O.D. In The Shelter



Working security in a homeless shelter you see all kinds of extreme stuff and for some reason anything what happens in the shelter rarely makes the news. Now I’ve been posted in some of the city’s notorious shelters where violence, drugs, sexual intimidation was the norm. Working in a notorious Women’s Shelter in the boondocks of the ravaged neighborhood of East New York was an eye opening experience. In fact it was quite a shock. The residents in that shelter will redefine your perception of how women are viewed. Thank heavens that they do not represent women in general otherwise the human race would be doomed. That shelter had all types of woman, the young, and old, the beautiful, and not so beautiful along with a few who could have been the brides of Frankenstein. Many have been to Rikers Island, or in a Penitentiary up state. Yet, even though there is a measure of freedom most still acted as though they were locked up having their own hierarchy in an institution where there are rules that the staff is supposed to enforce. I guess it takes longer for someone to psychological remove free their minds from incarceration.


Well another thing that took place at that women’s shelter was addicts over dosing. It was a sight looking at the staff moving the addict who OD around until the paramedics arrive. Man power used to revive them and take them to the hospital to get treatment. Then the next week the same addict OD again. Nowadays the Cops are carrying the naloxone kits, at a cost of $1.1 million, the kits were issued to 20,000 NYPD cops. The kits are supposed to save lives. But who can tell if it will be a waste of time? I say the City gov’t could have found better use of $1.1 million then to finance the saving of some heroin addict who will only end up over dosing again.


  1. You know, there are some people you think are a lost cause. And it can be true sometimes. Though, there’s always that small chance that they MIGHT be savable when something just clicks. Something more powerful and chemicals in the brain. I dunno, but isn’t that chance worth giving them a try? Better than to blatantly not even attempt to revive these junkies. That’s plain lack of empathy for a deteriorating human condition, which if that floats your boat, then who am I preaching to?
    Anyway, working at the shelter seems to have opened your eyes. Glad for that George. But even others can’t help themselves (because they are not of sound mind), you can still try to help them, unless of course, they won’t let you.
    Eh. Who am I to say this? I don’t know anything about first-hand experience with junkies or the like. I’m just an idealist. My morals and beliefs don’t hold up in reality… Great post though. Bravo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sorry but there are just some conditions that one should lack empathy. Visualization can put you on the path towards that realizing that image. Hench I would never visualize myself to be a self defeating, hopeless, dependent (chemical or otherwise) state. We’d like to think people are salvageable, they can be rehabilitated, they need help.etc. Me, I don’t have the answers. All I know is that these types of people are toxic and cause problems for everyone associated with them and around them.
      Thanks for reading….

      Liked by 1 person

      • You are right about that George. Toxic people will cause problems to those around them. And some really just aren’t salvageable. But my initial reaction is to try, at least once. But theory hardly ever matches up with reality. So in reality, I might have had the same thought as you. I don’t know. I don’t have the answers either.
        It was a pleasure reading.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I think there is a lot of value in naloxone. I can’t remember where I was reading it, but a lot of people who are institutionalised, especially in jail often end up using opiates that are very cut down and quite weak. They come out and accidently overdose when they don’t realise how strong the street drugs are. I work with recovering addicts and many are really trying hard to turn their lives around. Yes, maybe many of the people you are working with people can’t be helped, but maybe some of them can be. Cost of medications may need to be put into perspective
    There is a common medication used extremely liberally in todays society. It is estimated that you have to treat more than 100 people (for 5 years) to prevent 1 heart attack – this isn’t to save a life, just to prevent a heart attack. Whereas how many lives are saved with naloxone? Even if only 1% turn their lives around and recover, then this is probably better savings than some of our cardiac medications.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I sit back in wonder at the things you have seen. The closest I’ve come is from what I’ve seen on tv, usually fictional. To tell the truth, that’s as close as I want to get to this very harsh bit of our reality.

    How to support or assist addicts to turn their lives around is such a big debate. Your insight is interesting.


  4. While I was reading your post, I kept thinking of how sheltered and safe my overall environment is. I am also aware that I take this for granted. And the world of addiction and addicts is something I only experience through my readings or television. It’s very easy for outsiders to look in and judge on what should or shouldn’t be done for them. I personally think that addicts should ‘bottom out’, reach rock bottom, and then they should be given a helping hand. I assume many don’t have the resources to go to rehab? I don’t know…

    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • In my book the further you are from drug addicts the better it is. Addicts are liars, they will steal from you or set you up to get robbed whatever they do is for the high.
      There are lots of rehab programs sponsored by non-profit organization, medicaid, state and city. So it is not a matter of not having resources. I don’t know how low an individual can sink, but if they don’t want the help, they will not seek it.
      Thanks for reading. I appreciate your thoughts


  5. I get the anger of money being spent, but these are usually people in mental pain. 5 years from now hopefully they will be productive members of society. Some people just need more assistance. We are all not built the same. It might be the best 1.1 million dollars spent. It could be a waste, but let’s try to help the less fortunate. The payoff could be huge.

    Liked by 2 people

    • If some of those people get it together within 5 years it will be a blessing. From my dealing with the system it is more of a cycle of dependency crossing over to the next generation.
      Yes, I would agree that some people are in pain. Counseling should be mandatory.
      Just can’t help but think that addiction is being validated as acceptable instead of working to resolve it.
      Thanks for reading and the comments..


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