In June of this year I lost my boyfriend/fiancé to a heroin overdose. He was only 26 years old and was a beautiful human being. He was an active member of his communities-- his passions included skateboarding, music, cooking, playing guitar, plants and horticulture, trucks, films-- and in his past, graffiti.
He was a lover and a pacifist. The joy he got out of making people laugh was one of his greatest, and he would do whatever it took to get a smile and chuckle out of whoever he was with. He was a loving partner, a dependable friend, a caring son and brother, and an inspiration to those struggling with addiction.
While he himself was battling a brutal opiate addiction, that didn’t stop him from cheering others on in their sobriety-- or giving counsel to those who wanted to get well.
Being with him moved me and opened my eyes to the challenges people with addiction face. One of those challenges being constantly stigmatized. He was the first person I’d ever dated who had struggled with an opiate addiction, and he was sober when we met. I learned from him that he’d been battling depression most of his life as well. These two things seemed to go hand in hand to me. Often, people suffering from addiction are also depressed or anxious people. To me, using is a learned behavior in order to cope. Being someone who has battled with depression/high anxiety for most of my life, I could see the appeal of escaping with substances.
Our second store, DNO Downtown, is now open at the Ace Hotel New Orleans alongside other Ace attachments Stumptown Coffee Roasters, FRIEND, and Freda. It's a showroom for new products, collaborations, words, and ideas -- a place where interactions with friends and neighbors can come to life. It is the physical embodiment of our credo, Dedicated to New Orleans.
DNO Downtown 600 Carondelet St. New Orleans, LA 70130 Open 11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. daily