Inside the secret lives of functioning heroin addicts

Updated 4:19 AM ET, Tue February 27, 2018

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Story highlights

  • Functioning heroin addicts are peers, neighbors and co-workers
  • They fool their families and friends, managing fixes to avoid withdrawal
  • What works now, however, will not last and may kill them, experts say

(CNN)They're not slumped over in alleyways with used needles by their sides. Their dignity, at least from outside appearances, remains intact. They haven't lost everything while chasing an insatiable high.

They are functioning heroin addicts -- people who hold down jobs, pay the bills and fool their families.
For some, addiction is