A Walk Down Misery Street

What is the meaning behind this title? I first heard this name from a patient; he was a gifted poet, and one of his poems about drug addiction was called “Misery Street”. Indeed, over time, working in the field I began to imagine drug addiction as a symbolic street—a long and winding road. Such a street exists in any city, village, or populated area. You can find yourself on this street via various paths, each taking their own. One person might find themselves there due to a hereditary, genetic predisposition to alcohol and drugs, while another came there under peer pressure, and someone else, out of curiosity. Of course, no one was going to linger on this street for long. For the first time in life, when raising a glass of wine or smoking the first blunt, no one does it to become a drug addict or an alcoholic. No one believed that it would happen to them. “It could happen to anyone else but not with me.” O, ye. Some lucky ones, having been on this street for a while, sooner or later managed to get off, while others stayed there forever.

This book was practically finished when the Covid 19 epidemic suddenly exploded. Due to this epidemic, a lot is changing around us and inside of us. However, I decided not to include this period of the pandemic in my book, although I have already accumulated a lot of invaluable material. Without a doubt, after this pandemic completely passes, many of us will be re-evaluating our views on life and death, our values, and our relationships with others. But this experience will still require comprehension. All of this is still ahead.

And lastly, I would like to express my deepest gratitude and appreciation to the teachers of the Outreach Training Institute, the professors of Fordham University, the colleagues with whom I have worked in various clinics and hospitals of New York, as well as all my patients. Without YOU this book would not have seen the light of day.

To protect and maintain the privacy of all patients and clinicians, 

names, places, and locations have been changed.