On the forty-second page of “Cop in the Hood: My Year Policing Baltimore's Eastern District” author Peter Moskos wrote (emphasis added):
which abounds in the Eastern District. The word "dirty" is used to describe the figurative filth of a drug addit. It is, in the drug-related sense, the opposite of being clean. Addicts also refer to "getting cleaned up," as in "I've been clean for one week." Still, drug users and the police use the idea of dirty in slightly different ways. Addicts consider themselves dirty or clean depending on whether or not they have drugs on them. If stopped by police, addicts hustling to get money for drugs may protest that they are not dirty. Police refer to anybody who is or will be involved with drugs or anything drug-related as dirty.
The damage from hardcore addiction is self-evident, even to an only slightly trained eye. Many addicts ahve blemished and damaged skin, an awkward gait, missing teeth, a thin physique, and, while high on heroin, a gravity-defying ability to lean and sway without falling down. I often visited a local Laundromat owner sho sits behind Plexiglas and, for fear of robery, opened at 7 AM and closed at 2 PM. He described a heroin addict who did small odd jobs for him: "Frank was gone for thirteen months. Locked up. When he came back, things were different but then [simulates repeated injection with his finger into his arm]... He used to do good work. Plumbing, carpentry, electrical. He was making $18 an hour doing, what's it called? With brick. Laying bricks. And now he can't even clean windows." The owner kindly continued to offer Frank odd jobs until the addict burglarized the store for $300 in quarters. In the following days, the bar across the street was inundated with people using change for their liquor purchases.
"How could anyone start taking drugs here?" one police officer wondered. "All you go to do is look around to see