IV it, because the reason why I do the dope is different from why a lot of other people do it. They do it to get high, I do it to help with some pain issues I have. I don’t want people thinking, ‘You know, these guys are going in there taking our tax dollars and doing heroin and getting high, look at them. You know, they’re nothing but detriments to society.’ Well, I’ll tell ya, it’s saving my life. I’m hoping within six months to have a new hip put in, and go back to work, do some part-time painting work. Just start to get back to living life on life’s terms.”

When a Drug User Looks at Photos of Himself

Heroin-assisted treatment has improved Johnny’s life. Through photographs he reflects on new-found stability

Aaron Goodman
Mar 11, 2016 · 6 min read

PART TWO: JOHNNY’S STORY

Tattoos on Johnny’s back.
Johnny collects cans from a Vancouver food court. He is proud of the work he does and the money he earns.
Johnny collecting cans from a Vancouver food court. He is proud of the work he does and the money he earns.
Johnny walks in a store where he used to shoplift before starting heroin-assisted treatment. He is proud that he now buys all his own food and supplies.
Johnny pauses in front of a tourist shop in Vancouver’s Gastown neighborhood where he used to shoptlift to support his heroin addiction. Since starting heroin-assisted treatment, he has stopped stealing.
Jade figurines in a window of a tourist shop in Vancouver’s Gastown neighborhood where Johnny used to shoplift before he started heroin assisted treatment.


Vantage

Perspectives on Visual Storytelling

Aaron Goodman

Written by

Photo, multimedia, documentary. Human rights & genocide. Founder @storyturns.

Vantage

Vantage

Perspectives on Visual Storytelling