New Faces

Here are some of the new faces from this year's Faces of Recovery celebration.

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As My Vacation Winds Down...

It was really fun to wander around Freak Alley Gallery tonight, seeing old friends and familiar and new faces. I have been on vacation for a week and this was a great way to remember both why I take photos and why I do my job. Here are some photos from the final night of the annual event.

Hip Shots

I held the camera at my side to take these photos today. It's an old-school street photography technique, and they're presented here without cropping.

Impressions

Sometimes it's a good idea to let the action flow. I took these photos at a Black Lives Matter rally in Seattle in 2015 and slowed my shutter speed to capture a sense of the action. Here is some black and white impressionism.

Putting Faces to Addiction Recovery

In the mid-1990s I was a journalist at an alternative newsweekly, the Colorado Springs Independent. One day a man contacted me and asked if we could meet to talk about what he thought was a grave injustice: the county health department was withholding effective methadone treatment for heroin addicts who were trying to get clean and sober. However, he said, if you were addicted to opioids (essentially synthetic heroin) that had been prescribed by a doctor, you got all the methadone you needed. You also got treated differently, he said. It was basically junkies versus regular people in the eyes of the people at the health department, he said.

"I just want to stay clean," he told me, "and they're making it almost impossible."

He brought me reams of research, I did some interviews, and we published the story as a feature.

Fast-forward more than 20 years to today.

I read a NY Times article yesterday called "A Small-Town Police Officer's War on Drugs." In the article the officer being profiled recounts a presentation he gave to "some prominent people in the community." Afterwards one of those prominent people came up to the officer.

"...the man said: 'It's a really good job you're doing. I think it's great. But my opinion is, if they stick a needle in their arm they should die.'

"'I'm sorry you feel that way,' [the officer] said, startled. 'I'd hope you would feel differently if it was your own family member.'

"But the man shook his head. 'That will never happen.'"

Ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance is just ignorance.