I spent nearly two years working at the clinic on Hunts Point Ave., in the neighborhood of the South Bronx where Chris Arnade takes portraits. Many of the faces—of people who would be labelled by some as addicts, prostitutes, pimps, dealers—are familiar to me. I knew them simply as patients. My relationship with Hunts Point, now, is terribly complicated. I no longer go there, but I remember it every single day. It has stayed with me. Despite that, I hope that those who remember coming to me at the clinic, remember being treated with respect, humility, and humanity, as we all always deserve.
Indeed a lot about addiction is ugly, but it does not mean an addict has abdicated every shred of their self-worth.