BW: What was it like growing up?

Wesley: My mom and my dad did meth since before I was born.  My dad's in Chatham County Jail in Savannah cause he just got popped with 2.5 pounds of meth. He's doing 25 years. I'll probably never hug my dad again. You know? 

We moved to Henry County with my mom and her girlfriend because she was a lesbian. So that was kind of weird; two moms. But really that was the best time I had when I was a kid. Laurie (Mom's girlfriend) took care of us. She was more of a father than my dad was. That's for damn sure. We had a nice house in a subdivision but she was also like...we only had a nice house because my mom was fucking this old guy named Pete. She sucked dick just to take care of us. She never had a job, man. It was never a secret. I was exposed. 

I came back here in 7th grade after DFACS took my sister and my little brother away from my mom. When she had my little brother they found meth in her system.

[By ninth grade] I was on coke. I started getting real bad on it. I was taking a couple of Hydrocodone and Methadone but that was like a very blue moon. Doctors give them to you. It didn't seem like they were that bad. 

Both my grandmas got Methadone tins every month and Hydrocodone too. My grandma sold hers so she didn't really keep count of how many she'd sold. At first I was going to school selling them, trying to make money. I ended up taking one and it didn't hit me so I ended up taking like 4 of them. By the time they hit me I was throwing up all day. But it was an awesome throw up. 

[When I was 15] I was looking for some Methadone because I was withdrawing real bad. My girlfriend's brother said "Hey, I can get some Roxys." I didn't really want them. I didn't know they were better back then. We ended up getting them and paying $7 a piece. It just so happened that someone called and said, "Can you get any Roxys?" I was like, "yeah, actually I can." He asked, "How much are they, $15?" I said, "Hell yeah they are." I was doubling my money then. 

So I went back and got some more. By the end of it I had bought his whole prescription in like 2 days and had the money for the next prescription up front. All in all I got 4 prescriptions a month. 240 when I was 15 years old. I was just making money and spending it. I didn't really take them either. I was still taking Methadone. I just liked the way the Methadone made me feel. 

Nobody really did Roxys back then around here. It was unheard of. Me and my girlfriend were the only people I knew that even knew what they were. [I was selling to this kid in Peachtree City and] he kept asking me for a piece of foil every time and the third time I was like, "Man, what do you need that foil for?" He's like, "Man you can smoke these things. You can chase them." 

He showed me how to chase them. The first one I did, I didn't even feel it. So I put another one on there and did another one. [Soon after] I was smoking 11 before I went to school. I was raising my hand to go to the bathroom. Nobody had any idea that I was in the bathroom smoking pills. 

Back then it was unheard of. It's kind of bad but a lot of the epidemic around here kind of stemmed from me and my girlfriend selling pills. 

BW: Were you making money?

Wesley: At first I was making money and then as time moves on we're just barely breaking even. There were times we had to hustle up some money. Go steal something and sell it. Eventually we fucked [our supplier] over. He let us slide a couple of times. We ended up owing like $2000 at one time. 

I've been living on the streets since I was 18. Me going to jail was a blessing. I got food and a place to stay every night. 

BW: When was the first time you shot?

Wesley: When I was 18 and I was fucking sick and needed something so I could make it to work. And I was an opiate addict. I knew that's the best it can get. I didn't want to do it because that's the last step on the ladder, you know.  There's no more [steps] on the ladder. You fall off. The first time I hit it it was like Christmas morning when you were a kid, Jesus running through your veins, know what I'm saying? It's like the opposite of pain. Once you feel that feeling, there's no way you're gonna let that shit not happen again, you know?

I've got hepatitis now from shooting dope. There's no telling what else I've got. I've been to detox like 6 times. I've overdosed too many times to count. You don't even know it happens. There's times when that's what I was trying to do, a death shot. 

Rest In Peace

So far, two people from The Hidden South  have died in The Bluff that I'm aware of. I learned of Ela's death  about 8 months ago and just last week I learned that Nick died of a suspected overdose. 

The State of Harm Reduction in the South

The State of Harm Reduction in the South