Deal of a Lifetime
There is a BIG article in the Houston Press about C.R.A.C.K.
Drug addicts can get hard cash to be sterilized or go on birth control. Is it ridding the world of unwanted babies -- or just ducking the underlying problems of abusers? BY CRAIG MALISOW
The urge hits, and Yolanda Ross is out her parents' door.
The 33-year-old mother needs to get high. She says she hates this thing inside her that makes her do this, but there's no fighting it tonight. Plus, she's got money, so she won't need to sell her body this time. Just a quick trip to Sunnyside, see her old friends, the pimps and pros and addicts who taught her how to score.
Ross tells of how she'll make her getaway: An old boyfriend she called will be waiting in the driveway in his car, thinking he's just taking Ross to visit her cousin. He doesn't know she'll be going to Sunnyside for drugs.
Tonight, she'll be leaving behind her parents' nice two-story home in a quiet, clean subdivision near Hobby Airport, leaving behind her daughter. Ross says she drank too much when she was pregnant, so the baby was born with all kinds of problems. Fetal alcohol syndrome. The six-year-old child is four mentally.
But Ross can't think about that now. And she can't think about her son, Steven, the boy she put up for adoption two years ago. She says she smoked crack while he was in the womb. Lord knows he's better off now.
She anticipates her evening, when the former boyfriend will drop her off outside her cousin's home. When he pulls away, she'll head down the road to a house where she knows she can score. Ross will knock on the door until a familiar face greets her. She says she'll be led to a back room where three or four others are getting high. She's got her money -- $10 for a rock -- and will wait for her turn.
Then Ross will fire up and find her peace. No one will bother her tonight. No rough johns, no cops. Even her conscience will let up a bit. She knows she's destroying just herself. There's no baby forming inside her, never will be.
Two years ago, Ross saw a billboard for an organization that pays drug addicts $200 to get sterilized. Steven was inside her then. She eventually gave up her baby, but she knew she couldn't give up her addiction. The sign seemed to know this. It said you can stay on the pipe, just don't bring another baby into this world.
Ross got her tubes tied after giving up Steven. A short while later, she got a check in the mail, along with the numbers for some rehab centers.
Comments? Email Chris Brand.