The Wire and Inner-City Heroin Use

heroinIf you were watching programs on HBO between 2002 and 2008, you may have come across a show called “The Wire.” It is often considered to be one of the greatest television dramas of all time. If you have never seen it, you may be wondering what the show has to do with addiction recovery. The show centers around the City of Baltimore’s fight against the heroin trade, covering the many facets of inner-city drug problems. The highly acclaimed show won several awards season after season.

One the main characters of the show is Reginald Cousins (played by actor Andre Royo), affectionately called “Bubbles” by those who knew him. Bubbles was heroin addict, who like most addicts, would do whatever it took to support his addiction. Throughout the course of the show you are given a firsthand look at the life of an addict, the daily struggle that countless people deal with every day of the year. What’s more, you can watch Bubble’s transformation, as he begins the road to recovery. With the help of his Narcotics Anonymous sponsor named Waylon (played by musician Steve Earle), Bubbles manages to acquire over a year of clean time before the series ends.

“The Wire,” and many of the shows characters was inspired by a real drug kingpin named Nathan Barksdale, who went by the nickname “Bodie.” Barksdale passed away this week at the age of 54 while serving a four-year sentence in federal prison, The Baltimore Sun reports. In the 1980’s, Barksdale ran a notorious heroin dealing operation in the Murphy Homes public housing complex.

“In real life he was one of the most notorious and resilient gangster drug kingpins Baltimore has ever seen,” says Wood Harris, who played the character Avon Barksdale in “The Wire”. “He was a magnet for violence.”

While there isn’t any debate about the harm Barksdale caused, his life opened up the conversation about heroin addiction before the nation was even aware that we were at the beginning of an opioid epidemic that has claimed thousands of lives. Every day, 44 people lose their life because of an opioid overdose.

The journey of recovery can begin in many ways. Recovery can start with a simple conversation with a stranger, happening upon a book about someone’s story of recovery, taking a seat in a movie theater, viewing a classic movie on television or even becoming engaged with an ongoing television series. The magic can be ignited with the smallest spark. If you have questions about addiction and recovery, feel free to contact Synergy Group Services. “We’ve been there as a family, now let us help yours.”

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