“Those poor kids don’t stand a chance"

“Those poor kids don’t stand a chance.”

The words – spoken between two police officers – weren’t intended for my 10-year-old ears. But I heard them anyway.

As I sat in the front seat of a police car, I glanced into the backseat at my sobbing younger sisters, thinking about his words. My memories of childhood are hazy, perhaps my brain’s way of protecting me from things I’m better off forgetting, but a few memories stand out clearly.

Sitting in the backseat of my parent’s car while they heated heroin in a spoon and injected in the front seat.