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Galeries_31296 © Galeries / Offset

I’ve been watching a lot of Drugs, Inc. lately. Equal parts terrifying and thought-provoking, the National Geographic show covers drug culture (gangs, drug cartels, addicts, cops, etc.) in cities across America. The episode on Portland’s heroin epidemic was especially disturbing as it profiles a dealer that is actively selling the drug to college kids. He gets them hooked and then, when they don’t have money left, turns them into dealers, selling heroin to their friends in exchange for the drug.

While the drug culture in each city varies, the stories of the heroin addict stays the same: start on prescription pills, become addicted, pills are expensive and hard to get, so move on to heroin because it’s cheaper and easier to get. Life then becomes a vicious cycle: Get up in the morning, hustle for $10, call your man, score, get high, repeat.

I came across this image the other day which would make the perfect public service announcement. It needs no words: it’s a universal picture of what being a junkie is like, when life as you know it steadily slips away and days consist of only the need to get high.

This photo and many others are available through Offset, a new curated collection of high-end commercial and editorial photography and illustration from award-winning artists around the world.

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