A day in the life of Robert Carpenter, a 32 year-old heroin addict on the streets of Rochester, New York.
Carp became addicted to heroin when his prescription for opiate painkillers was not renewed. At $8 a bag, he injects himself with heroin multiple times each day, often in the morning to clear himself and at night before going to sleep. His addiction has led him to both inpatient and outpatient rehab clinics and multiple arrests for crimes committed to support his habit. Carp also uses illicit medications to get high. Prescription drugs were linked to an estimated 37,485 deaths in the United States in 2009, which exceeded the number of automobile accident fatalities by more than 1,200. Even fewer - 31,336 people - died in gun-related incidents that same year, of which roughly one third were suicides. The CDC named prescription drugs as a national epidemic in November of 2011.