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Jessica: Hunts Point, Bronx | by Chris Arnade
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Jessica: Hunts Point, Bronx

Jessica, 46, started using heroin and crack at age of 21, turned onto them by a drug dealer. She initially started sex work as an escort, but her addiction drove her to the streets. A "ghetto girl with an eduction," she earned her GED and bachelors during a seven year stretch of being clean. She relapsed three years ago.

 

When I asked her about her leg she told me, "I got into this johns car, he wanted me to suck him, but he couldn't get it up. He got all mad and threatened to shoot me. I ran from the car and he chased me down, driving into my hip." She spent one month in hospital, before heading back out into the streets.

 

"My addiction has made me lose my family, my dignity, good jobs, good relationships, and most of all my soul. I am a resilient addict, a sick person who needs to be well, not a bad person who needs to be good."

 

More on Addiction: Faces of Addiction

 

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Taken on May 20, 2012