NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The devastating impact of Sandy is still being felt by those who turned to drugs after the storm hit.
Ken Brown, 53, of Far Rockaway, was among those in drug treatment who fell back into old habits when Superstorm Sandy hit on Oct. 29, 2012.
“The telephones were out, there was no television, there was nothing,” Brown said.
He was depressed and unable to get needed supplies and food or reach treatment counselors, but he said drug dealers were plentiful.
“They were like the mailman. They came to you, they made their money. Rain, snow, sleet — it didn’t matter,” said Brown. “They knocked on your door, ‘Hey, you need something?’ So the drug dealers were the biggest entrepreneurs out there at that particular time.”
Former cocaine addict Mary Washington, 59, of Far Rockaway, also turned back to drugs after Sandy hit.
“All I wanted to do was get high so I could forget it,” Washington said. “Sandy was really bad. It changed our way of life.”
Both are back in recovery at the Far Rockaway Treatment Center.
They said surviving Sandy has made them stronger and both are looking toward the future.
“I’m always going to be an addict, but I’m a recovering addict. I’ve been clean for almost a year, and I’m grateful to be here,” Brown said.
“I come to my program every day, I’m taking care of myself, and I’m getting better,” Washington said. “In every way, I’m doing great.”