Heroin Use And Prostitution

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Heroin use and abuse has been connected to prostitution and theft because the users need a method of income. Research on erotic performance in relation to substance abuse is sparse, but Rosenbaum (1981) mentions that heroin-using women prefer stripping over regular work, simply because it is illegal. This study examines the socioeconomic role heroin has played in a “lap dance” scene, within the context of a rapidly changing sex industry. The focus of this paper is how a heroin user finds prostitution and theft as a way to maintain her addiction. The findings reveal a series of linked situations heroin use creates in the life of a stripper or prostitute. According to Frenken and Sifaneck (1998), “Lap dancers experience deterioration of personal relations, while participating in a growing network of heroin users.” Therefore, these women have very little self-esteem and cannot build relationships due to lack of confidence or disgust in themselves. They have desensitized themselves from human emotion. When working with a client these women have to desensitize themselves so they can push past boundaries and hopefully be rewarded with extra money. In gaining that extra money, it continues her addiction and makes her go again the next night. Frenken and Sifaneck (1998) also found that “Heroin use locks them into lap dancing rapidly and intensely, which most often leads to a lack of selectivity in customers and sexual activities.” These women do not get to pick the cleanest or best clients, they get whom ever wants them. So it could be a man who wants more than just a lap dance and the woman, strung out on heroin, would oblige to any sexual advances the man would make. For many of these heroin-using sex workers the combination of stri... ... middle of paper ... ...the increase in heroin use among prostitutes. Most had noticed that there was more violence in the form of prostitutes and their partners robbing clients, and prostitutes robbing each other as a result of needing more money to support their cocaine use (Gilchrist, Cameron & Scoular, 2005). Some of them have been caught stealing from other dancers and customers (Frenken & Sifaneck,1998). Even though the women are attentive, stuff gets stolen regularly. Dancers also steal from each other. The disappearance of clothing items, beepers and other personal belongings often seems to get blamed on drug-using women (Frenken & Sifaneck, 1998). This relates back to how heroin-using prostitutes do not create relationships well with others. They are not trusted and disrespected for their violence and illegal drug use. There are programs that have been created to help these women.

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