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Hooked on heroin, Zankie Albo is admitted to Synanon House, a rehabilitation center. Chuck Dederich, a recovering alcoholic, is in charge.Zankie is placed in the care of Joaney during his early, painful stages of drug withdrawal. She, too, is a rehabbing junkie, and any further mistake on her part could permanently cost her custody of her child.An attraction develops between Zankie and Joaney, resulting in jealousy from another man interested in her, Ben, a parolee and "graduate" of the center. Ben reports them to the center's officials after catching Zankie and Joaney in a romantic tryst. A patient who manages to get high on cough medicine is persuaded by Zankie to share it leading to a tragic end.Zankie while in a seedy motel room with Joaney shoots up heroin, which unbeknownst to him is bad. As he experiences a reaction to the drug, Joaney watches in horror; seconds later Zankie is dead from the overdose.