Cocaine is one of the most powerful and addictive drugs on the market. Crack cocaine is smoked, which means it can reach the brain extremely quickly, and users feel the effects almost instantly. The effects of cocaine do not last for long, and they are followed by crashing comedowns that can leave the user feeling unwell and depressed. Cocaine users are often tempted to use more of the drug to prolong the positive feelings. This can quickly result in a cocaine addiction that can lead to devastating consequences.
Those affected by cocaine addiction will often do anything to get their hands on the drug. This will include stealing from, and lying to, loved ones, with some people even resorting to criminal activities to fund their addiction. Others will do things they would never have believed themselves capable of before they became addicted.
Two sisters who are working in the UK’s first legal red light district in Holbeck, Leeds, are selling their bodies for as little as £20 to fund a crack cocaine addiction. Sammie Jo and Stacey are featured in a BBC Three documentary called Sex, Drugs, Murder: Life in the Red Light Zone, where they admit to working as prostitutes in order to ensure they get their cocaine fix.
Sammie Jo said that she started to sell her body while living in Hull with her then wife, who told her to earn some money so that she could get the cash to pay for her drugs. Her wife handed her a packet of condoms and sent her on her way. Sammie Jo earned £100 the first time she sold her body and, from then, continued to earn her money this way.
She said, “A car stopped and said ‘jump in gorgeous’ and he asked me what I was offering and I just asked what he wanted because I didn’t know how to say it or go about it. He said ‘everything, how much is that?’ so I said ‘£100’ and he gave me £100.”
While Sammie Jo has earned as little as £20 for selling her body, she has also earned up to £2,000 by engaging in sexual fantasies with certain clients. She said one client would pay £2,000 for an hour if she indulges in his fetishes.
Sammie Jo admits that she cannot do her job without having crack cocaine first because she is addicted to it. She said, “I have this every single night before I go out. I’ve got no self-confidence.”
The safety of prostitutes has been improved thanks to the Holbeck scheme, which was piloted in October 2014. Those working the streets are encouraged to report crimes, and there has been a reduction in public complaints since the scheme was introduced.
Funding a Cocaine Addiction
It is her addiction to crack cocaine that has resulted in Sammie Jo continuing to work the streets. She said that she has no choice and that if she did not work as a prostitute, she would be forced to commit crimes such as burglary or shoplifting.
Sammie Jo’s younger sister Stacey is also struggling with a cocaine addiction; an addiction that has forced her to work the streets, as well. She said she needs the money to fund the addiction, and working the streets enables her to get it. Before she heads out, Sammie Jo does her hair so that she might be able to attract more customers. Sammie Jo does not enjoy this routine, calling it ‘heart-breaking’. She said, “When I’m doing her hair, I dread it. She’s my baby sister and I’m doing it so she can go and shag dirty old men for money.”
Sammie Jo explains that Stacey’s crack cocaine addiction is getting very serious, and it is this that forces her to sell her body. She added, “It breaks my heart, but she’s becoming really bad on crack.”
Stacey said of her protective older sister, “I get in a car with a punter she will stand there and not move until I get back. She is proper paranoid.”
Fear of Withdrawal
Sammie Jo and Stacey are not the only prostitutes struggling with a drug addiction. Debi is addicted to heroin and said that she does not like sleeping with strangers for money but does it because of the fear of withdrawal.
As part of a partnership between the council and police in Leeds, prostitutes in the Holbeck area can go about their business without the fear of prosecution, provided this takes place between 7pm and 7am. In other parts of the country, it remains illegal to solicit and kerb crawl.
Consequences of Addiction
A cocaine addiction is notoriously hard to kick, and those affected will do almost anything to avoid the crashing comedowns they will experience if they go without the drug. Cocaine addicts will do whatever they can to get their fix. In the case of Sammie Jo and Stacey, if this means selling their bodies, then so be it.
Source: Prostitute sisters reveal how their crack cocaine addiction sees them selling sex for just £20 in the UK’s legal red-light district (Daily Mail)