I met twenty-two year old Megan in Atlanta, GA in an area inhabited mainly by heroin addicts. She had grown up in Lawrenceville, GA, not far from where I raised my own family for many years.

Megan: My upbringing was…I guess, normal. My parents fought a lot. They were going to get divorced when I was little, but they decided to stay together for me and my brother. As I got older they fought more and more. They ended up getting divorced when I was sixteen. They were never really there for me emotionally. They weren’t the type to say they loved me or anything like that. Like, I’ll say I love you to my dad and he won’t even say it back. 

I started getting in trouble when I was around fourteen. I was hanging around with the wrong people. I got arrested for burglary and criminal trespassing. That’s when I started dabbling with pot and drinking and I ended up fucking up a lot. I was on probation for two years. I ended up going to juvenile jail when I was fifteen. 

BW: Why do you think you were doing all of that?

Megan: I don’t know. I’ve been to therapy and stuff and the therapists always ask if it’s because of something that happened when I was younger and I can’t even remember much of my childhood to be honest with you. I don’t know. Maybe it’s because my parents were never emotionally there for me. Maybe it’s because when I got in trouble, I never really had consequences from it. 

BW: What’s your drug of choice?

Megan: Heroin.

BW: Do you consider yourself an addict?

Megan: Yeah, I was in a physically and mentally abusive relationship from sixteen to twenty which pretty much changed my life. I became a meth addict during that time. Being in that relationship made me lose myself. He ended up going to prison and I went to get clean in Smyrna at a sober living place. I was clean for six months and stupid me went and found another guy. I think I replace drugs with guys so it’s like a different addiction. 

He ended up relapsing on heroin and two weeks after I moved out of the sober living place, I relapsed on heroin. Ever since then it’s been on and off. I’ve even moved to South Florida to try to get clean and get my life together. I just ended up getting high down there. 

I don’t even know what my self worth is. Sometimes I feel like this is just what I’m supposed to be doing.  

Part of these collections: Opiate Addiction