Tim Williams says what brought Thomas to the shelter brings most of the men here: sheer exhaustion with their narco life. The average age is about 30. The shelter's success rate is very low with users who are young and strong and still think they're immortal. Old addicts get tired.
"I been doing drugs about 25, 30 years," Tazewell Henderson says. He was carrying a $40 to $50-a-day habit, not using to get high anymore, just maintaining. "Life just became unmanageable," he says.
He's a pleasant, soft-spoken man. He looks great for 62.
"I'm in perfect health," he says. "They say God looks out for babies and fools."
Henderson says he started snorting heroin when he was in the Army in Korea. "The first time I ever saw anybody intravenously shoot any drugs was in Korea."
For a long time, he actually managed his addiction pretty well.
"I worked at Sparrows Point 29 years until I lost my job in 1992 for using drugs" he says. "I could apply for my Social Security, but I won't do it. Because I want to get some time in recovery before I expose myself to that kind of money."
He doesn't want to end up like Charlie. Right now he's happy to get new work boots for Christmas.
"Hey, man, I love them," he says.
Pub Date: 12/26/98