WHEATON, MD, USA - DEC 07, 2011 :
Alex sits in a correctional facility in Wheaton, Maryland. After being arrested with her friend Twon on a burglary charge, Alex was sentenced to eighteen months in jail. Since she had no prior felonious arrests, she was offered alternative sentencing that would include time in a rehabilitation center. Twon, who had multiple prior arrests, received a sentence of twelve years at a maximum security prison. With good behavior, he will be released before his thirtieth birthday.
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.