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The Basketball Diaries

Leonardo DiCaprio, Lorraine Bracco, Marilyn Sokol, James Madio
Jim Carroll | heroin
Spoiler alert
Blog entry

From the autobiography of Jim Carroll of the same name the film dramatizes his early experiences with addiction.

Jim and his friends huff the fumes from solvent soaked rags on a ferry (0:04). He writes about huffing "carbonic cleaning fluid" (0:24).

Jim snorts cocaine (?) with a straw (0:29, 0:31).

Jim takes unidentified pills to get high (0:32).

Jim views the body of his dead friend Bobby in church (0:33).

His friends share a joint (0:34) while Jim grieves Bobby's death (0:35).

Jim's first experience using heroin (0:38). He describes developing addiction (0:41), withdrawal (0:44) and thoughts of stopping.

Jim snorts heroin (0:45). He talks about how he wants to stop but cannot (0:47).

In the locker room before a basketball game Jim  and his friends examine unidentified pills, wondering which are "uppers." Jim takes a black one (0:49); all three become intoxicated, unable to play (0:51).

At their home Jim's mother confronts him with his pill stash and kicks him out (0:56).

Mickey applies a tourniquet and injects himself in the back seat of a car the three friends have stolen to get money for drugs (0:58).

Jim injects himself in a "shooting gallery" (1:00). A junkie cooks heroin with a spoon and candle while Jim watches (1:02).

Scenes alternate between Jim with a needle and his mother praying for him; Jom nods (1:03).

Mickey dramatically pretends to shoot himself in the head with a pistol he steals from a store the three rob hoping to find money for drugs (1:06).

Reggie flushes Jim's drugs (1:15), forces Jim to withdraw in his friend's apartment (1:17) beginning one of the most graphic and extended scenes depicting heroin withdrawal I have seen in a film.

After tasting newly purchased heroin Jim announces to his friends that it is no good (1:26).

With obvious pain Jim's mother refuses to give him money or let him in the apartment (1:30). She calls police who arrest him. This appears to lead to a period of recovery. He talks about staying clean in prison even though he could easily obtain "junk" there (1:34).

After his release from prison Jim turns down heroin offered by his friend Pedro whom he encounters at a theater entrance (1:36). We see him, sitting enveloped in darkness, deliver a monologue about addicts, then the lights come up, revealing an audience (1:36).