AGE 42, Homeless
ADDICTION: crack cocaine, then heroin
Brandi has been an addict all her life. She was raised by functional alcoholic parents in the bars of Camden, NJ, where she sipped beer and started smoking pot. Her dad died when she was 12, and her mother abused her physically and mentally. Brandi started pills at 12, smoked marijuana at 14. At 24 she was doing meth supplied by her husband.
Brandi has been a heroin user for the past 11 years. She was picked up for alcoholism, then cut off the electronic bracelet she had to wear and threw it in the river. This got her in jail, where she was clean for two years. Now she injects heroin daily and also injects liquid meth as often as she can get it.
As a teenager, Brandi’s sister told her she was a slut and only be wanted by men for sex; there was no reason a man would want her for anything else. Brandi has now been on the streets for 11 years, a full-time prostitute to pay for her drugs.
Brandi is a diagnosed bipolar and may be schizophrenic as well. She sees demons and has had an exorcism. Her mood swings from one minute to the next. She lost her kids over drugs and is denied access to her family. She has no vision of a different life.
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