6 different drug users, 6 different drugs but 1 common denominator.
THE SAME INDIVIDUALS is a novel that pops briefly into the lives of 6 residents of Dunfermline, Fife that have all been affected by drugs in some way. It allows the reader to see behind the ‘junky’ and catch a glimpse of the real person as they attend counselling sessions and decide whether to make changes to their lives or not.
The Same Individuals are:-
Egotistical and volatile LAWRENCE who has just woke up after being out partying the night before. Proclaiming himself the Party King, he works to live and ensures his flexi-time job in IT allows him to burn the candle at both ends. This morning however, he feels rougher than usual. Needing a ‘pick me up’ he goes to his hidden stash of cocaine, which he keeps concealed in a cut out Bible and takes a couple of lines just so he can get ready to go to work.
Stunning but arrogant ASHLEY, who is out with her 2 friends to celebrate her 21st birthday. All 3 girls look fabulous when they walk into the bar but when they are approached by a young guy selling drugs, Ashley’s ugly side is revealed. Sneering at him she tells him to take a hike. Deciding that Ashley needs to be taught a lesson the young dealer sneakily spikes her drink with an Ecstasy tablet.
Nervous, under confident TRACEY is a single mother of two young children, who constantly bicker as they get ready for school. Once they have left, Tracey cannot wait to take her Valium but feels wretched when she discovers that she been popping the pills like Smarties and does not have enough left to help her cope with her ever demanding life. Desperately she starts to buy them off the street.
With a history of care homes and foster parents, young, naïve PAMELA lies on the couch feeling and looking like death. She has not washed or changed clothes for 3 days and has soiled herself because she did not have the energy to make it to the toilet. Her pimp Frank turns up uninvited and makes himself at home as he prepares Heroin for injection, which he then pumps into Pamela’s arm.
MARK, who has low self esteem and works in a call centre, has difficulty with the stresses of his job. To combat this he uses cannabis, not seeing it as a problem but as a solution to his miserable existence. Whereas, RACHEL, his attractive, successful girlfriend resents his constant joint rolling and doubts if he loves her more than the dope.
Finally, and unbeknownst to the rest of the individuals, they all know NEIL, a reluctant poly drug user who had it all at one point, a promising football career, a loving family and a beautiful pregnant girlfriend. However, after a roller coaster life of ups and downs he now finds himself alone, with a pinned ankle and urine that would test positive for every drug on the spectrum. A chance sighting of his ex-girlfriend pushes Neil to make changes to his seedy lifestyle. It is only during Neil’s story that his involvement with the others is revealed although, even he does not realise the impact his life has had on everyone else.
As the different individuals retrace their lives through memories and counselling it may change the already formed opinions that some perhaps have of ‘junkies’ or people that take drugs. Throughout the book there is a positive message that with help, change is possible. At the same time however, it offers some understanding as to why, for some, it can be so hard to change and escape the drug using world.