Dori: Addicts show reporter how they use drugs at Seattle homeless camp

Oct 14, 2022, 6:43 PM
(Still image from Jonathan Choe's video)...
(Still image from Jonathan Choe's video)
(Still image from Jonathan Choe's video)

Equally gripping and disturbing, a new video taken near a Seattle homeless encampment shows two men in their 20s – including one, a self-described college graduate – mixing a combination of illegal street drugs before smoking it out in the open as a police cruiser drives by.

The interview, captured by street journalist and senior fellow with Discovery Institute’s Center Jonathan Choe, features the men willingly describing how to mix several drugs before smoking it because “as long as you’re high, everything is fine.”

Shot near an encampment that has been swept several times — but keeps popping back up — on SoDo’s Third Avenue near South Holgate and Utah streets, the five-minute video is heartbreaking, The Dori Monson Show told Choe.

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“They look so young,” Dori said. One of the men “sounds as if his brain is absolutely fried from the drugs.”

“100%,” Choe agreed. “That’s what’s so sad. He told me he was an engineering major.”

In the video, the men describe their recipe for cooking the mix before smoking it. After smoothing out a piece of crumpled foil, one adds a little blue fentanyl pill, a purer “feti powder” and “a little meth in there” before heating it to smoke it – right after doing “a line of coke” and taking Xanax with vodka.

After Choe asks the men if they’re worried about overdosing, one tells him, “No. We’ve got Narcan if we need it.” The other man told Choe he takes drugs to “numb the pain.”

Scenes like this are playing out “every single day at pretty much every single homeless encampment in this city,” Choe told Dori. The men told Choe they choose to live in SoDo because that is where they can find drugs and “where they would be left alone.”

The street journalist told Dori’s listeners that it’s “unfathomable we’re allowing this to continue.” When asked by Choe if they would like his help getting into a treatment clinic, “the vast majority are saying ‘no. I’m good out here.’ ”

“We need to offer them the option of treatment, mental health counseling – but one thing we cannot do is exactly what we are doing, which is allow them to slowly or sometimes quickly kill themselves out on the street,” Dori argued. “We cannot – as a society with a heart and soul – believe that this is the best way to deal with the problem.”

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Meanwhile, Dori continued, Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell asked for $14 million more to provide broader “outreach” to 403 encampment sites in the city in 2023. Nearly $33.1 million was budgeted for this team this year.

“Until we make drugs illegal, nothing is going to solve the homelessness problem,” Dori added. “We can spend billions of dollars – but if everybody in the country knows you can come here, commit crimes every single day, and if you get caught, you won’t be punished and then you can buy drugs every single day – we can spend billions on housing, but it’s never going to get better.”

It’s precisely what Choe says he’s “seeing every single day on the street and the video doesn’t lie.”

Choe’s ongoing coverage of these and other related issues can be found on Fix Homelessness’ website.

Listen to Dori Monson weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Dori: Addicts show reporter how they use drugs at Seattle homeless camp