BALTIMORE, MD, USA - MAY 19, 2011 :
Alex leans in for a kiss from her friend Twon as her friend Mary, who she dances with, struggles to find a vein. The three have rented the motel room in North Baltimore with the intention of spending the night doing drugs. Alex lives in a row house in a nice area of Baltimore, but her roommates have become increasingly wary of her drug use. They will eventually ask her to move out.
Heroin is a huge industry in Baltimore, as it is in many post-industrial towns and cities in the United States. It has seen a huge resurgence in popularity over the last decade, due in great measure to the availability of prescription opioids like oxycontin, which is often a gateway drug.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2002, 100 people per 100,000 were addicted to heroin but that number had doubled by 2013. Rates of addiction in the Northeastern United States have increased dramatically, only slightly outpaced by addiction rates in the Midwest, with the highest addiction increases being reported amongst 18-25-year-olds. The rate of heroin-related overdose deaths increased 286 percent between 2002 and 2013.
This photograph was unposed and undirected by the photographer.