A Letter to My Sister
By Betsy Querna Cliff
I remember when you told us. “I think I’m an alcoholic,” your email said. You were in college, studying abroad and scared. I was thousands of miles from you, in graduate school. I had, that night, been working in the school’s computer lab, only a few weeks away from earning a master’s degree and enamored with a new boyfriend, new job and new life. With that email, I wondered if it was all about to come crashing down.
I work on what is commonly called “methadone mile.” It’s also been referred to as “ground zero” for the opiate addiction in Boston. I’ve heard those who are commonly seen walking around the area referred to as “zombies” or the “walking dead,” and even worse, as I’m sure you can imagine.
There are two methadone clinics, two shelters, a detox, and we (PAATHS) are in the same building as the needle exchange, in the immediate area.