Brandie, 18, gets ready for her first night of working as a stripper. Brandie is from Akron, Ohio and struggles with heroin addiction. She lives with her boyfriend at his uncle’s house, who also lives with a heroin addiction.
Brandie visits her boyfriend at Summa Hospital in Akron, Ohio after he develops an abscess from shooting up. Cameras are places in his room to make sure no one brings him “home medicine.”
Brandie and her boyfriend both struggle with heroin addiction and want to get clean together. And that's another thing we're scared of-says Brandie-when we get clean, that we're not going to know each other for who we really are, because pretty much most of our relationship has been using.
Brandie calls her mom before checking into detox on June 27, 2017. Brandie says phone calls with her mom are usually difficult, but she can’t have her phone for the week she is in the clinic.
Brandie says goodbye to her boyfriend before she checks into detox on June 27, 2017. I have to do it over and over again because you never know when you're going to get it right-says Brandie about detox-Like in baseball, you don’t know how many times you’ll swing the bat to hit a homerun.
Brandie goes over to her sister’s house and says goodnight to her nephews. Brandie wants to get sober so she can watch them grow up.
That fall, Brandie and her boyfriend move out of his uncle’s house after he passed away from an overdose. Brandie doesn’t like the new living situation and wants to get sober so she can move back home.
Brandie and her boyfriend usually walk to the gas station by their house for cheap things to eat.
Brandie leans against the sink as she looks in the mirror. Brandie currently lives with users of methamphetamine.
Brandie gets ready for work in her room in the attic. There are drawings on the walls from the residents trying to cover up hallucinations.
Brandie misses her family but explains that her addiction overpowers her. My brain automatically goes into autopilot-says Brandie-I think of the fact I should be occupying my brain, but that disappears and I just think of ways to get it.
Brandie leaves the bathroom in the strip club and begins a night of work
Brandie begins another day.
Brandie and her boyfriend eat lunch at Steak and Shake.
After a failed week of detox, Brandie has to find the motivation to try it again.
Brandie’s boyfriend stays with her after he completed the week of detox and she didn’t. Brandie later cries and tells me: (my boyfriend) says what the hell do you need Brandie, what the hell is it going to take? And I sit there and cry, and wonder...I don’t know. I pray to God all the time, please, please, please. I cry all the time and beg, Please give me the strength I need to get through my detox.
Brandie says she doesn’t have any interests or hobbies since she gave up her teenage years for drugs. She didn’t complete high school and wonders what she would like to do in her clean life.
Brandie leaves for another night of work. She now faces all the challenges to come in her clean life.