ADDICTION: Primarily heroin, also meth and cocaine
STATUS: Active User
Amy Carreazo has a $500 per day addiction. Her home is clean, with interesting furnishings and wall art. Her landlord looks after her and is her friend. He says she’s been an inspiration to him. She has been a prostitute for 17 years.
Amy had her kids young – all three by the time she was 21. “The kids know I’m addicted. They know I have sex with men for money. They know when I get beat up and raped. They know when I overdose or go to rehab or jail. They’re amazing people.” Amy’s sister is also a recovering addict. Their father was a marijuana dealer – they had a bean bag chair stuffed with weed.
“I never had some tragic thing that got me going into drugs. I had a boyfriend that shot me up with cocaine when I was 22. It was instant euphoria. It made me feel loved, and wanted, and how stupid it sounds now, thinking that he cared so much about me to share it with me – when he really just ruined my life. That’s ‘the haze’. The only thing he really shared with me was addiction.”
Amy got in trouble when she was charged with a felony for possessing 40 milligrams of Oxycontin. A year later, she says, she had a “master’s degree in drugs, because that’s all you talk about in there.” After jail, she hit the streets hard. She worked as a stripper, pole dancer, and prostitute, moving from LA to Vegas to New Orleans – all over. She’s been on millionaires’ yachts, lived in the back of a car – and attended a series of colleges, finally emerging with a degree. “And,” she says, “I’ve paid off all my student loans.”
Amy is committed to getting clean. She plans to do it herself using Suboxone, a drug which can wean the user off of heroin while minimizing withdrawal symptoms. Suboxone can itself be addictive. Amy has purchased a supply online and intends to start taking it as soon as possible – she wanted to participate in Faces Of Addiction first. Her landlord will look out for her during the treatment.
Amy had been an alcoholic and quit drinking 7 years ago. She is determined to get her life back, feeling her own feelings, not the drug’s. She believes she can do it.
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