When I say addict I mean an addict to junk -- generic term for opium and/or derivatives including all synthetics from demerol to palfium. I have used junk in many forms: morphine, heroin, delaudid, eukodal, pantopon, diocodid, diosane, opium, demerol, dolophine, palfium. I have smoked junk, eaten it, sniffed it, injected it in vein-skin-muscle, inserted it in rectal suppositories. The needle is not important. Whether you sniff it smoke it eat it or shove it up your ass the result is the same: addiction.
When I speak of drug addiction I do not refer to keif, marijuana or any preparation of hashish, mescaline, Bannisteria Caapi, LSD6, Sacred Mushrooms or any other drugs of the hallucinogen group. . . . There is no evidence that the use of any hallucinogen results in physical dependence. The action of these drugs is physiologically opposite to the action of junk. A lamentable confusion between the two classes of drugs has arisen owing to the zeal of the U.S. and other narcotic departments.
I have seen the exact manner in which the junk virus operates through fifteen years of addiction. The pyramid of junk, one level eating the level below (it is no accident that junk higher-ups are always fat and the addict in the street is always thin) right up to the top or tops since there are many junk pyramids feeding on peoples of the world and all built on basic principles of monopoly:
1 Never give anything away for nothing.
2 Never give more than you have to give (always catch the buyer hungry and always make him wait).
3 Always take everything back if you possibly can.
The Pusher always gets it all back. The addict needs more and more junk to maintain a human form . . . buy off the Monkey.
Junk is the mold of monopoly and possession. The addict stands by while his junk legs carry him straight in on the junk beam to relapse. Junk is quantitative and accurately measurable. The more junk you use the less you have and the more you have the more you use. All the hallucinogen drugs are considered sacred by those who use them--there are Peyote Cults and Bannisteria Cults, Hashish Cults and Mushroom Cults -- "the Scared Mushrooms of Mexico enable a man to see God" -- but no on ever suggested that junk is sacred. There are no opium cults. Opium is profane and quantitative like money. I have heard that there was once a benefication-habit-forming junk in India. It was called soma and is pictured as a beautiful blue tide. If soma ever existed the Pusher was there to bottle it and monopolize it and sell it and it turned into plain old time JUNK.
Junk is the ideal product . . . the ultimate merchandise. No sales talk necessary. The client will crawl through a sewer and beg to buy. . . . The junk merchant does not sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to his product. He does not improve and simplify his merchandise. He degrades and simplifies the client. He pays his staff in junk.
Junk yields a basic formula of "evil" virus: "The Algebra of Need". The face of "evil" is always the face of total need. A dope fiend is a man in total need of dope. Beyond a certain frequency need knows absolutely no limit or control. In the words of total need: "'Wouldn't you'?" Yes you would. You would lie, cheat, inform on your friends, steal, do 'anything' to satisfy total need. Because you would be in a state of total sickness, total possession, and not in a position to act in any other way.
Dope fiends are sick people who cannot act other than they do. A rabid dog cannot choose but bite. Assuming a self-righteous position is nothing to the purpose unless your purpose be to keep the junk virus in operation. And junk in a big industry. I recall talking to an American who worked for the Aftosa Commission in Mexico. Six hundred a month plus expense account: "How long will the epidemic last?" I enquired. "As long as we can keep it going. . . . And yes . . . maybe the aftosa will break out in South America," he said dreamily.
If you wish to alter or annihilate a pyramid of numbers in a serial relation, you alter or remove the bottom number. If we wish to annihilate the junk pyramid, we must start with the bottom of the pyramid: 'the Addict in the Street', and stop tilting quixotically for the "higher ups" so called, all of whom are immediately replaceable. "The addict in the street who must have junk to live is the one irreplaceable factor in the junk equation". When there are no more addicts to buy junk there will be no junk traffic. As long as junk need exists, someone will service it.
Addicts can be cured or quarantined -- that is, allowed a morphine ration under minimal supervision like typhoid carriers. When this is done, junk pyramids of the world will collapse. So far as I know, England is the only country to apply this method to the junk problem. They have about five hundred quarantined addicts in the U.K. In another generation when the quarantined addicts die off and pain killers operating on a non-junk principle are discovered, the junk virus will be like smallpox, a closed chapter -- a medical curiosity.
The vaccine that can relegate the junk virus to a land-locked past is in existence. This vaccine is the Apomorphine Treatment discovered by an English doctor whose name I must withhold pending his permission to use it and to quote from his book covering thirty years of apomorphine treatment of addicts and alcoholics . . .
I found this vaccine at the end of the junk line. I lived in one room in the Native Quarter of Tangier. I had not taken a bath in a year nor changed my clothes or removed them except to stick a needle every hour in the fibrous grey wooden flesh of terminal addiction. I never cleaned or dusted the room. Empty ampule boxes and garbage piled up to the ceiling. Light and water long since turned off for non-payment. I did absolutely nothing. I could look at the end of my shoe for eight hours.
I was only roused to action when the hourglass of junk ran out. If a friend came to visit -- and they rarely did since who or what was left to visit -- I sat there not caring that he had entered my field of vision -- a grey screen always blanker and fainter -- and not caring when he walked out of it. If he had died on the spot I would have sat there looking at my shoe waiting to go through his pockets. Wouldn't you?
Because I never had enough junk -- no one ever does. Thirty grains of morphine a day and it still was not enough. And long waits in front of the drugstore. Delay is a rule in the junk business. The Man is never on time. This is no accident. There are no accidents in the junk world. The addict is taught again and again exactly what will happen if he does not score for his junk ration. Get up that money or else. And suddenly my habit began to jump and jump. Forty, sixty grains a day. And it still was not enough. And I could not pay.
William S. Burroughs *[ Naked Lunch