Friday, February 22, 2013

Black Tar Heroin 10 questions answered

I want to get this in one place. Here you go
When was the film made?
The film was made from Dec 1995 to Dec 1997. Originally the film was supposed to be for one year but I believe when HBO picked up the film they wanted two years.

How were you picked for the film?
Steven met a bunch of different people at the youth needle exchange. He wanted subjects that were slightly younger than me. He filmed a few other people  that never made it into the final film

Were you paid for the film?
No. I was not paid for the film. he bought me a hotel to stay in for a week and bought me lunch a few times. I think they left some money for me when I was in jail too. Documentary film makers, in general, don't pay their subjects.

Was I friends with the other people from the film?
Sort of. I never knew Alice. I met Oreo when he was 15 or 16. He was VERY young when the film was made. His mom used to work the desk in one of the hotels I lived in. Jake and I used to hang out. At one point he had a crush on me. It wasn't covered in the film but Jake really liked women. He used to make a ton of money as a male prostitute but he liked women. The drugs had him all messed up. When he got clean, he had a long-term girlfriend.

Why didn't they mention in the film that you were off drugs?
I was off drugs when the film came out but not when the film was finished. The story of my recovery was not the story Steven filmed. We were at odds at one point about this but I've come to accept it.

What happened to you when the film came out?
Honestly, I was very confused and angry. I had no privacy. NONE. People would stop me everywhere I went. I was very early in recovery which was already confusing to me. Now, I use the legacy of the film as a tool to spread hope. Anyone can get clean. anyone- even me.

What do I think of the film?
Honestly, I feel it is one of the best films about drug addiction ever made

What do my family and husband think of the film?
My mom never saw it. All she cared about was me being off drugs. I think the rest are proud of me now.

Do I stay in contact with the people from the film?
Most of them are dead. Alice and I have emailed each other. Oreo wants to live a private life. I see "Jessica" from time to time. She NEVER goes by that name. She also like to remain anonymous. If you came to SF and were asking around for "Jessica" you would never find her. She is clean and doing well.

Contact me traceyh415@gmail.com


178 comments:

  1. The first time I met Tracey, my husband and I (Tracey's brother) were in San Fran for a vacation. We visited Tracey in jail. That was probably 18 years ago.

    I, for one, am extremely proud of Tracey!

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    1. Thanks! And thanks for reading my blog. I am going on hiatus late next week for a few days for a vacay. The kids are going to be the flower girl and ring bearer. So cute!

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    2. She has every reason to be proud of herself for beating heroin addiction. Very few people can do it, but she did !!! Ron

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    3. thanks for participating in this film but even more so for gettin it together and building a life in reality for yrself. i been there and am now somewhere else living life clean and sober to da fullest xtent. i just wanted to let ya kno u r making a pozitive effect just by staying clean, proving a sober come back is possible and can happen for any of us! keep goin, don't look back, jennifah powa

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    4. I watched the documentary some years ago and it really had an impact on me. I found this blog as I was searching to see how they were all doing now. It is good to know that you are doing well now. I personally began to take a great interest in others experiences with drugs years ago after my own experiences many of which have not been the best. I myself have never been a user of heroin. Weed, coke, speed, ket and particularly xtc were the ones which occupied my life for some years. I have been off these drug for most of the last 4 years. And whilst I know taking the these drugs was not the best idea, I never actually robbed or hurt anyone for these drugs. Yet despite being off drugs for over 4 years I find the greatest problem to be the people who will not let go of the fact that I was ever a drug user. It is like some people feel it is a label I have to wear, as by some I am labelled a gay heroin addict due to my being single currently and my previous dug use (albeit not heroin). I guess there are all kinds of fucked up people in this world, not all are drug users, some are just prejudice, bitter human beings who will try and use anything against someone to hurt them. Sometimes being someone who has taken drugs is far from the worst thing you can be.

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    5. I think experimenting with drugs if fairly normal but there are some judgemental people in the world who want to label users.

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    6. Hello Tracey, I watched the documentary in my college class a couple days ago, as I'm taking counselling skills and we are currently learning about addictions. I must say that I am very proud of you for overcoming your addiction, although I dont know you. It breaks my heart to see people like that, but I understand now that it could happen to anyone, no matter what background they have, and it is very difficult to overcome. So very proud and I wish you the best :)

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  2. Thanks for your blog. It's so good and inspiring. I wondered how the men in BTH dealt with male prostitution, or living with that guy James in the film, while being straight. I wondered how much money they made and if it was enough to support the drugs and somewhere the live decently.

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    1. Male prostitues that I knew made $100-$200. It really depends on what the person wanted. For many of the customers, they liked the thought if picking up a "straight" guy. Seeing you naked might be $60. Sex- they generally pick up hustlers because they want a top. The goal for the hustler is to do as little as possible for the most money. It also depends how desperate the person is at the time. Many ppl might pick you up because they feel like trying to rescue you others want cheap anonymous sex

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  3. Aw, Jake had a crush on you and you didn't date him? He's adorable! ok ok, I know that was a really long time ago, under different circumstances. :)

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    1. I was a a mess and he was a mess. And he wasn't my type. He was a very lonely person. When I hear that song creep by radio head I think of him. It sums him up and he loved it

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    2. Well, that makes me sad. And makes me wonder what happened to someone growing up to make them feel that way. It must have been difficult, even if it did not seem that way from the outside.

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  4. Hands down best documentary I've ever watched, Tracey you really inspire me, I live in lansing, mi and am 25 years old I've struggled with heroin addiction for 7 years, and have now been clean 5 months, may sound crazy to people who don't understand addiction, but that video encourages me even more to not do it again, I never got to the point of prostituting myself, but I had a few female friends who I would set up dates for, I hate my past, but then again it has also made me who I am today, thank you so much Tracey!

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    1. Thanks for reading. Addiction is hard no matter where you live. The places are different but the stories are the same.

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  5. Tracey, I am so happy for you and your beautiful family.I have a similar storry,I am 50 and have been clean for 25 years.i had 2 children,the only thing they know is I have a sinful, cloudy past.I never talk about the past too much.The only thing with that is I wish I could talk about it.I am ashamed to talk about it..Thanks soo much for being so open to help others.I want to do the same ,mabe I might overcome the shame and reach out to others.Did you have to leave calif. to get sober or do you still live there?Love and Peace

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    1. I live in the same general area. Writing is a great place to let stuff go.

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    2. Anonymous, you should never be fearful of sharing your past, especially to loved ones, and especially if it has a lesson. I'm 31, my mother is 51. If she were to share with me that she was a 25yr clean addict, I'd respect the hell out of her, and never judge her. You got sober, and you raised two children. That is no easy feat. Be proud of your accomplishments, not shameful of your past <3

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  6. Hey,
    2nd time I watch the documentary..I haven't seen it in a while and I am in recovery myself going on 4 years this June.. any who do you have a Facebook fan page??

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    1. Congrats on your recovery! You can keep in touch with me here.

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  7. Hi Tracey, I loved how open and honest you were about everything in the film but why did you choose to let someone document all of that? Weren't you worried about it coming back to haunt you, or didn't you care at that point?

    Also, I felt really sorry for Jake. He seemed like a nice guy. What was he like?

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    1. Jake was a nice person in general but he had mood swings. I was not really worried about this movie coming back to haunt me because i did nto think i was going to live much longer. i wanted people to see heroin addiction is not glamorous like I imagined as a teenager.

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    2. Hi Tracy my name is Aidan I, just watched the dvd,it was a real eye opener to see the stories particularly yours and it was very uplifting to see that you were able to kick heroin for good.can i ask you what was the cause of the addiction?was there alot of support and counselling when you were getting of heroin when times were tough?did you find methadone helpful to prevent withdrawl or,what treatment or care plan were you given[eg aftercare?what motivated you to change your old lifestyle?was it a physical thing?]my cousin is currently on drugs and we are trying to him to get clean,like yourself hes very smart and myself and family are distraught about him,hes only 25 years old ironically hes doing pharmacy in college which isn't helping him as he learning about drugs as hes taking them.i guess he thinks they are glamorous.

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  8. Tracey... In beginning of the documentary it says you get arrested. Please explain withdrawing while in jail? That's my greatest fear. I can't handle withdrawals at my own home. I've been using for 7 years, H for just a the last 2. But I never sell because of the fear of being dopesick in jail. Did the jail offer methadone? I imagine they didn't. Although I've heard some jails do, like in Santa Barbara County. I think they do. And some just offer methadone if you already were getting it from a clinic. And some just make you go cold, and won't even give you a Tylenol. Anyway, what was your experience in jail regarding being dependent on H?

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    1. Sf county jail has some methadone slots. Heroin withdrawal generally takes 4 days of acute withdrawal. The worst day is between day two and three. Your nose runs, your legs twitch, you can't sleep, you have to puke or use the bathroom. Then the pain subsides.

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    2. If I may add my two cents: I was made to kick cold turkey several times in the Maricopa County jail system; they have zero mercy for heroin/opiate addicts in Arizona. Every time I share my message of hope (I've been clean now over 5 years), I tell people that you don't want to kick with an audience, one toilet and no toilet paper. It's no way to live. There is hope and we are proof of it. Continuing on the road of active addiction will always end with you heading to one of three places: jail, institutions or dead. Peace.

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  9. BTW... At the end of the Documentary it says 1% of addicts manage to get and STAY clean. So your accomplishment is pretty amazing. Although I think it's a tad higher than just 1%. But we all know it's definitely a miniscule percentage. But you and Alice are 20% of your little group of 5. And I thought you weren't as bad off as some of the others, like Jake and Jessica. Wow. I was wrong. I re-watched the doc today and read your blog. You were once at about the lowest point a person can fall. That picture of your foot... Holy fuck. Woa! That's a fantastic and original imagine to show young people that still think doing dope is easy to manage. Show them that, and they'll never pick up a needle. But you're clean now. And that's just astonishing to pull back up, maintain a job, have a full family... Amazing, really. I think having kids really helps women in particular. An older woman, with an H problem and no kids, may develop a very sour and defeatist and even fatalist outlook. The 'I have no reason to live' thought that plagues people. So that was the best thing you've done. I think. I believe they will help keep you straight, even if you want to pull your hair out dealing with them. OK, bye. I just did my last shot. I have to be sick all day tomorrow. Then Monday, hopefully I can get mdone. I plan to use it just for a few weeks at the most. I know it's trading one problem for another. So I definitely only plan to use mdone for a very short term. I also agree total abstinence is the only real way. That's also what Alice said and most successful FORMER users. Ok, bye.

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    1. The average age of ppl entering recovery is late thirties early fourties

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  10. Ok, Ok, I promise I'll shut up. Just one more quick question. See as a doper myself, I'm interested in how dopers turn out. I liked your documentary. So I got this burning interest to see how they all are now. I know that question must annoy you. You must get it all the time. I already heard who died and who didn't except...

    Who was, and what happened to the scary looking dude with the goofy sideburns that was seen with you and Jake in the beginning?

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    1. That is Richard. He lives by my work. He isn't on heroin.

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  11. I am want to know what happen to Jessica so bad?? I feel her pain and know where she came from. I know she was HIV but, I hope she came above. P,ease tell me what happen

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    1. She is okay. She has her ups and downs

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  12. I came from and background, rape,drugs, pregnancy,, but, I feel this pain for her.. I want the best for her soul.
    It hurts so bad to be a addict!! I would be her today if I didn't have a great privileged boyfriend to help me rise above. Here Rescued me from a addict mental past

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  13. hi tracy i saw the film years ago the first time i ever tried recovery. it is so great to see you have a presence on the internet, and i admire you for your honesty. i am constantly fighting this disease, sometimes more successfully than others but you give me so much hope and i thank you for that. finding happiness in parenthood after struggling with addiction gives me a lt of hope as well. i hope it would be ok if i emailed you one day, as of this moment i' still sick and suffering.

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    1. you can email me whenever. I accept people the way that they are

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  14. Really happy to see u clean. Years of using heroin I have over 3 year's this movie should be shown to young kids honestly. Keep hope alive Tracy.

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    1. Congrats and thanks for reading my blog

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  16. Jessica is alive? I read she had died of an overdose.

    The same mechanism that creates life is also responsible for the greatest devaluement of it: rape.

    Jessica was sexually abused and traumatized by her father. Then she turned to drugs to blur the trauma, and used sex to pay for it. Sex brought her AIDS.

    Sex and Junk aren't far apart. They're the same thing. People can't control their compulsion for either, and they leave paths of destruction in their wake.

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    1. she is alive. I see her every few months.

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  17. What happened to Jennifer? I heard she had OD'd.

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    1. She died from an asthma attack. She had been clean and relapsed and had an asthma attack at a dope house and people left her gasping for air for like 40 mins before they called for help

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  18. Do you still have cravings?

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  19. Hiya Tracey,

    So happy to have found that you are doing well with your husband, and 3 Children. I remember in the film you said having children was a goal, nice to see that you were able to actualize that for yourself. You are such an strong, amazing Woman!

    I have a friend who has been battling addiction from the time he was a teen, he's nearly 40 now. Just finished another rehab program, after a 3 month relapse (was clean for 2 years prior to)… I now live in another country, so we don't talk as often. I know he's strong, but I'm still so nervous that one day I'm going to get that call. Do you have any encouraging words of advice that I could pass along to him? When we chat, I walk on eggshells.. because I really don't know what to say to him anymore.

    Also, I didn't see these questions answered anywhere..
    Do you know what happened to "Michelle" from the film, she was the lady with a young son that Jennifer and Oreo watched. And what about the other lady that was at your apartment?
    She was a bit eccentric and had a bandage on her shoulder? Just curious if you know.

    Thanks so much for your time. Love and light from Thailand X

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    1. I haven't seen Theresa in 10+ years. I never knew Michelle. The age of 40 is usually prime time for people to stop using drugs. the average age in treatment is around 40. The bect advice for being is don't fucking use, no matter what. There is no situation that using makes better. Your consition was never improved by a hit. I hope you friend can keep it together. Thanks for reading.

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    2. Thanks for your reply. Looking forward to your book! X

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    3. who is spanky and what happened to lars did he get hiv from Jessica. who all ended up with HIV

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    4. Spanky was my ex boyfriend. People's HIV status positive or negative is their own business to discuss or not discuss.

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  20. Hello Tracey. I decided to write after seeing the documentary. I am in school to become a Certificated Addiction counselor, and I will be dedicating the rest of my life to teens, and their addictions.. I have helped many teens, up to the present time, and I want to open up a center soon... You are an amazing role model for all the struggling teens out there, and I hope that I will Create a Safe, space, for teens to help themselves.. Thanks, for being a strong, soul... I admire you and I always believe that an addict who has gone through struggles, are some of the most POWERFUL, EMPOWERING, and HUMBLING people on the planet.. Stay strong Everyone..

    I honor you

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    1. hit me up by email traceyh415@gmail.com. I would like to hear more about it. Also, you may want to sit in on the webinar I have on my site

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  21. Jake and Jessica story was the sadest. I wonder at times did she ever get help for being raped by her grandfather? That's just wrong, made my tummy cringed to hear the story of her abuse she suffered..Did she really have HIV?

    Jake, I think was bipolar. You can tell he was a SADDEST person in the world. Watching him sleep like that on the street broke my heart. I'm glad you were an Awesomest friend to him.

    I hope Oreo is cleaned. Never knew his mom was there the entire time. I thought he was a runaway. You and Alice had your wonderful moms by your side. You need that kind of LOVE i feel when you have any kind of addictions. My dad shoot the dragon all the. He went from crack to smokin it with Heroin. I was scared for him all the time. He got cleaned when i got back from overseas(ARMY) soon as he got cleaned he died 6 months later from heart failure 1999. So happy your cleaned Tracy i thought you were gonna die too. God is good. Stay Blessed with your family. What happen to Spanky?

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    1. Spanky dued in january. Thanks for reading

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  22. I like how you got away from that hitter Ben!
    He was sooo MEAN! You were SMART to leave him. I was sooooo happy when you did! Most addicted females would of stayed just to get high or feel better for a fix. Did you ever go by skid row? Jessica probably still there.

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    1. jessica is fine. She just doesn't want to be associated with the movie

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  23. My teacher in highschool showed me the film and that's when I first started using (3 years ago). I didn't understand what being sick was, I just thought everyone on the film were over exaggerating. So I continued using and I kept it up for acouple years. In those 2 years I feel like I experienced rock bottom. It's amazing how anyone can clean up if they really put their heart into it. You're a role model to me and I can't wait to have 15 years clean myself.

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    1. Congrats! sounds like things are going well for you

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  24. Tracey it makes my heart so happy to know that you pulled through your difficulties. You are such a beautiful and intelligent lady. I could see that even back in your dark times that you shared with the world. Congratulations to you and best wishes always to you and your beautiful family.

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  25. Just stopping by to say how much of an inspiration you are to me Tracey. Like you said, if you can quit, anyone can. It's just a difficult and treacherous journey, it's the hardest and most fucked up thing I've had to deal with in all my life. But I always remember you and try to stay strong.

    I also think it's really cool that you have such a presence on the web, you're like the sole living connection to the documentary for everyone who has seen it in this day and age. Thank you for that.

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  26. Het Tracey I just watched BTH for the second time and I am confused because when I watched it about 2 years before it had a different ending! The other one I watched had an update at the end stating that you were clean and you went on to attend university and I was so happy for you. I was so moved when I watched BTH the first time that I had to watch it again, I believe this is the greatest addiction documentary ever made. I am a 44 year old recovering cocaine and heroin user as well and I make my children watch this documentary and others like it so that they can be informed and hopefully scared enough not to try drugs. I am so glad I discovered this blog and that I can actually, hopefully communicate with you and see how you and your family are doing and what keeps you clean. I have been clean for 5 years and I am a drug and alcohol counsellor here in a mid sized town in British Columbia Canada. I have 4 children and I am a single father. I was also wondering how Alice was doing and if you knew anything about how she is. I thought she was heartbreakingly beautiful and had such a good, pure heart. I pray that she beat this evil drug and is happy and healthy. Please email me at larson.darcy@gmail.com I would love to hear from you and please know that I am going to faithfully follow your blog if I can figure out how to join this site! I tried the join this site button and the darn links are broken! I will keep trying but in the meantime will read every word of your blog. Thank-you for sharing yourself and your awesome story with us!

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    1. thanks for watching :) Alice is clean sheis on twitter malice666

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  27. Is Jessica still doing heroin? I'm very interested in finding out how she has been all these years, especially since it seemed like her and Jake were the least likely to survive at the end of the documentary. Thanks for sharing!!

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  28. You are one hell of an inspiration!

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  29. Hi, Tracey. Just watched the documentary. I'm happy to know that you overcame your horrible addiction. You mentioned in your blog about when Jake was "clean". How long did that last? And what happened to him?

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    1. He was clean for a few years, tapered off methadone and relapsed a few days later

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  30. Hey... I have just been arrested for possession of a tiny amount of H. I got released with a summons to appear in court. But I am worried about pee tests. And with this being my first-time arrest, I'm using this experience to get clean. Finally. So I got 18 days clean, all cold turkey with no suboxone or methadone. It was true cold turkey. By day 10 I started feeling better. And everyone says h withdrawal is just 3-7 days. BS! Maybe its peak intensity is that long, but I'm still devoid of energy at day 18. I'm still feeling like a cold turkey with goosebumps almost 24-hours. I still sneeze a lot, but the most annoying is the profound cold. It feels as if my blood was replaced with ice water. But on day 18 (yesterday) I really fkd up. I cracked and did 1 shot yesterday, and another 3 hours ago. But that's it for me, because I didn't go looking to score. I just happen to find h here in a DVD case I forgot I kept h in. So I'm not worried I'll continue doing H. I'm out of it, and I want to resume my quitting and being clean. I have to stay clean, because I may get pee tested. My question is, and you must have been through this at some point during your addicted years... Would my fall off the wagon set my withdrawal process back to day 1? Will I have those INTENSELY awful peak pain days again? Or will it be milder since I had been clean for 18 days prior to yesterdays fall off the wagon? Do you know what I'm saying? I think I'm being confusing. But if one 24-hour period of cracking sets the entire withdrawal process over, I'd be really depressed. What would you think will be the physical pain I will suffer for taking just 2 lousy shots over just the last 24-hours, after being otherwise perfectly clean for 18 DAYS Straight...? Sorry if this question is long. I wouldn't be offended if you ignored it. I'm just a worried doper.

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  31. I really can't answer that question. I know it will set the craving process into overdrive

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  32. Ok. Well it's been over 24 hours since my screw up. And the physical set back seems minimal. Phew! But yes the mental cravings are there, stronger. I can handle that. The physical wds are what I wanted to avoid. I 'think' I did this time. So I'm back on the wagon. Thanks.

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  33. Tracey...wow. You have come such a long way on such a hard, dark road. I just watched the film for a class I'm taking (sociology minor) and I have to say that you, Alice and "Jessica" are truly inspiring. I'm writing a paper on the film as we speak, regarding the fact that those of you who got and stayed clean are all women (I know Jake was clean for a long time, but relapsed. I seriously cried while watching the updates.). But why do you think you and the other women stayed clean? Was it your ties to family and stability that helped you, where others failed? Thanks so much for being you, for your struggles and your triumphs, and for being such an inspiration!

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    1. thanks. i credit my success to a lot of luck and support from my mother

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    2. Yes, I was very proud of your mother, I like your sensible approach to the limiting the quantity of your prescription. You are very practical; you know yourself well,; and you maintained your self esteem...leaving when you were slapped. I enjoyed the interview with Terri Gross. It seemed like many of the kids in the documentary had trouble finding a positive concept that motivated them, and very little family support.
      I worried about Jessica too. He seemed to have challenging issues with personal interactions that would impede a healing process.
      Thank you for your role in creating awareness of the devastating depths of heroin addiction.

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  34. Hi Tracey, I just wanted to tell you how happy I am to find out that you're doing well. I watched the documentary a couple of years ago. Jessica's story especially broke my heart. A couple of days ago I read a comment you had posted on YouTube, saying she's alive and clean. This might sound strange, but I just felt enormously relieved that she is safe. I don't know her, but I could never forget her face. She must be the strongest person. All good things to both of you.

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  35. Hello Tracy....im 35 yr old male in texas and have been addicted to xanax and lortab and alcohol for 10 years...im trying desperately to quit...i stopped all of them cold turkey and hollucinated and was asking for a gun from a relative where i was vegging out trying to get clean...i hollucinated that i shot a man and that my son had been run over among many other images seared in my mind....i was admitted to a psych. ward for 7 days at which day 4 i snapped out of it..i was clean 3 months and started using all 3 drugs again....my question to you is do you think i should go cold turkey again after i lost my mind last time... im scared to death of the same thing happening again.....Thank you and god bless...

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    1. You need a medically assisted detox of some kind. That is my clinical opinion,

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  36. In the beginning of the film there is a junkie that looks kind of like a mulatto rabbi.

    Who is he and what happened to him?

    thanks traci

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    1. He lives 1/2 block from my work. I thought I put a pic up of me and him but that might have been on my facebook

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  37. Tracey, I stumbled upon this thread and I don't know if you'll even see it. I just wanted to sincerely thank you for the reminder that staying clean is worth it. I'm 26 and have been sober for going on 5 years now. As the documentary was a little before my time, I wish i had known of it. I wish I had seen it after even being a few months sober to see my reality and to strive harder for the goals. I stayed up until 1am watching it last night, and all today I thought about Jessica, as in the end of the doc she was really deep into her addictionThank you so much for your strength, you are the 1%

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    1. Thanks for watching. Jessica is clean now. I've been clean 16 years. You are awesome to make changes so young. Women rarely contact me because it is so hard for them to get clean

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  38. hey tracey, well done on getting clean, what happened to your roomate BN did he get clean?

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  39. do you find it easier now its been a long time or do you still get urges to take heroin?

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    1. I rarely to never get cravings. Occasional fantasizes but no cravings

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    2. is oreo still alive

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  40. thats awesome! :) he seemed like a cool guy. so happy you, oreo, alice and jessica are clean!

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  41. Do you miss the feeling of it? And anyway how could you put that tar into your vein when it's not the real deal? Heroin is like they say - once is too many times but at least a thousand isn't enough. A true pandora box.

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    1. The feeling comes with too much extra bullshit for me. The depression afterwards is too much

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  42. Yes the depths are low but what doesn't kill you can only make you stronger. Still do you miss the way your nose starts to drip and then you indulge and boy oh boy doesn't that feel good ? Or did you get something else? Why did you first start - was it for the allure, the forbidden fruit or the mystique that exists with it? Were you patient?

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    1. At the end of my addiction, I had had 34 abscesses and almost lost my leg to infection. They thought I was seroconverting to HIV. I hadn't seen my parents in almost five years. I was injecting heroin in the soles of my feet. Whatever enjoyment from the drug was long gone. It was fun at first as a curious 20 year old but by almost 28 that narrative was tired

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  43. So proud of you! Watched this documentary and I have been clean for a few months, often wondering if I could keep it up. The statistics depressed me. But then I saw you and heard your success story. My heart breaks for Jake, Ben, and Jennifer. But to hear you, Alice, Oreo and Jessica are clean makes me so happy! Keep up the good work and I will continue reading your blog and letting others in recovery know about it.

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  44. So you kicked to save your life? It's not as hard if you don't like it as I gave up cigarettes for the same type of thing. But what if you've never felt better and luv it and even when clean think now I remember how good it is?

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  45. awesome you are clean!!!

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  46. Tracey,

    I remember watching your documentary and seeing the scenes from Seattle, when Alice moved back ( I lived a few blocks from the Jack in the Box she shot up in ), and thinking "f*ck", I am never doing H. And now I see you have been clean for 16 , have a family, Oreo is alive and "Jessica" ( I cried over that girl ) is too.

    Take care

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  47. Just watched the documentary for the first time, in tears by the end but so proud of you now - I can only imagine what you have been through. Stay strong! Xoxo

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  48. I watched this Doc when it first came out and it left such an impact on me. The impact surprising was not to use drugs but that addicts are human and are not disposable like trash. Because my fear of drugs was high and my curiosity was low I was fortunate enough not to go down that road. I did have a 8 year relationship with an addict/alcoholic. It was very toxic and at the end I was seeking treatment because of how sick the disease of codependency is and how it effected me. Not much is discussed about that part of addiction. The person that gets sicker with the addict. I just wanted to stop and say Thank you. All of you in the film have prob saved many from going down the road of addiction or like me seeing that addicts are people with feelings and needs.

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  49. I remember watching this on HBO when I was 20 or so. I remember thinking ( no offense) I don't want to end up like these people. It made me open my eyes to what drugs can do. I actually have the DVD of black tar heroin amongst other HBO documentaries: dope sick love etc. I pretty much watch it at least once a week. It's sad but I like how it was documented. Good for you for being strong and staying off of heroin. Keep your head up high. Off subject you have beautiful eyes:)

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  50. I just watched the documentary and i cried over it. Glad to hear oreo,jessica, alice and you are doing fine.

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  51. Congrats on your sobriety. Just curious if your mom ever watched the documentary? I seen it many years ago and watched it again last night. I was afraid for all of you. Is Oreo still with his girlfriend from the documentary? Is Jake still alive today?my heart ached so badly for him. Does jessica live a happy life now? I'm so proud of you thank you for your honesty in the doc all of you. I believe it will help so many. God bless.

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    1. My mom never saw the film, no. The rest of your questions are answered above. It's easier than me retyping

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  52. I watched this film today and I watched it a few years ago. This is the first time I tried searching for the people in the film though. I said to myself "Tracey is gonna make it. She's that 1%" so happy for you Tracey! You go girl! Live & Love Life!

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  53. Great documentary! I was really moved by it and right away had to look up what happend afterwards. Here in Germany we're shown "Christiane F. – Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo" (a 1980s movie of a autobiography from the mid 1970s of a very young girl (14) who wound up getting addicted) and it was interesting for me to see that basically the cycle of addiction hasn't changed over all these years. I'm so happy everything worked out for you!

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  54. I watched your documentary and it is a gritty sad story that needed to be told . In my hometown of 2000 people in Central Ohio 17 people have died from heroin overdoses since 2010 . That is 17 people too many . A friend posted this really huge rant about how he keeps losing his friends on his Facebook page and decided to have a town meeting about how we as citizens can help with this problem . The media got wind and did a story and since then our little Facebook group has exploded . People have gotten help with getting into rehab , we are in the process of getting our Not for Profit status , and forming a NA group in our community . We are just a small town but we are making things happen . I am going to share your You Tube video on our group because I feel it is something everyone should watch . God Bless you . I am so happy to see that you ,Alice ,Jessica and Oreo are doing well .

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    1. that sounds awesome. Get in touch with project dawn or cincinnati exchange project to see about getting naloxone in your community

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    2. Several folks within the group is going to get the certification in order to administer naloxone.I know one person went earlier this week .They are doing it through McKinley Hall out of Springfield ,Ohio .I know the EMT's in the community has the training . Big things are happening and I am so excited there is finally some hope in our little community .

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  55. Only two years ago, I was a nervy, ignorant teenager deeply interested in "dead-end" drugs. Especially heroin. Weed wasn't enough for me. I had a plan to run off and devote my life to dope. Then I stumbled upon the documentary and it changed my whole outlook on the subject. I realized how difficult and deadly living on the street with an addiction is. Often I give credit to the documentary for possibly saving my life.
    not many people can kick the addiction for good, and you did. I hold a lot of respect for people who can.

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  56. First off, i am very proud of you! i first watched this in my drug and alcohol class, i was wondering, if you knew, if Jessica was still clean and doing well? I am writing a paper on this film

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    1. Yes Jessica lives a private life and is well

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  57. I showed my friend BTH for her first time and she wrote back to say how realistic it was. She even said that your 'character' had such 'realistic' legs, all bruised and lumpy-looking. She though that was make-up and effects. I told her, 'This is a fucking real thing, these people weren't actors'. She later told me she almost cried after realizing it wasn't some educational faked mockumentary, but a real look into total sadness and hopelessness, which is addiction.

    BTW, check out Dope Sick Love. I think you'd appreciate it. Although of course you must have already seen it. But in case you haven't, it was more gritty and even more disgusting than BTH. And that's hard to beat. They actually show the guys sucking D for dope in it.

    Anyway, bye

    -Paul (I'm just a stranger but a fellow doper, but unlike you, I'm still active, but barely. I'm going to stop. I'm on methadone and can get to day 7 without methadone but can't make it farther.)

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  58. Hello Tracey,

    Also...

    Can you give your audience an updated list of how everyone is doing from all the popular doper documentaries, like BTH? People are always curious to know. It's probably how and why anyone is at this site right now. People that never were addicts are fascinated, and fellow addicts are too. You know. Thanks.

    -Paul (I'm just another brick in the wall doper from NJ. Nothing unusual about my story. Pre-Addict-Me was on top and now Addict-Me can't get too much lower. So it seems. But the scary part is you can always fall lower.)

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    1. there is a facebook group dedicated to updates on HBO documentaries

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  59. randomly found this through reddit, I watched this doc about 7 years ago, I do think of it now and again, it's prob a bit rough but I really assumed everyone to be dead, good to hear you're clean and a few made it out of that scene

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  60. Hi tracey,
    im writing to you all the way from adelaide, south Australia. I want to start by saying that myself and husband are so glad you are clean and living a normal and productive life and im so happy that you were able to fulfill your dreams one of those being a mother. I watched tge doco and wgen you went to prison I was happy to see you look so healthy and then I was sad to see you relapse but I knew you could do it and I cant express how good ut was to google you and find you and to know your healthy again.

    Jessica I connected with on a personal level as I was raped by my grandfather from a young age and then another man and also physically abused by my mother so I know where that girl came from I hope she is doing well.

    I was a methamphetamine addict and alcoholic from the age of 16-25 it was a long hard road but im clean now and have been for 7 years but I still fight the demons everyday, my brother who is 2 years older than me (im 32) has never been able to beat the addiction although has succeeded in getting clean a number of times, he has got severe epilepsy and neurological defects from using so sadly I await that call which I know I will receive if he doesn't get clean.

    Anyway I want to end this saying your an inspiration to me and im sure so many more people around the world! I hope you are doing well beautiful ; ) xxx

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    1. Thanks for sharing your story. It is hard having a loved one that uses

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  61. Hi again, thanks for the reply. : ) How are you doing now? Hows life treating you? Where do you reside now hun just out of curiosity? dont mind sharing my story as long as it might help someone out there in the world, im sure you feel the same when sharing your story... Anyway its 1am over here in australia. so im off to bed. Keep in touch. : ) tricia

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    1. I live outside of SF with my family and many animals in a tiny house. I have a great life. Good job, my mind is clear. No complaints

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  62. Hello just wanted to say well done on your recovery and succeeding staying clean great to hear and rip ben spanky jake and jennfer and all those other people lost to this evil drug congratulations on your family all the best

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    1. I have a great little family. Thanks for stopping by

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  63. Hi Tracey,

    I am a follower of your blog and IG and wondered if you could tell us will your book be out.

    Best,

    Sara

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    1. Thanks for asking. It will be out in March. The content of the book is 95% done but they have to chose a cover, get it proofread multiple times etc

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  64. I just watched your documentary. I was very moved by how raw and real it was. My heart broke for Jake and Jessica. 2 lost soles who just wanted to be loved. Congrats on your recovery! You are an inspiration!

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    1. Thank you. If my story can help one person, it is worth the personal inconvience

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  65. Tracey, Thank you for making this documentary. It will help people.
    I hope everything is going well for you.

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    1. It certainly has. It was released in 1999. Thanks for checking out my blog

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  66. You're amazing. I have been in recovery for six years. It is not only possible but SO WORTH IT!
    Thanks for being a demonstration of what is.possible. I'm sure you paid a personal price for having done it so publicly, HOWEVER, it should be a consolation to you that you are being used for a powerful purpose - to save.lives & restore hope. Good job!!

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    1. Congrats. I am far away from home traveling for work. This message made me smile. Thank you.

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  67. Hi Tracey ,
    I am an Anaesthesiologist in another country who has almost unlimited access to high purity opioids and fell into the pit of addiction to Meperidene then Alfentanil . That was seventeen years ago and apart from one month relapse eleven years ago, have been clean of that slavery. I reported myself to my Professional Body and for a year sent weekly urine for opiate testing to prove to the slanderers that was clean (my own idea) . I gave a lecture on chemical dependency to my clolleagues and have built a new life to put defences in place against relapse (I dont get cravings despite daily availability). I just do not want to become a slave to this substance ever again. After turning my car over and nearly overdosing, I learnt the lesson that any drug does not give you pleasure without demanding back that pleasure in opposite terms. You pay in so many ways for what you do not to mention your family and self respect being the biggest casualties lasting years. I work as a Doctor with different and more humble insights in what we use to relieve pain. I have watched at least four colleagues overdose and die from opiate abuse - it is a real and ongoing problem shrouded in secrecy and denial.The best defence is to as you have come out in the open and be totally truthful about the mistake and its often fatal consequences.The path to health must involve stronger alternatives to opiates that will make the latter choice to be far less attractive ...like strong friendships/family bonds , regular exercise further education and so forth.
    In your documentary what I noticed that there was little evidence of antiseptic skin preparation. That must lead to skin abscesses, loss of veins not to mention systemic problems like lung and heart valve infections.Even after my ruthless self exposure and abstinence, there are colleagues who will tell me that I have a 10 percent chance of recovery as recently as this year. As a former feedback person said, there are some people who will always be prejudiced and cruel. My two children both have stable good jobs with decent education and my wife has always been supportive. Looking around , Drug addiction is just one form of a spectrum of addictions. Some are addicted to sex, sport, money and even violence. That does'nt make Drug addiction any better as a choice as most of your contributors have said. Society will accept cigarette (Nicotine) addiction but in reality, hard core users go through withdrawal on abstinence apart from the damage they do to their health. Yet many will rant against harder substance abusers as if they are any better on the self destruction scale.
    I am a non smoker .
    Well done for a great production

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    1. You should write something for my blog anonymously. Your story is incredible

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  68. HI Tracey,
    Just to add my two cents. I had some sessions with a Psychologist , was never admitted to rehab or put on any alternative medication even after a 15 mg a day Alfentanil habit. I just sweated my problem out, had a few sleepless nights with pacing up and down the street where we live. Never used heroin and only occasional Morphine which didnt give much euphoria surprisingly. Meperidine did more of a rush IV. I lost only one vein using daily for over a year but was very careful with antisepsis. How different from that acidic black tar you used.
    So no rehab and a lot of self psychotherapy all in secret with only my wife knowing (Doctors are supposed to be without fault??). Alternatives that occupied the whole day so as to prevent boredom ( built up a rare coin business with grading in the USA worth a retirement today, plus regular competitive cycling- endogenous endorphins). Here I am, clean for 10 years totally. I have used Alfentanil on patients without a single craving.There are those who still watch me closely and I laugh my head off at them!!
    A brilliant colleague of mine just could not throw the same habit. He had been through two unsuccessful periods in rehab.He is now running a antismoking counseling practice together with his psychologist wife and cannot practice as an Anesthesiologist.
    I had a slandering campaign against me about 5 years ago with three degrading impromptu urine tests that were all negative. After the third test I threatened litigation on the colleague and presented myself to the National Professional body who after interviewing me gave me a letter giving me full rights to practice without restrictions of any kind. That countered any further harassment.
    It was Jake who when his partner kicked him out said that 'Junkies have no rights' Society indeed treats them as subhuman and we who have survived the hell of lifting ourselves from near death must vigorously defend our basic human rights.
    You made a perfect point that your self respect is dependent on the time between your last needle and now.
    You still have young children, mine are 21 and 24. The way I tell my children is that I am deeply ashamed of this past and would never recommend the opiate slavery to them I am however extermely proud of how I got myself out of it.
    I am a far better person and doctor for having gone through this.
    If you guys are looking for inspiration through your ups and downs , please read the google quotes of the old Philosophers like Voltaire, Kant, Nietsche, Schopenhouer, Churchill (if you are going through hell...keep going) Rouseau, Oscar Wilde and many more. They have given me huge inspiration.
    I love you all !!!

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  69. Hi Tracey,

    I just want to tell you how awesome I think you are for coming clean in the sense of stopping H but also in being honest about that very dark period in your life and its destructive hopelessness. Whilst coming clean we appreciate small things like sleeping properly with dreams and waking up really refreshed instead of sweating the pillow so wet that the mould grows on it.
    During recovery I revisited Piano playing with some lessons.the enjoyment of good music was rediscovered (Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata). I also one day during my struggle to be clean (not won yet) listened to Gerry Stahl on the radio. He wrote a book on his very long career with Smack Coke etc called "Permanent Midnight" . That title alone sums up the hell of using often just to stay normal (euphoria long gone). Unfortunately there are not many solutions and ways out offered in the book.
    I experienced physical abuse and being kicked out of home by my father at age 19 whilst studying full time. The sorrow of Jake in his tragic past and lack of family love and support is very much the fundamental issue with the problem. One remains a child to an extent however old and the mourning of the casualties of broken parental relationships find s expression in this problem.
    You at least had a mother who was always around even if you didnt go home for several years. That maybe saved your life in the long run and gave you a reason to stay clean.It is a lot harder for those who dont have family who care to stay clean.

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    1. I hope you are finding some peace outside that situation

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  70. Hi Tracey, I just watched. It's a very sad way to live and I'm so happy you are doing well. My city in Kentucky is becoming blasted with heroin. I am 52 and have lived here my whole life. It's getting so bad. My friends daughter was clean for 3 years and every indication is that she's back on it. She has 4 kids. It's so horrifying what this drug does. I'm a lucky one that I never did drugs. I have 2 kids 17 and 26 and neither have they. I know your mother's heart ached for you and I can only imagine her pain. But it's good she has always been there for you. I just wanted to say that I'm so happy for you to have come through this. I wish nothing but the best for you. If you can't kick that habit, you can do anything. Much love to you.... <3

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  71. Hi Tracey,
    Well done again. I also had to go through the scare of AIDS test result after three HIV positive hollow needle stick injuries from known positive patients. The biggest war in the world is fought within oneself sometimes and you have won that war. You deserve everybody's respect and to be listened to and learned from.
    In life one is often alone , no more so in Opiate addiction and one really has to be one's own very best friend and do what one knows is best to break the shackles of being a slave to a chemical and its false promise. Be fully prepared to be let down by the whole so called "human" race but hang in there for what is good and great in you.
    Here is to real happiness

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    1. Exactly. Happiness is a simple thing but so complicated

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  72. Hey Tracy congrats on becoming clean, can I ask what happened to Jake because I cant find answers anywhere?

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  73. Hi tracey do you know what happened to that teresa lady? Seemed like she was too far gone..

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  74. The dope out west is bad from what I've heard . black tar dope is trash . I get bundles of ten bags for 40 bucks & w just 3 or four bags a day up the nose I'm good .

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    1. That can make it more difficult to stop/ the feeling like things are okay

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  75. Im from the UK and in recovery myself. Saw the Documentary on Youtube. You are an inspiration. I need to get your Book ASAP.

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    1. Thank you, it's on ebook; from iTunes and available in the UK. The book is mostly about recovery so it might be good for more inspiration

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  76. Where do I see the photo of your foot?

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    1. I forget what post that is. It's around on here.

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  77. Hi Tracey - I'm so glad I heard your interview on Fresh Air and was able to watch the documentary. I'm wondering if it can be triggering to work with people still actively using? Thanks for your time

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  78. Just saw this amazing and heart-rending documentary. Thank God you have overcome this terrible addiction.

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  79. So glad you overcame your addiction. I did not think you were going to make it, but thank God you did!

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  80. hola soy de mexico y al ver el documental me senti muy identificado ya que vivo rodeado de adictos al crack y al cristal(meth) y es muy triste ver como su vida se acaba,yo solo fumo marihuana,el año pasado probe los opioides y queria hacerlo de nuevo pero al recapasitar y ver tu documental no pienso volver a hacerlo, es bueno ver que si se puede dejar una droga dura felicidades

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    1. Gracias. Mi espanol es no Bueno pero yo puedo leen un poco 😀

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  81. Hi Tracey, is Oreo still alive? I read he's dead in a car accident..hope this is not true..
    take care

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  82. Hi Tracey, my name is Jake and I am 22 years old. I just graduated from college at Ohio University with a degree in psych and will be entering the real world this summer. Just watched the HBO doc immediately after seeing you on some talk show. I just want to say I hope you are doing well because I understand there are good and bad days and I hope everyone else in the film who is still alive has been able to get away from heroin and find peace on a day to day basis. You seem like you had/have an incredible personality/charisma even when your life was consumed by heroin and are an incredible example of perseverance. I hope you have a great day

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  83. Hi tracey my boyfriend of 2 years just came out that he's addicted to smoking heroin hes 21 he was taken to a rehab in Tijuana im not able to see him for two weeks and after that I can visit him every Sunday he went willingly he wanted to change and wanted the help is this a positive sign? his mom called the rehab and they said he's doing fine just calm and doing what he needs to do.
    what im scared is our relationship and the future im scared of a relapse
    and his addiction was a huge surprise for me I honestly did not see it coming today is his 8th day in rehab 7/19/16
    so all this time I've just been getting as much info as I can get on heroin and be understanding of him I don't know if im doing the right thing I truly love him
    and seeing you overcome it I know its not easy but it gave me so much hope tracey thank you!

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  84. I am writing these words with eyes full of tears, just wanna meet you, or talk to you, to let you know how much I love you..

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    1. Thanks for your support., I have a great life now. Very grateful

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  85. Watched the doco and its a real eye opener. My friend and I were like, she is never gonna make it lol. Then scrolling through some more videos you pop up in 2016 very much alive and we looking at each other saying damn what a journey. Great to see you made it. Looking forward to seeing more of your videos. Cheers from New Zealand. Gerrard

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  86. You're such a inspiration! I just wanna give you a big hug! ❤️

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