Norman Moore knows what it's like to live a lie. He did it for seven years. He was working as a mental health aide at the D.C. jail, monitoring about 80 pretrial inmates with drug habits or other behavioral problems. But from 1980 to 1987, Moore himself was a heroin addict.

In the early years, when he worked alone and had no supervisor on-site, he had no trouble hiding his addiction. As his habit grew worse, however, he couldn't hide the physical symptoms that revealed themselves whenever his body needed another hit: watery eyes, runny nose, flushed face.

On many days, after the inmates were locked in their cells for the 12:30 p.m. head count, Moore would slip away on his lunch hour for a desperate run to one of the city's open-air drug markets.

Some inmates, experienced in the ways of drug addicts, suspected the truth.

"Mr. Moore, you ever done drugs?" an inmate asked him one day in 1984. Moore froze, panicking momentarily. "No," he replied as nonchalantly as he could. "Why do you ask?"

The inmate looked at him in disbelief and then shook his head knowingly. "Nothing," the inmate said. "Just wondering."

Norman Moore's addiction was not unusual at the D.C. jail, where drug abuse among the work force is a persistent problem. What was unusual is that three of Norman Moore's colleagues -- who, like him, were employees of the Department of Human Services rather than the Department of Corrections -- eventually recognized his problem and tried to do something about it.

Over a two-year period in 1985 and 1986, they confronted him not once, but twice. They scared Moore enough that he decided to seek treatment on his own, only to go back to using drugs later. When his supervisor, Batie Thomas, tried to check on his progress, Moore pretended that he was clean.

The lie consumed Moore's life, embarrassed him, shamed him. Three times he went into treatment; three times he went back to heroin. He split up with his wife, who had introduced him to heroin, and moved in with a former inmate he had met at the jail. They shot up together.

By early 1987, he was a wreck. He was missing work two or three times a week and dealing drugs to pay for his habit, which had grown to $160 a day. He lived in fear of getting caught. "The jumpouts scared me a few times," he said, referring to a special police squad that fights street-level drug dealing. "They didn't catch nothing on me. One time I did have some cocaine in my pocket, but they missed it."

The thought of being arrested and jailed horrified him. He knew what would happen once he arrived at the jail: He would have to take his clothes off and submit to a search, just like every other prisoner. He would have to don the same orange jumpsuit worn by all prisoners awaiting trial. He would be taken to a cell, perhaps in the same cellblock where he had led inmate rap sessions about drug abuse. Soon, everyone at the jail would know that Norman Moore had crossed the line.

Moore, now 43 and drug-free, agreed to tell the story of his drug addiction to show others that it is possible to rebuild a broken life. He is working as a drug abuse counselor and employment specialist at the St. Vincent DePaul Day Resource Center on Massachusetts Avenue NW, which provides services to the homeless. The center hired him in October 1988, a few months after his fourth run at treatment. "I feel extremely good about myself right now," he said in one of several interviews.

He says now that he was lucky to work with people who were willing to take a risk, to confront him, to ignore the "code of silence" that is an accepted fact of life among many correctional officers, to act in spite of restrictive personnel and privacy laws that have made supervisors throughout the District government so wary about dealing directly with employees suspected of drug abuse.

Nonetheless, Moore continued to use heroin for more than two years after he first went into treatment -- a powerful indicator, he says, of the tenacity of drug addiction.

"Norman was very good at hiding it," said Maggie Magil, a psychiatric social worker at the jail from 1981 to 1988. "I didn't know it for years."'I Liked the Feeling!'

Moore has no trouble remembering the exact moment he was introduced to heroin: Sept. 20, 1980, his wedding day. He and his new wife were in the back seat of a friend's car, on their way to the wedding reception, when she pulled a tinfoil package of heroin out of her purse. Using a thin straw, she snorted the powder into her nostrils. Moore had a snort too. "No, I wasn't shocked," said Moore, who was 34 at the time. "I was curious. I wanted to try. I was game for anything . . . I was totally naive."

Drug use hadn't been a major factor in his life before that. He had smoked marijuana occasionally after dropping out of high school in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and joining the Army in 1964, but had avoided any contact with stronger drugs while earning a high school equivalency degree and working as a correctional officer at a maximum-security prison in New York state in the early 1970s.

He moved to Washington in 1976 and found a job with the D.C. Department of Human Services's pretrial psychiatric program. In 1979, when the D.C. jail converted cellblock South-3 into a mental health unit for inmates with emotional and psychological problems, he began working there four hours a day as well.

Moore, who had no training as a therapist or social worker, was part observer, part counselor: He did evaluations, monitored inmates taking medication for psychological problems and met with those who wanted to talk. He sent frequent reports to the jail's part-time psychiatrist.

It was a new program, and Moore was one of only two staff members for the first three years. Even after he was assigned there, he continued to report to a supervisor in another building; the other staff member worked on his own. Moore "didn't really have any close supervision," Magil said.

On the staff elevator at the jail one day in 1980, Moore met a clerk from the records office. When they decided to get married a few months later, Moore did not know that she was a longtime heroin user. Nearly every night during the first few months of their marriage, she left suddenly for 30 minutes to an hour. When she came back, Moore said, "she'd look totally mellow." (His ex-wife, who also was interviewed, provided some information for this article but asked that her name be withheld.)

At first, Moore didn't participate. Then, about six months after the wedding, they went to a friend's house where Moore saw for the first time how addicts inject heroin. "I watched them cook it," he said. "I told them I wanted to try."

His wife's friend tried to talk him out of it, but Moore insisted. "I wanted to know the feeling," Moore recalled. "He hit me. Five minutes later, I was weak, but I felt good. I walked outside to get a little air and then suddenly I started throwing up. I couldn't stop. The dope was good and it was powerful. The more I threw up, the higher I got. I liked the feeling! I said, 'Tomorrow, we're going to do this again.' "Living for That Next Hit

Moore did inject heroin the next day -- and for 44 days in a row after that. He bought $40 "billies," about a quarter-teaspoon of heroin, and injected himself as soon as he got off work at the jail. Other addicts warned him that he was headed for addiction, but Moore refused to believe it. "Not me," he remembers thinking.

On the 45th day, he didn't have enough money for a billy. His body then told him what his mind tried to hide. "I was throwing up. I had cramps in my stomach. I tried to lay down. I told myself, 'This must be what they're talking about.' "

Together, he and his wife earned more than $40,000 a year, depending on how much overtime pay Moore was earning, and nearly all of it was going for heroin. In 1981, they moved to a one-bedroom, $275-a-month apartment near 20th Street and Rhode Island Avenue NE; one night in 1984, without giving notice to their landlord, they moved out under cover of darkness. They owed about $1,000 in back rent.

Their new home was a single room in a house in the 3000 block of Nelson Place SE, near Fort Dupont Park. It was simply furnished: a bed and a black-and-white television. They had given away all the trappings of a normal household; they lived mostly for their next hit of heroin.

At work, however, everything seemed normal. Moore had been hiding his addiction nearly three years. Occasionally, he called in sick for several days when he was too strung out to work. But he didn't think his co-workers suspected the reason -- until Batie Thomas became his first on-site supervisor in the fall of 1984.

Thomas, who had previously worked with drug addicts in a methadone maintenance program, was too sophisticated to fool. "I knew I couldn't hide it from this woman," Moore said. "I used to go home many a night thinking, 'What is going to be with me and Batie tomorrow?' "

But Thomas wasn't the only one who noticed his erratic behavior, his watery eyes and sniffly nose. A concerned co-worker in cellblock South-3 talked confidentially to a social worker at the jail, Carlton Springer, and asked Springer if he could help Moore. One day in November 1984, Springer called Moore into his office.

"Do you mess with drugs?" Springer said.

Moore, frightened, denied it. But he wondered how many others knew. Later that month, without telling his superiors, Moore entered a methadone treatment program at a Veterans Administration clinic on Georgia Avenue NW. "I would slip off the job and go every morning," he said.

His VA counselor, Al Wood, refused to go along with Moore's deception. In early 1985, Wood called Batie Thomas.

Thomas was supportive. Moore was certain that she would not spread the word about his addiction. He stayed on methadone through April 1985, and then went to a detoxification center in Richmond to try and kick the habit for good.

When Moore came back to Washington two months later, his life had changed. His wife had moved out and he began living with a former inmate. He pushed her into using heroin with him. Why did he start injecting again? "I wanted to get high one more time," Moore said. "I hadn't learned yet . . . . I actually thought that one more time would be all right."Hitting Rock Bottom

It wasn't all right. At work, he was back to living a lie, this time pretending that he had kicked the habit; on the street, he was back to selling heroin billies -- "juggling," in drug parlance -- to make enough money to finance his habit. He bought billies for $20 and sold them for $25.

Exhausted, broke and scared, Moore entered another treatment program in November 1986, this time an inpatient program at the Psychiatric Institute in Northwest Washington. His health maintenance organization paid the cost. But he wasn't serious about breaking his addiction. "I just wanted to get off the streets for a couple of weeks, eat and get some rest," he said. One day near the nurses' station, he spotted a co-worker, Diane Ward. "We looked at each other, but neither one of us spoke," Moore said.

Within a few weeks, he was juggling again. He was missing work frequently now, often without calling in sick. One day, he realized just how absurd his deception was.

He was selling $25 billies near Ninth and M streets NW, a notorious open-air market, when a car with three co-workers pulled up. They were looking for him, trying to help him. One was Maggie Magil, who worked with him in cellblock South-3. He avoided them, fearing for his safety and theirs.

Finally, in June 1987, he could carry on the charade no longer. He quit his job at the jail; his addiction had won.

He had $9,500 in pension funds. The check arrived on Oct. 7; by Nov. 4, he had spent it. "Every dime of it was gone into heroin," Moore said. "I shot it all up. It all went into dope. Every day I was buying 10-packs" -- 10 packages of $40 billies.

After the money ran out, he had nothing left -- no job, no family, no home. "I went to the Central Union Mission, 14th and R streets Northwest," he said. "Tried to cry, but the tears wouldn't come out . . . . Said I was going to kick the drugs right there. I'm already at the bottom."

The mission allowed him to stay for two months. He worked in the showers at night, handing out soap. A social worker at the mission made arrangements for him to talk with the people at McKenna House, a center run by Jesuit priests that helps homeless men return to the work force. Slowly, he rebuilt his life: He had to find housing, find a job, get credit. It wasn't easy for someone with a spotty track record.

He's grateful that the St. Vincent DePaul Center, where he works now helping other homeless men, gave him a chance. "I want to keep busy," he said. "This is my way of giving something back."

On May 3, Washington Post reporter Leon Dash interviewed David D. Roach, administrator of the D.C. jail, and Roach's predecessors, William M. Plaut and Bernard L. Braxton. On May 13, Dash interviewed Walter B. Ridley, director of the Department of Corrections; Ridley's predecessor, Hallem H. Williams Jr.; and Benny O. Hodges, associate director for administration. Some of their comments have been included in previous articles in this series. Here are additional excerpts of their remarks: EXTENT OF OFFICERS' DRUG USE

PLAUT: There is a drug problem, but I would doubt if it's more serious than other government agencies are having, be they District or federal government agencies . . . . Whether the drug problem at the D.C. jail is more severe, more critical than anywhere else, I am not prepared to acknowledge. I'm really not. The jail is a very, very big institution. It's got over 650 employees. Of that, in and of itself, if you look at percentages, if it's an equal percentage of employees involved in drug use, there'll be many more people at the D.C. jail because it's the most staff intensive facility in the Department of Corrections. So it may appear to be larger than other facilities.

BRAXTON: If the trend says that 3 percent of the people who work in this area are on drugs, then it would be the same for the jail.

ROACH: Most employees in the Department of Corrections are very loyal, dedicated, hard-working people. IMPACT ON JAIL OPERATIONS RIDLEY:

I think the jail operates very, very well considering the mission. If you had {a large} addictive population over there, I mean you would have chaos and confusion every day, 24 hours a day. I think you have a superb staff, 90 percent of whom are not addicted to any kind of substance . . . . I don't deny that there are some people over there with addiction and those are being addressed, counter to what people are saying, by both management and, I understand, labor.

ROACH: I think we go off on a tangent of being overly compassionate and concerned about employees who willfully violate rules and regulations . . . . If drug abuse is involved, that's a willful and conscious precision. One, to abuse the drug, and two, to violate existing procedures. RECOGNIZING DRUG ABUSE

RIDLEY: I think managers perform admirably in identifying and recognizing staff who are encountering problems and assist them in identifying those problems.

BRAXTON: For me, I'd say my training was sufficient. To be candid, it's a lot easier to detect a person who is a {drug} abuser than it is to detect one that's abusing alcohol. An alcoholic can work every day. Crack and cocaine addicts are too busy chasing the next high. So, it's almost obvious . . . .

PLAUT: When I was {administrator} at the jail, I took my assistant administrator for operations, my major and all three of my shift captains. Brought them in on their own time, as a matter of fact, because I wouldn't pay them overtime, and made them go visit Seneca House and three other clinics . . . . It really opened their eyes. They had never been in a drug treatment facility before. They didn't know the symptoms of drug abuse. I thought it was one of the greatest things I did while I was at the D.C. jail. Did it help any? I don't know.LEGAL CONSTRAINTS

WILLIAMS: The personnel rules are such that unless you could tie drug use to on-duty conduct, there is really no ground for dismissal on the basis of drug use.

BRAXTON: Until recently, {D.C. personnel rules} did not permit terminating a person for a misdemeanor conviction . . . . In the past six years, we've probably, for whatever reason, recommended termination on employees for just being arrested alone and they may have been removed. But case by case, it was overturned and brought back on board because we fired them illegally or whatever.

{On March 24, the D.C. Council passed a law that allows the Department of Corrections to fire employees who are convicted of misdemeanors. The measure was prompted by the case of an off-duty correctional officer who was fired for assaulting a former inmate in an argument over a $20 heroin deal in 1983. The officer appealed the firing and won reinstatement because the conviction was a misdemeanor. The new law will be implemented after the council approves regulations now being drafted.} CHANGING THE SYSTEM

PLAUT: The department is in the process of streamlining the system, whereby administrators of {each prison} are going to have the authority to fire people. Right now, that authority is laid at the desk of the director {of the Department of Corrections} and no one below the director. That authority, within the coming months if it is approved, is going to be delegated all the way down past the deputy director, past the associate director, to the facility administrator . . . . When the system is streamlined, and that should be accomplished in the next six months, I think you're going to see a big change . . . .

We've {also} got an expanded employee assistance program {to help drug abusers} and a {new} wellness program. The wellness program is going to address staff wellness, whether it's recreation or morale projects or drug abuse. I would guess, in the past, these are areas that we did not pay close enough attention to, but in the last 11 months, since the reorganization of the department, some very, very major strides have been taken in this area to address employee problems.

RIDLEY: I think Mr. Hodges and his staff have begun to put in place the various methods and techniques for identifying and, if necessary, for removing those employees who are contaminated and are contaminating others. But it is not an easy process.

HODGES: We are going to develop a comprehensive drug testing approach for staff. What I'm doing {now} is research. I'm not going to go off half-cocked. There is no sense in starting something and then have to back off.

ROACH: I think we have to go back to the city council, to the mayor, and say, "Here is the problem. Here is what we need the law to say." DAVID D. ROACH,

42, administrator of the jail since June 18, 1989. His ties to the jail go back to July 1972, when he was hired as a correctional officer at the old D.C. jail. In 1982, he was promoted to captain and transferred to Maximum Security at Lorton. Quickly promoted to major, he served in several key roles at Lorton prisons, and then in April 1987 became acting administrator of Occoquan, which he headed for two years.WILLIAM M. PLAUT,

43, administrator of the jail from Sept. 13, 1987, until June 17, 1989. Trained in business and public administration, he has made a career on the administrative side. He joined the department in 1970 as a personnel aide, served as a top executive aide at Lorton's Central Facility and then was assistant administrator at Lorton's Maximum Security Facility from 1979 to 1987. He is now associate director for institutions based at Lorton.BERNARD L. BRAXTON,

43, acting administrator and then administrator of the jail from October 1986 to Sept. 12, 1987. A 21-year veteran of the Department of Corrections, he worked at Lorton prisons until he was transferred to the jail in February 1984. He rose steadily through the ranks, making lieutenant in 1976, captain in 1978, major in 1980 and lieutenant colonel in 1984. He is now the administrator at Occoquan Facility at Lorton. WALTER B. RIDLEY,

46, acting director of Corrections since June 1989, director since March. His early career includes running a drug treatment program. He joined the Department of Corrections in 1975, first as assistant administrator for programs at Lorton's Youth Center II and later as administrator of a merged Youth Center I and II. In 1985, he became chairman of the Board of Parole and later was deputy director of Corrections.HALLEM H. WILLIAMS JR.,

41, director of Corrections from December 1986 to June 1989; now a consultant in private industry. A planner and policy analyst, he has worked on criminal justice issues for 20 years, inside and outside government. In 1974, he headed a project to set standards for D.C. criminal justice agencies. His term as director of Corrections was marked by severe crowding at Lorton and the jail, sparking judicial intervention.BENNY O. HODGES,

48, associate director for administration since last year, overseeing hiring and personnel policies. His career began in 1970 as a caseworker at Youth Center I. He became chief caseworker in 1973 and was promoted to assistant administrator of Maximum Security at Lorton in 1976. He was transferred to headquarters in 1982 as chief of special projects and then back to Lorton in 1986 as associate director for institutions.