“Heroin in the Heartland” a @60Minutes Segment

November 1, 2015 / by armstrong

From time to time, we see a news story about how heroin is pervasive in a segment of society that the public wouldn’t expect. The stories talk about the fact that in former years, people believed heroin was a drug abused by the poor, by blacks, by anybody other than well-to-do or at least upper-middle-class white high school kids.

“Heroin in the Heartland,” a 60 Minutes segment broadcast on November 1, 2015, is relaying that same type of story.



Young people who would not be expected to be junkies are just that, and their families are struggling with how it could happen.

Readers of my novel, “White Sugar, Brown Sugar” are often shocked by my portrayal of heroin, and how it crossed the railroad tracks and the river, into the more affluent white neighborhoods in Florida in the late 60’s and early 70’s. They are shocked by my detailed description of shooting up, and all that goes with that, and of how kids like me didn’t believe that adults were telling us the truth when they talked of addiction and other dangers of drug abuse. It describes in great detail how the chemical makeup of an addict or alcoholic is different, how addicts and alcoholics develop a craving that is very, very difficult to overcome.

Cover Art

White Sugar, Brown Sugar

“White Sugar, Brown Sugar” takes the reader into the rooms of A.A. and N.A. meetings as well as other means of recovering. It shows how one can recover, but how recovery is a life-long process.

“White Sugar, Brown Sugar” is not a self-help book. It’s written as a fictional story. I do not recommend my historical novel to people who are currently abusing drugs or alcohol, or even those in early recovery.  But many people who have family member addicts or alcoholics have thanked me for showing the inner workings of the addict or alcoholic, and the intense struggle necessary to recover.

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