Several sections that will be helpful to you are posted here. Sorry that this page is so lengthy.

The Two Questions:

Can you help me understand? and How can I help?

What you need to understand is that you will never understand this addiction. Crack cocaine makes people do bizarre and irrational things. You probably have seen some of them. If you try to make sense out of their actions, you will drive yourself crazy. Why would a person steal from their own family's home? Why would a straight man have sex with gay men? Why would a woman prostitute herself for $10 without using condoms? If you continually try to understand the "whats" and "whys" of the addiction, you will increase and prolong your emotional turmoil. Don't let that question, "Why can't I understand?" reside in your mind.

Everyone thinks they can help their addict. This is the furthest thing from reality. It is equivalent to thinking you can help a person beset by cancer. The difference is that attempting to help an addict only enables him to further his addiction. This is the most difficult concept to grasp. You will read more about this in "Thoughts and Observations". For the moment just believe that "understanding" and "helping" are fruitless endeavors.

Thoughts and Observations:

I believe that crack is a two part  problem composed of physical addiction and a unique lifestyle. In my opinion, the physical addiction carries more weight than the lifestyle. A misconception is that this addiction is largely a choice by the addict. Don't believe it. Users are severely and almost hopelessly addicted to this drug. Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to stop smoking? In terms of crack, we are dealing with the most addictive street drug in existence today. Lifestyle is also a big part of the problem. This is not only a lifestyle without responsibility but a subculture unto it's own. There are no jobs, no bills to pay, no home upkeep, no showers and no time schedule. Users do whatever they want all day and night. It is also a hedonistic lifestyle. Get high all day long and have casual sex whenever wanted. Crack users LIKE this lifestyle. That's why they are there. The drug plays the role of masking out responsibility and conscience. Until the desire of this lifestyle is broken, the addiction will continue. What you are about to read is very straightforward. It has to be. Some of what you will read cannot be overemphasized.

Most crack addicts don't have jobs. An addict's daily use of crack costs between $200 and $400. Money is also needed for small amounts of food, drug paraphernalia and miscellaneous items. Crack addicts also need places to sleep and/or smoke crack. At the beginning of each day a crack addict has no money and on many days no place to stay. They are resourceful, manipulative people who are able to create substantial amounts of cash daily. Can you do that? It's difficult to relate how skillful these people are. When you meet an addict for the first time, they size you up immediately. If you are an easy mark, you will be manipulated and become a part of their life. If they see you are interested in romance, you are in big trouble. No, your love isn't going to change them. It's going to destroy YOU. A psychologist at a drug treatment center related the mechanics of a first meeting with a drug addict. He said, "It's like the Green Bay Packers playing your high school team. You don't have a chance". Don't ever think you can buck those odds. As a normal person it is difficult to understand a person who manipulates and scams all day long. This is a necessity for addicts to survive and you will not be an exception. You will be the rule, another person used up, destroyed and dumped out without conscience.

Dealing with a crack addict is totally disarming. It will interfere with your sleep, your work, your driving, appetite and general concentration. If you are just beginning the discovery of your addict you will read what follows and probably not take it to heart. That's because you haven't had your life totally destroyed. If you have been dealing with an addict you will find some tips and explanations that will make sense and be helpful to you.

Crack is very dangerous because it is an easy transition from marijuana. It's use characteristics are similar so it seems harmless. They are both smoked from a pipe and inhaled. When compared to the shooting of heroin or the snorting of cocaine, a marijuana user does not see it as foreign. In relating to the relatively harmless effects of marijuana, a user could innocently try and become addicted to crack. The drug also has it's negative physical effects. Users can have "crack seizures" using the drug and it is not uncommon for users to have heart attacks. A police officer once told me about a woman who got out of jail and immediately went to a crack house. She had been clean for 6 months while in jail. Because she had not used in so long, she overdosed on the spot and died. Crack also produces an effect called "crack lung". Crack damages the immune system of the lungs making the lungs more susceptible to disease. Shortness of breath, cough, wheezing, and chest pains can be symptoms of lung problems from crack use. General physiological effects of crack use are depression, confusion, hallucinations, anxiety, paranoia, poor concentration, cardiac seizures, respiratory seizures, lung damage, high incidence of dependency, blood vessel constriction, increased blood pressure, increased heart rate, brain seizures that result in suffocation, rise in blood sugar levels, rise in body temperature, and sleeplessness.

Crack is cheap and much easier to obtain than any other drug. In Phoenix, you are literally never more than 5 minutes from a crack house. There may be more crack houses than convenience stores. If you are new to town there are people selling on the streets. You can pick up a street whore who will introduce you to crack houses. There are also delivery services. Some crack dealers have regular business hours during which they will deliver crack to you within minutes after a call to their mobile phone. If you have someone in your home who is trying to quit, don't leave them alone. While you are at the grocery store for 15 minutes, they will be able to buy and smoke the drug. There is very little odor so you will be unaware. Never take an addict to buy drugs. Undercover detectives stake out drug houses 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They videotape buyers and their vehicles and wait until the buyers have driven a distance from the drug house before arresting them. Police departments get their unmarked, undercover vehicles by seizing them in drug busts. Don't place yourself and your vehicle at risk.

Crack use is at epidemic levels. It is difficult for a normal person to understand the vast numbers of people using this drug. Some users maintain jobs, at least for a while. I call them functioning addicts. Here is an important point. If your addict has a job and you are out of options, get his boss or company involved. This is particularly effective with men. Men find a great deal of identity with their jobs and the fear of losing a job can motivate them to change. Don't be afraid to do this, however know that your addict could lose his job. Most companies are used to getting alcoholics treated. Companies are often sympathetic with such problems as almost every family has some kind of addiction problem. I have seen success with this approach several times. Eventually the addiction overtakes them and they lose everything including their jobs and families. Crack users continually steal and cheat each other. They are constantly bickering and moving from one place to another. Many addicts don't stay in one place for more than a few days or week. Usually  arguments over drugs will cause the move.

In my opinion women are most vulnerable to crack. It seems as though there is something in a woman's personality that causes them to be more easily addicted. The female population of prisons and jails has increased dramatically due to the large numbers of women incarcerated for crack. An important thing to remember is that it is an easy life for a woman after her morals are stripped away. Crack gouges out all personal standards and morals. Women prostitute for cash or drugs and find the lifestyle exciting. Crack will turn the most moral woman into a thief and whore without any conscience. If you observe outpatient counseling programs that are gender non-specific, you will find few women in the programs. There is simply no motivation for them to change. It's just too easy for women. According to a recent report by Ted Koppel, nearly 80% of females incarcerated for drugs will return to jail after being released. Remember, those are just the ones who get caught.

Having a crack addict in your life isn't difficult. It's impossible. That's the first thing you have to realize and accept. There is one exception and that is if your addict is actively and willingly attending therapy or IS NOT USING CRACK. If you believe another scenario then you may be smoking it too. EVERY crack addict is quitting. I have never met one who didn't tell me so. They all know when and how they are going to quit. A common statistic is that 20% of all addicted people will be successful in recovering. This number includes alcohol and all drugs. Considering crack is MUCH harder to kick, you can see the percentage of success in kicking crack is closer to zero. I say it is almost impossible. But it is not totally impossible. When addicted individuals stop using cocaine, they often suffer from depression, anxiety and the inability to experience pleasure from normally pleasurable activities. This makes it extremely difficult for the recovering addict to stay clean because they continuously expect the same bang they get from crack use. People incarcerated for lengthy periods of time will walk out of jail and go directly to a crack house to buy. A crack addict who wants to quit is actually attending therapy or is in a halfway house. Or, a crack addict who wants to quit has removed himself from the lifestyle and is drug free. A crack addict who is promising to quit is manipulating you. If you are in doubt, take the addict for a urine test. They are inexpensive. Make sure the testing facility actually watches the addict urinate into the cup. It is very common for addicts to  substitute someone else's clean urine for their own. Frequently this is a child's.

Never let a crack addict blame you for their addiction. This is a common and tireless manipulation. They will constantly tell you that something you said or did made them smoke crack, initially start smoking crack or go get more crack. Unless you are actually putting the crack pipe in their mouth and lighting it, you are in no way at fault. Many times they will blame the person closest to them as the total cause for their addiction. As the addiction progresses through time, the addict's ability to reason becomes totally depleted. They will give explanations to you that will leave you dumbfounded. Their thinking becomes totally irrational and that is why you will discover that you can never believe or rely on anything they say. Another common and very frequently used ploy is the "argument". If an addict is in your home trying to stay clean or recovering from a binge, they will skillfully create an argument with you and leave. It is just a ploy to get back to the street life. Later, they will blame you as the cause of the argument. Again, you will be the causative factor for their continuing drug use. You will discover addicts never take personal responsibility for their drug use. It's always someone or some situation that causes them to use the drug.

Crack addicts are involved in three, and only three, activities all day and all night long. They get money for crack, they buy crack and they smoke crack. If an addict is talking to you or seeing you in person then you are going to be involved in one of those three activities. No, crack addicts do not call home and say I love you. Crack addicts call home because you are an easy mark. If you are not planning to be involved in one of those three daily activities, get away from the addict.

Crack makes men horny and women daring and horny. Anybody will do most anything in pairs or in groups. Just about anything you ask a woman to do, she will comply. This is 100% true if you are the person with the crack or with money. When a woman needs a hit, her body is yours. Unfortunately for men, crack often prevents them from getting an erection even though they are highly sexually aroused. Women will also experiment with each other and it is not uncommon for women to have same gender lovers. It is not uncommon for a man to pay two women to have sex with him at the same time or with each other while he watches. It is not uncommon for sexually straight male addicts to engage in homosexual acts with gay men to get money for crack. There is usually a street area in every large city where numerous men can be seen walking the street to procure gay customers.

Crack addicts don't like to be in public places or crowds. The power of the drug is demonstrated by the fact that women crack addicts do not like to shop. A crack addict does his Christmas shopping either in a convenience store in less than three minutes with less than a dollars worth of change or in dumpsters in alleys. Addicts frequently sift through dumpsters for clothes and anything else they find useful. Crack addicts shop for clothes in thrift stores. They will buy a cheap blouse or sweater and wear three more expensive ones out underneath. Crack addicts rarely go to restaurants. They frequent drive the through at fast food restaurants. Crack addicts can live comfortably in total filth. Even though crack whores have sex numerous times per day they fail to use protection. Crack makes a weak person feel powerful and invincible.

A crack addict will drain your life emotionally and financially. Just watching them is tiring as they are on a speed trip accompanied by loads of paranoia. They are constantly checking doors, windows and switching lights on and off. They can not enjoy a movie or an FM station for more than a few minutes without changing to something else. They are constantly moving about. They develop motor function problems and often bend one knee slightly and tilt their upper torso to the same side as the bent knee. They also can move their arms and legs in twitchy, jerky motions and have sores on their faces and legs from rubbing them. Users often experience "crack seizures" where their heads will twitch. They are not aware of these. Seriously addicted users lose a lot of weight because crack diminishes their appetites. They will tirelessly challenge your ability to say "NO". When you think they are out of your life they will call again. They NEVER give up. They shamelessly keep calling anyone they know with money or a place to stay. The word "NO" does not phase them. If crack was legal and I owned a telemarketing company, I would hire crack addicts as telemarketers.

They will continuously make up the best excuses to extract money from you. Excuses can range from needing money for antibiotics to needing money for rent. When you offer to go to the drugstore to pay for the antibiotics they will give a phony reason why you can't. If you don't give them money they will steal from you, any relative, friend or even child. If you give them money they will still steal from you. They will use stolen credit cards, forge checks, shoplift or break into homes. They take stolen merchandise back to stores and attempt to get cash refunds. NOTHING is safe in your home. If it's an heirloom wedding's gone. They will prey on grandmothers receiving social security benefits and will rob them of the pennies that were saved through the years. They will rob parents of all the retirement resources saved in a lifetime of work. I know a couple who was once financially sound and now is nearly broke and can't afford burial plots for themselves. Crack addicts become great manipulators and will heartlessly suck any unprepared person of all their emotional and financial resources.

Crack addicts go through a cycle. They binge 24 hours a day for five to seven days and then crash. The crash consists of almost uninterrupted sleep resembling a coma. During this time they get up and consume large amounts of food to replenish their energy. While they are eating they are still in a near comatose state. When they crash they are extremely tired and depressed. At crash time an addict will call or come to your door and tell you most convincingly they are done with drugs. They will say they are tired of the whole thing and will never go back to it. You will believe this story and allow them to crash and replenish themselves. At the end of the sleep cycle they will get up, start an argument and walk right back out your door to do it again. If a crack addict is really ready to quit he will submit to a detox center followed up by therapy. If you allow an addict to crash at your house all you will be doing is providing a restaurant and flophouse to further their addiction.

Remember those sci-fi horror movies where outer space beings come to earth, get inside of humans bodies and possess them? That is what you are dealing with. On crack, your loved one or friend has become a possessed being. Forget about talking to the person you used to know. They are no longer there. You must realize that. You are now dealing with a force that is more powerful than you and them. This is where successful families have difficulty. Successful people are used to being able to resolve most problems. At the outset they think they can solve this one as well. At first a family will try to work it out between themselves. When considering experienced counselors have such low success rates, you must realize this is an impossible avenue as families simply do not have the experience or counseling tools to deal with this problem. They will spend thousands of dollars on expensive treatment clinics and other help avenues without any success. They cling to the thought that there is always hope. And yes, there is one and only one hope. There is hope that the addict will hit bottom so hard that he will seek treatment or quit on his own. The only way that will happen is when families and friends remove the addict from their lives. Involvement with an addict only extends the time for them to hit bottom. Letting go is the most difficult part in dealing with a loved one. Removing a loved one from your life is painful but it is the only hope to having them in your life again. You simply have to do this. You may need to seek professional counseling for yourself and family to heal the wounds and pain and help you through the removal process. There is a good pocketbook titled "How to Survive the Loss of a Love" that is available in any bookstore for $6.95.

After you have been broken emotionally and drained financially an addict will talk about his real friends, and that's not you. A woman addict will tell you about a real friend who doesn't like her to whore so he gives her money while, in his mind, he is receiving gratuitous sex. That friend is only momentary because the cash drain will quickly blow him out. Female addicts have lots of these kinds of friends. Real friends are other users or people who will support and aid in their habit without any questions. These real friends are in and out of their lives frequently because there is usually a money argument, theft or a dope disagreement. Don't be insulted when an addict mentions their real friends. Be plenty irritated and don't open your pocketbook again. When the addict asks for money, tell him to call his real friends.

Don't become fascinated or curious about an addicts bizarre behavior. This was a trap for me and it can keep you emotionally involved. I became wrapped up in curiosity about a friend's daily life but she finally cured me through sheer disgust. She called me from her girlfriend Cathy's apartment and wanted me to bring her clothes which I had stored for her. When I got to the apartment she and Cathy were smoking crack on the couch, laughing and having a simply wonderful time. My friend was bragging to Cathy about how she had procured a whore for a friend and went back to his house. The whore didn't perform to her standards and she described how good it felt punching her in the face. She also bragged about holding a gun to her head and threatening her. They were also calling crack dealers for more crack and bragging about stealing a car the night before. Shortly after I arrived there was a knock at the door and a middle-aged gentlemen was invited in and taken into a bedroom by Cathy. I started bringing boxes of clothing into the apartment and on the second trip Cathy came out and asked my friend to come into the bedroom. My friend said, "Excuse me, she needs me for my specialty". I asked what her specialty was and she replied, "Getting fucked in the ass". On the last trip of bringing in boxes another gentleman had arrived for services and while I was leaving, their crack dealer arrived. The girls were laughing and having a great time. Guess what, I don't think I need another look.

Crack whores have an interesting perspective on their customers. They call them tricks and say it with disgust like they are "getting over" on their customers. They think their customers are suckers and fools. Many men like to have anal sex with crack whores because they know they will do anything. So for $15-$60 a man can get a crack whore to do anything. Each time a woman participates a little more of her soul is eaten away until none remains. Now consider, who is the sucker here?

Crack addicts are fearful of the police and incarceration. When they are incarcerated, there is no more crack. I figured out a way to prevent my addict from coming to my door and it worked. I called my addict's best friend and told her two detectives were at my home looking for my addict. I told her they searched the house and even had a third detective at my back door in case she tried to escape. I also told her friend not to tell her. Guess what, she quit coming to my house. Don't forget, addicts are highly paranoid.

Here are some tips that are purely my opinion but I think are valid. Never front money to an addict for drugs. Never give an addict cash for anything. If you buy them clothes they will return them for  cash. If you buy their children clothes they will return them for cash. Never take an addict to buy drugs as you risk being arrested for possession if the drugs are found in your vehicle. Don't be curious about what they are doing. Assume they are doing the worst imaginable because they are. Remember every act of kindness only extends the time to where they hit bottom. Acts of kindness only hurt them. Helping a physically sick crack addict is a mistake. Let them suffer and hit bottom. Change the locks on your home and don't give them a key. Do not leave them alone in your home and remove all cash. Do not allow them in your home with their friends as their friends will return and burglarize you. The only friends they have are other addicts. Never believe anything they say, only respond through their actions. Telling you they are going to drug treatment is meaningless. Receiving a call from them at a treatment program is hope. Remember you are a non-person to them. You are only a vehicle and easy mark to further their addiction. Avoid expensive treatment programs. There are halfway houses that will accept addicts without money. They put them to work immediately and make them self-sufficient. If they are on probation, stay in touch with their probation officer. Most of them really care. If they need to be arrested call the police. Jail is safer for them than the street. Never let them crash at your house. Learn to be strong with them and don't ever waiver even slightly on the word "NO". Learn to let them go from your life. It is the most difficult thing to do but it will protect you and help them.

The Story of Julie: 

I met Julie on the 4th of July a little over 7 years ago. I did not realize she is an addict. She is pretty, a converser, intelligent and now 52 years old. I gave her my business card that day and the next evening she called and asked if she could come to my home and visit. I picked her up at an apartment complex nearby.

We chatted for a short while and she got out her crack pipe and asked if it was ok to smoke. It was the first time I ever saw crack. As she smoked she began telling me about her personal life. She was living with a married couple, both heroin addicts. She told me she was a crack addict and a prostitute. She smoked her supply in about a 2 hour period and asked if I would take her home. She never asked me for money or solicited me.

For the next 3 years Julie would call and ask to come over or just show up at my door. Over time she told me over and over again that she wanted me in her life but couldn't allow it until she became clean. When she visited she most often came on a bicycle. She would smoke what she had and leave. This progressed into her wanting to leave and asking to come back. So she would leave to whore, buy more drugs and return. Julie smokes between $250 and $300 of crack per day. When Julie is desperate she will have sex with multiple partners for $20 or $30 dollars. If a client has crack, there is no fee. Julie has had relationships with other crack addicts and while her lovers sleep in motel rooms Julie will whore for crack, motel fees and food. Julie has not had a place to live in 13 years and will sometimes sleep in abandoned vehicles.

One evening she showed up and said she needed a place to stay overnight. She went out several times to do her business. The next morning I went in to wake her and she was panicked. The first words out of her mouth were, "Take me to the drug house". I thought I saw the real seriousness of the addiction but that was just the tip of the iceberg.

Over the past three years Julie has told me her story. Julie was an addict in Denver and a prostitute. She got busted for both and spent 3 months in jail. She was released on probation and skipped to Las Vegas where she continued over a 3 year period. She came to Phoenix about 6 years ago and has continued in her ways. Her mother and father are divorced and for years she bilked them separately for large sums of money with ever new excuses. She did the same with her sister. All of them finally caught on. Her mother will not talk to her today. Her mother considers her dead. Her father wishes he would receive a phone call of her death so the worry of her would be over. Julie has an 18 year old son who she abandoned about 10 years ago. She has not seen him in years. Julie has been arrested for driving without a license, car theft, joy riding, DUI, prostitution, check fraud, probation violation and and drug possession. She had 8 warrants out for her arrest for failing to appear on all of the charges and one for skipping probation in Colorado.

Julie is a car thief. When she is out whoring she will ask a customer if he would like to party, meaning smoke crack. She will take the person to another crack users home and ask for money and his car keys to get the crack. Once Julie is in the car, she is gone. She has stolen 19 cars.

About 4 months ago after staying all night she wanted me to drop her off where she does her whoring. I remember leaving her and thinking this is the last time I want to see this poor soul. The following day I received a collect call from her at the Maricopa County Jail. Julie had been a passenger in a car with expired plates and was arrested for the outstanding warrants.

For the next 3 months I visited her once or twice weekly in jail. Her whole personality changed and she became very lucid. She became interested in nurturing her relationship with God and vowed to never do drugs again. Toward the end of her internment I offered to put her to work and give her a place to live. She agreed to a backup plan of a live in drug treatment center. She was released on 3 years probation.

I picked her up at jail upon her release and she immediately began talking about the heroin addicts she lived with and others in the drug scene. Her mind had not moved from that place. She lived in my home and during the first week went through the house, cleaning and rearranging. She did a terrific job. On the 8th day she began picking fights with me and simply walked out the door.

Julie had moved back in with the heroin addicts and after about 3 weeks the wife called and said Julie wanted to return to my home. I picked her up and she had lost about 25 pounds and looked horrible. She had motor function problems from the crack which gave her jerky movements and she was also highly paranoid. About an hour after arriving at the house she panicked and had me drive her back the the heroin addicts' apartment to get crack. Several hours later she went out on her own and scored a second time. At that point I made up my mind that in the morning she was leaving or going to a live in chemical dependency program. In the morning I threatened to call the police so she agreed to the program. I took her there, registered her and left. The following morning I called the program to ask if I could drop off her clothes. They told me Julie walked out the door 20 minutes after I registered her.

She called me about a week later and asked if she could come back and I agreed. She promised me over and over she would not use drugs, would attend treatment and would find a job within a week. She stayed clean for two days because she slept constantly. The evening of the second day I went to the grocery store. When I came home she was in the middle of the street without shoes. She jumped into my car and asked me to take her for "one hit". She became hysterical and begged me. I declined. At 45 miles per hours she attempted to jump from the car but I was able to pull her back in by an arm. I stopped the car and she jumped out. She ran across the street, stuck out her thumb and was immediately picked up.

She was gone another week and her probation meeting was coming up. She called me too late in the day to make the meeting deadline. I called the probation officer and he suggested going with me to get her. He wanted to take her to a counseling center to see if we could get her to voluntarily go into a detox facility. She refused the detox but agreed to a counseling session the next evening. I took her home and she slept about 28 hours until shortly before the meeting. She also consumed enormous amounts of food leaving messes everywhere. I came home from work, woke her to get dressed and left for errands. I took her to the 3 hour meeting and came back home. I smelled crack smoke in the house. She had smoked before the meeting while I was doing errands. I said nothing when I picked her up from the meeting. Her first comments after the meeting were that I was too strict with her. She asked why I wouldn't agree to her leaving for a week at a time and returning to my house. She came home and slept the entire following day continuing with her eating. About 6:30PM she woke up and literally ran into the shower, dressed and came into the living room. She tried to create an argument with me so I knew what was about to happen. She asked for $5 to go to the store. I gladly gave it to her because I knew she would be gone. When she left her hands were swollen and bluish yellow. She asked if I thought her skin color was turning yellow. About 4 hours later she called me sounding very intoxicated. I told her I didn't want her here anymore and hung up. I placed all of her belongings outside my front door for her to pick up.

Several weeks have passed and Julie called me from one of her friend's homes. She sounded very ill and told me she could not move. As a side note, this friend was an alcoholic and eventually committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. I called her probation officer and he agreed to meet me at the friend's house. The paramedics arrived shortly after we got there. Julie was in bed, was ashen white and looked like one of those photos of the Nazi concentration camp inmates. She was just pure skin and bones. The paramedics asked that we take her to the emergency room of the hospital. She was very angry with me. She was barely ambulatory. Her probation officer and I helped admit her to the emergency room. It was about 8:00PM and he left to go home. Julie was in a wheelchair and shortly after he left she called one of the heroin addicts to get a crack delivery at the emergency room of the hospital. I saw her on the courtesy phone in the emergency room and wondered who she was calling.  The heroin addict called me on my mobile to verify that she was really there. The emergency room physician came out and told me they could not get her committed if she did not admit to being suicidal. The doctor saw the seriousness of the situation but was helpless. She told me admitting her against her will could end up in a lawsuit against the physician and hospital for assault and battery. She had diagnosed Julie with pneumonia. I went home.

About 2:30AM I heard pounding on my windows and doors. It was Julie. I looked outside and she was in a hospital gown and had arrived in a taxi. About five minutes later she left. I found out the next day she had taken the taxi to a crack house from the emergency room and got crack on credit. At 7:00AM she called from another crack addict's house. She had not gone to bed and was up the balance of the night smoking more crack. She told me she had torn the hospital intravenous tubes out of her arm and walked out of the hospital. In compassion I picked her up and brought her home. Because she could not pay for her taxi fare the driver had kept her purse with her pneumonia antibiotic prescription. I went to the cab company and bailed out her purse and got her prescription filled.

She stayed in bed all day and slept for less than one hour. The crack she used the night before was still having effects. She continuously talked about getting more crack. She was totally emaciated and looked close to death. At 11:30PM she asked for the phone and called an addict friend asking who was at his house and what they were doing. She hung up the phone, crawled out of bed, barely got dressed and asked for a ride to his house. She was nearly unable to walk. This crack is some pretty amazing stuff. I dropped her off.

At 4:30AM a friend called. He lives two blocks from where I dropped her off. He said she had just stopped by looking for alcohol and money. He gave her about a third of a bottle of vodka and she drank the whole thing in front of him and left. He also gave her $1.50 in change.

At 7:00AM the next morning she called and asked to come back to my house. I declined. She said she had $30. The crack addict she was staying with called someone during the night to come to his house to have sex with her for the $30. She had once told me he was a good friend as he wouldn't let her whore on the street but would instead call people to come to his house to have sex with her. There's nothing like a good friend. The crack and alcohol had totally masked out the pneumonia symptoms and kept her up day and night for another 72 hours.

About 2 weeks later I was awakened at 2:00AM by Julie yelling and pounding on all the doors and windows. I waited for her to stop but she didn't so I answered the door. She came in and began ranting and raving about nonsense. I bodied her toward the door and asked her to leave. She left without incident and I noticed she was driving a car. About a week later she stopped by again driving the same car. I was curious as her license was revoked in her probation. That evening a friend of hers called and said Julie had borrowed his girlfriend's car and had been gone for a week. A few days later she stopped again with the same car and asked to use the phone. She called other people who had stolen cars and asked them to trade with her. She also was seeking volunteers to return stolen merchandise to department stores. She said because there were no receipts with the merchandise, she needed volunteers with driver's licenses. She then asked me for money and when I refused she started to become violent. I dialed "911" and she was out the door.

Julie continually broke all conditions of her probation. I stayed in touch with her probation officer and he issued a warrant for her arrest. Due to an overburdened legal system it took four months before the warrant was issued. One morning I saw her entering a home near a place where I purchase supplies for my business. I called the police and she was arrested shortly thereafter.

Julie spent 5 months in jail. During that time I visited her only two times. For the first time I became repulsed while talking to her. She started blaming her problems on her father, sister and me. She refuses to take responsibility for her own actions. Also she continuously talked about going into business with others she had met in jail.

Julie was released from jail to a residential rehab program. She called me one day and asked me to bring her cigarettes. When I visited her she continued to ramble on about going into business with former inmates. She continued to complain about me and her family. I can see there isn't much hope for her as she won't take responsibility for herself and wants to be around others who have drug problems. She was released from the treatment program about a week ago and I haven't heard from her. It will be interesting to see how long she lasts in sobriety.

It is now 3 weeks since Julie was released from rehab. She spent 5 months in jail and 6 weeks in rehab immediately following jail. Yesterday morning, September 15th, 2000, I went to pick up supplies for my business at a distributor near where Julie prostitutes. Guess what? She was on the street soliciting! She had a big smile on her face trying to get attention from passing drivers. She spotted me immediately and the smile vanished into shock. I did not slow down, stop or acknowledge her. When I came home from work I noticed a call in my caller id from the used auto lot near where she was prostituting. I called a friend she always tries to borrow money from and he related that she had been by to borrow money some three weeks ago. In other words she went directly from rehab back out to the street life.

Julie is still on probation. Part of the terms of probation are to pay back a debt for a car she stole and to have full-time employment. She will never accomplish either including other requirements. There are warrants for her arrest due to probation violations and she will again be in jail. And the beat goes on. It is now July 2001 and Julie is still on the street, whoring and doing drugs.

No, I will not accept calls or knocks at my door from her. Some things in life just don't change and you have to learn to accept things the way they really are.

Update July 2002. Julie was arrested for check fraud. She also has other warrants for probation violations and DUI. She has been sentenced to two years and six months in prison. She is currently serving her term.

Update March 2004. Julie has been released from prison.

Update September 2004. Julie's sister called me and told me Julie was back hanging around with her friends, the heroin addicts.