How addiction isn’t just an individual’s journey
Dr Lee Cheng
PanelistSenior Consultant Psychiatrist, Institute of Mental Health (IMH), Singapore
PanelistSenior Counsellor, TOUCH Youth Intervention
Andrew de Roza
Children of Las Vegas
“People come to Vegas to blow off steam and then go. But I’m stuck here. When I see the city lights I think of all the parts they don’t shine on. I feel like I’m living there, in those parts. The shadows pull you under. There’s so much between me and the lights.”
Las Vegas is a much regarded city, a global celebrity for its glitter and splash, and its offer of fulfilling all your desires without any repercussions. But what happens to the people who have to grow up there?
Award-winning author Timothy O’Grady lived and taught in Las Vegas for two years, and in a class he was teaching, his students began to speak of what it was like to grow up in the world’s playground. They spoke of being robbed by their parents, routinely losing their homes and raising themselves while their parents pursued the addictions serviced by the city. There were overdoses, desert shoot-outs, suicides, all before high school was over.
Children of Las Vegas is a collection of ten of their stories, interspersed with short essays about the city by Timothy, and portraits by highly acclaimed photographer Steve Pyke.
There are horror stories in every city, but these things were not just happening in Las Vegas, but because of it.