"Drugs have become my wife."
Noah Gougher is a heroin addict living in New York City. Once a promising cook, his life now revolves around getting high.
Gougher talked to Investigative Reporter Lydia Hu about his addiction and attempts at recovery.
The Washington Heights Corner Project is one place Gougher finds an escape from the stigma, support and clean needles. It is one of 14 syringe exchange programs in New York City, which collectively distributed more than 4.1 million needles last year.
Without family support and with few friends, Gougher says he is reduced to shoplifting or selling food stamps for quick cash.
Gougher's prior attempts at using methadone, a medication that treats heroin addiction, were not successful. But a recent trip to the emergency room and a hospital stay for nearly two weeks provided Gougher counseling, methadone and a new perspective.
"I don’t have to use," he said. "Today, I have that choice."