Anthony, who we recently met at the Eddy House a downtown Reno drop-in center for local youths on the streets, says he can’t stop using drugs even though he knows they are ruining his life. He says since he’s been homeless over the past year, his drug addiction has gotten worse and he wouldn’t wish his predicament on anyone else.
“I can't stop.... They have controlled me. I can't stop them. All of the drugs. Every drug you could think of. I do it. Not to say that drugs are cool, drugs are most definitely bad stay away from drugs don't do them at all. They mess up your life. Don't do it. Don't do it… It only gets worse and worse.”
Missing School and His Parents
Anthony says he misses school. He says he loved science and would one day like to study chemistry if he could. He says he loves his parents, but that they separated, his mom got remarried, and his family situation just stressed him out, leading to his drug addiction.
"As soon as I found out that there were drugs to do, I started doing them,” he said. “I have tried to seek help to overcome the addiction but I guess it's just more on me than the help I get because even the help I get is like a slap in the face type shit. And honestly, it's for the birds. I rather just die …. That's just me….”
Harrowing Experiences at the Shelter and on the Streets
He has been spending some nights at the shelter, but describes it in harrowing terms.
“It’s a hell of a place. We've got a lot going on there ... Veterans, people pooping, pissing everywhere. We got a lot of crazy people. So yeah. That's interesting and very sad.”
Out on the streets, he says a lot of other homeless pretend they are crazy even if he doesn’t think they really are. “There's just this gut instinct feeling that lets me know they're not crazy but they act like they're crazy. But they're not crazy. They just make like weird voices and they act like they're not talking to me…”
Respect for Everyone and Respite at the Eddy House
“You should treat everybody with respect no matter how they look. You know you never know what they carry, what knowledge they have …. And it's just you know what comes around goes back around. It's better to be a better person,” Anthony said.
Some of his only refuge is listening to music, including reggae, dubstep and hip hop.
He tries to spend weekdays at the Eddy House, where it feels safer. “I wake up, I come to the Eddy House, I shower, go to sleep for a little bit. Then I go back to the shelter and I repeat that. But I'm trying to get it together….I don't want to be a problem back home. I don't want to cause any more problems. My only regret is just being alive. I'm one of those people that feel like I'm not supposed to be here at all. It just it is what it is.”
Reporting by Prince Nesta for Our Town Reno