Black Tar Heroin: The Dark End of the Street (1999) is arguably one of the greatest documentaries about heroin in history. The 75-minute long film, shot over a span of four years and directed by Steven Okazaki, depicts the lives of young drug addicts living on the streets of San Francisco ‘s impoverished Tenderloin District. In the two decades that have passed since the release of the film, many viewers may be wondering what ever became of the five primary subjects.
Tracey’s story is the most positive outcome amongst the group. Her full name is Tracey Helton Mitchell and she has been clean of drugs for 20 years. After a short stint in prison for dealing heroin, she underwent rehab, completed a master’s degree and has dedicated her life towards the care and counselling of heroin users.
Tracey has earned the nickname ‘the heroine of heroin’ for mailing overdose-reversal drug Naloxone to those who needed it – at her own expense – even before it had been made legal. Today she still lives in San Francisco and is married with three children. She has her own blog and is active on Twitter and Reddit.
Alice McMunn seemed to be at an earlier stage of addiction at the time of filming. However, she has been clean since 2001 after undergoing treatment at a clinic in Portland, Oregon. Today she lives in Los Angeles and is working as an exotic dancer and model. Alice is active on Twitter and goes by the handle malice666mcmunn.
Jake was arguably the most troubled of the group. At the time of filming he was working as a rent boy and discovered he was HIV positive, but still continued to work in order to fund his addiction. Soon after filming, he surprisingly managed to overcome his habit and underwent treatment. Sadly, on January 2002, Jake was found dead from an overdose after stopping his treatment and breaking up with his girlfriend. RIP Jake.
Jessica was also working as a prostitute at the time of filming, despite being HIV positive, and was in denial about her illness. Little is known about her current status or whereabouts. A blog post in 2013 by Tracey states that she is still alive and clean but wishes to remain anonymous. Subsequent follow-up comments in the blog post confirm that she is still alive as of 2015.
There have been conflicting reports about whether Oreo is still alive. However, in a 2016 Reddit AMA with Tracey, she states that he is clean, is married, and does not want to be contacted in relation to the film.
- Tracey: Alive, clean, and dedicated to counselling addicts
- Alice: Alive, clean, and working as an exotic dancer
- Jake: Died from an overdose in 2002. RIP
- Jessica: Alive (as of 2015)
- Oreo: Alive (as of 2016)