Tammy knew that she would never use heroin. Though she’d been addicted to Oxys for over two years, heroin wasn’t in her future. Really, she wasn’t one of those addicts – no way no how was she a junkie and although her hustle for Oxys sounded the same as any other hustle, there was no way no how she’d ever use heroin.
But then she lost her gig at Applebee’s. Turns out, employers frown on being late and calling in sick too much. She took the gig around the time she started abusing Oxys and before long, going to work became less of a priority. Hanging out with her Oxy-using buddies just seemed to be a better use of her time. The trouble was, the less she worked, the less money she had to spend on Oxys. She’d cut back on other things, like food and rent, but the less she worked, the less money she had for Oxys. But after getting fired, Tammy had no money for Oxys.
Her Oxy addiction cost around $400 a week. That’s $30 for each pill (approximately, this is in no way an attempt to set market value) and she needed a minimum of two pills a day. There were times she’d stretch them out, but withdrawal would set in and she could not handle being sick. When she first found herself without daily tips, she’d “borrow” from family and friends, but in time, her funding sources grew tired of hearing her stories and they stopped “lending” her any money at all.
Around this time, she first came into contact with heroin. Her connect turned her on to it, at least, he tried to turn her on to it but Tammy wouldn’t let herself become one of those addicts – she wasn’t a junkie after all. But, her connect did make sense: It would be a heck of a lot cheaper to buy heroin. Still, the fact was that Tammy wasn’t a junkie and heroin was just out of the question.
Days passed and Tammy was running out of ways to hustle for her pills and so her connect once again reached out to her about the simple economic benefits to switching to heroin. “You can smoke it, you know. You don’t have to use a needle.” Though Tammy still wasn’t interested, her resolute idea that she wasn’t a junkie was wavering. She had done things she wasn’t proud of, like sleeping with a girl just to score a couple of pills or blowing some dude for fifty bucks. “Fifty bucks could keep you in heroin for a few days,” her connect reasoned and Tammy was beginning to see his point.
Two weeks passed and Tammy was feeling withdrawal more and more and getting sicker and sicker. She needed her Oxys and could not handle being sick. “Let me help you,” her connect said and Tammy, goose-bumped and nauseous, didn’t have the strength to argue to point. She nodded and her connect emptied his rig, cooked up some heroin, and injected it into Tammy’s arm. Her 400 dollar a week habit was now a 100 dollar a week habit and that, Tammy reasoned, was something she could afford.
Turns out, Tammy was no different that those addicts after all….