No One Said It Would Be This Hard

Benjamin consumes around 15 beers a day and is a habitual pot smoker.  He has struggled with both addictions since early adolescence.For anyone with a history like Ben’s, the alcoholism and the marijuana abuse could be seen as mild. During the last two years Ben has also coped with heroin addiction. He has been received, removed, failed, and/or run away from both formal and alternative substance abuse programs.A year and a half ago he finished a nearly eight-month long jail sentence for a DUI.Along with his addiction, Ben has always had to deal with a diagnosis of chronic depression and ADD.This year he will be turning twenty-five years old. The images in this story were produced when he was 23.At the time of this story, he was in the fifth month of a relationship with recent Goucher College psychology graduate Rachel.  The two met while he was staying with Rachel’s roommate after being kicked out of his parents’ house.  The two of them lived off the modest income made from her Americorps Vista stipend and his 20 hour a week job at as a food runner at a restaurant.As with a majority of addicts, Ben will lie to himself and others just to perpetuate his addict lifestyle.  This is the longest time that he has lived independently from his parents.  Ben no longer considers himself an alcoholic and has not attended an AA meeting since March 2011.

This project depicts his adjustment to sustaining relationships that are not tied solely to his drug use and alcoholism.