Opinion: Inside a terrible world
WE ALL know drugs are a major scourge in our communities.
Well, actually for most of us we don't 'know' that is true, but we accept that it is. We read about it or see television reports. It features in lots of movies.
The police and other authorities warn us about drugs and their consequences.
Most of us don't actually get to see inside the drug world. We might get affected by it in some ways - as victims if break-ins, finding drug-related items in the street - but largely we are insulated from its worst effects.
Today, Patrick Smith has taken us inside that world.
Unlike what is sometimes portrayed in movies and television, there is no glamour in the world where Patrick has lived.
It is a world of desperation, violence and trying to get from one score to the next.
By publishing Patrick's story we are not trying to glamorise what he has done - he has lived an ugly, criminal life - but the fact Patrick is willing to give an unvarnished account of the way drugs have ruined his life provides a rare chance to see inside a world that is part of the communities in which we live.