Heroin Helper was started over three years ago with the mission to provide valuable information for heroin users. During the course of that time, it has grown a lot. I think it started with about 20 pages and now it has almost 200. Although we did no promotion of the site, it is now visited by between 100 and 200 people every day--each person reading six pages on average. And slowly but steadily, more readers contribute content and suggestions that make the site better.
So why the change? There are several reasons.
- The site lay-out was making the search engines almost ignore us. I don't mind great sites like Opioids.com beating us out. But a search for "heroin" on Google brings up Heroin Helper at Number 59! (Opioids.com comes up #27, whereas heroin.org comes up #3 even though it is a single page portal to opioids.com.) The bottom line: Heroin Helper has more information than any other site except opioids.com. I am going to see to it that people find the site.
- Gold and blue where were my high school colors (although I didn't graduate) and my Ph.D. colors. I'm sick to death of them.
- Some readers complained that they could not navigate the site easily. They thought it was a shame that the site had so much good content that was hidden. This was a valid point. The site was good if you were just browsing, but otherwise, it was a pain.
- The focus of the site has changed and that is what I want to discuss for the rest of this brief article.
Helping Loved Ones
Heroin Helper was originally a site for heroin users. The e-mail I receive indicates that the site actually serves two distinct groups: heroin users and the loved ones of heroin users. The site will still serve the needs of users--I am working on an article about cold shooting that any heroin user who injects should read. But I am going to be focusing half of the Heroin Helper resources on helping the non-using loved ones of heroin users. Doing so will help the users--perhaps more than by helping them directly.
In addition, I would like to help calm everyone's fears about heroin. It has been some time since I've been a junkie, but there are still people who watch my every move looking for indications of relapse. At family gatherings, I limit my trips to the bathroom and spend as little time inside as possible. Loved ones can push an ex-junkie back to using much more easily by trying to help than by just being apathetic.
"So Your Daughter's A Crack Whore?"
I've been thinking, "What if all these good intentions were put to some positive use? Would this make for a better a world? And if it would, how can those good intentions be used positively?" As a result, I've started work on a new book which I am tentatively calling So Your Daughter's A Crack Whore? Writing this should result in a small explosion of articles about this on the site.
But I won't forget the users
The structure of the site is much more straight-forward than it was before. I have discussed this at some length in the locate section on Heroin Helper. However, in brief, the site is structured as follows.
- my books
- The new site design emphasizes my work a little bit more than the old design; i make very little money off my books and Heroin Helper is a complete financial loss, so if you can help offset some of the costs, that would be great; if you're reading this site, you should probably own them anyway. To give you an idea of the importance of this, if you buy Little Book of Heroin from amazon, i make 62¢; if you buy it from me, i make about $3.00; but the price to you is the same.
- Politics and other matters that should make you mad if you think about them.
- Basic to advanced information about heroin and the opioids, covering chemistry, cultivation, history, law, pharmacology, and sociology. In addition, this section contains a detailed glossary of terms and a list of recommended books.
- Information for the non-using families and other loved ones of heroin users; Heroin Helper has a different take on this topic.
- Detox is part of a heroin addict's life, because even if he doesn't want to detox there will be times when he has no choice; this is mostly information on how to detox yourself with links to outside help.
- Heroin Helper has never claimed to be normal; this area has cartoons, comic strips, puzzles, and stories of junkie life; it also has biographies of famous heroin and opium addicts.
- If you can't find the information you're looking for, you have two powerful tools at your disposal: the site map that lays out the site in outline form, and the search engine that allows you to search for words in every article found on this site; i use both these tools myself.
- If all else fails you can contact of us via e-mail; this provides e-mail forms to reach dr. h, the editor, admin, and sales.
- Meta Site
- This is the non-heroin part of the site; it contains information about the running of the site, financial matters, technical issues and decisions, people, and all that jazz.