SILVER SPRING, MD, USA - MAY 13, 2015 :
Alex cries after running into a guard at the jail she was incarcerated in at her Drug Court graduation ceremony. She has been released twice as a part of the program, which offers nonviolent offenders a chance to have their felony records expunged. They must stay sober, employed, and regularly attend support meetings until a counselor determines that they have completed the program. After completing the program, Alex no longer has a felony record. A felony record can be a major hinderance in finding employment or renting an apartment or house.
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.