SILVER SPRING, MD, USA - JAN 12, 2013 :
Alex sits in the dark after shooing up. She has recently returned to using heroin after spending a year sober. She was released as a part of a program called Maryland Drug Court, where nonviolent offenders are offered a chance to have their felony records expunged. Alex would end up being arrested and returning to jail several months after this photo was taken.
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.