2014 Sara Lewkowicz – “Alex” These photographs are copyright Sara Lewkowicz and are used here by permission. They may not be used elsewhere without her permission. Alex, 20, lives in Baltimore, MD. Like many others in “Charm City,” she is a heroin addict. Addiction runs in her family; her mother was an alcoholic, and her father became addicted to crack and abandoned Alex and her mother when she was 10-years-old. She has not heard from him since. Alex has been using for the past three years, introduced to the drug by a roommate, and has been steadily increasing her usage since her mother hung herself almost two years ago. Alex began working as an exotic dancer in order to support her habit. She has also begun occasionally prostituting herself to customers she meets at her club, saying the money is better and easier. Alex struggles to find a vein in a bathroom stall at the club where she works. While she often gets high at work, she is often reprimanded for her drug use and will eventually lose her job at the club, which touts itself as catering to upscale clientele and frowns upon obvious drug use. Shooting up before going on stage is a requirement; Alex says she can’t dance without being high. Alex leans in to kiss her boyfriend Twon, while Mary struggles to find a vein to shoot into. Alex and Twon have known each other since childhood. Alex met her current boyfriend, Kyle, at Narcotics Anonymous. Kyle has three years sober. “He’s really good to me, he’s really gentle. He’s not like the usual losers I am into,” Alex told me. “He isn’t afraid to show feelings and he calms me down.” Alex and Kyle walk to the car after dinner, on their way to attend and NA meeting together.