After surviving nearly a decade of heroin abuse and hard living on the streets of San Francisco's Tenderloin District, Tracey Helton Mitchell decided to get clean for good.
With raw honesty and a poignant perspective on life that only comes from starting at rock bottom, The Big Fix tells her story of transformation from homeless heroin addict to stable mother of threeand the hard work and hard lessons that got her there. Rather than dwelling on the pain of addiction, Tracey focuses on her journey of recovery and rebuilding her life, while exposing the failings of the American rehab system and laying out a path for change. Starting with the first step in her recovery, Tracey re-learns how to interact with men, build new friendships, handle money, and rekindle her relationship with her mother, all while staying sober, sharp, and dedicated to her future.
A decidedly female story of addiction, The Big Fix describes the unique challenges faced by women caught in the grip of substance abuse, such as the toxic connection between drug addition and prostitution. Tracey's story of hope, hard work, and rehabilitation will inspire anyone who has been affected by substance abuse while offering hope for a better future.
|Publisher:||Da Capo Books|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
Tracey Helton Mitchell is a recovering heroin addict. After completing rehab in 1998, she dedicated her life to the care and treatment of heroin users. Tracey entered school through an ex-offender's program where she earned a bachelors of business administration and masters of public administration. In addition, she is a certified addiction specialist and supervisor. She was featured in the move Black Tar Heroin: The Dark End of the Street. She has also been featured by CNN, Anderson Cooper, Vice, the Huffington Post, and the New York Times. Tracey lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three children.
Read an Excerpt
Like many Americans, my long road to addiction started with a trip to a medical professional. At 17 years old, I got my first taste of opioids after the extraction of my wisdom teeth. As a talkative yet very shy teenager, my exposure to drugs had been limited to the closed world around me. Witnessing my older siblings in their drug experimentation phase had made me keenly aware of how silly a person could become on weed or alcohol. I had tried them both a few times. I found neither to be all that appealing. But those white pills, they seemed like magic. I remember all the troubles of the world slowly melting away into a pool of euphoria. Little did I know, I would spend eight years of my life chasing that feeling on a daily basis.
Fast forward a few years later. I had been imagining a way to have a return to that feeling. How could I get access to those magical pills? I wondered about acquiring some as I entered the hurried world of University life. It did not take long. My solution was easily obtained by friends. Their parents had pills on hand- from injuries, from surgeries, and from medical procedures that had healed long ago. They had forgotten about those bottles in their medicine cabinets. When you moved aside the cough medicine and the q-tips, what remained was these glorious substances.
The pills seemed the perfect enhancement to any night out. A few drinks, some pills, I was a happy woman. Sure, I lost some friends. That hardly mattered to me. I made new ones! I made better ones! I made friends that were not only accepting of my changing lifestyle, they encouraged it. They asked me if I wanted to try the needle. Injecting pills would be the best use of my limited resources, they told me. As I held out my arm, I barely felt a thing. The first time wasn’t much, nor the second. What was I missing? I tried a few other times, I began to see the appeal. Pins and needles in my extremities. A numbness in my core. My appetite only increased with time until, I graduated to lady H.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Thank you for sharing your story, thank you for being alive. This book has brought me hope after years of feeling hopeless & helpless. With 2 of my children turning to heroin following addiction doctor prescribed painkillers this book has shown me that there is still a chance for them. I bought a second copy for my daughter who is in jail. On the day that she received the book she called me, "thank you mom, thank you for this book, this is me, this is my story". My daughter told me that she was half the way through the book already. She has been using & selling heroin for at least 4 years. She has been living on the streets, homeless, in 2 very physically abusive relationships, selling her precious body for "party favors". She has lost everything, including her husband & beautiful daughter. She has only been clean for the past 2 months, the time that she has been in jail for. With being clean she is now remembering things & dreaming of a new future. I believe that Tracey's book has brought the light of hope into her darkness. There is not a lot of help out there for heroin addicts, unless there is money, so without money you need to fully understand the truth & be aware that victory is possible. This is what Tracey has given with telling & sharing her story.