Carl's Drug Dealing Story
"I've never done a dirty deal. If it's not good enough for me, it's not good enough for anyone else."
Carl's in his early thirties and has been dealing speed for nine months. He deals anytime, day or night, when he gets a call on his mobile phone.
Like a lot of people, he walks around at night but keeps a low profile and doesn't draw attention to himself. What separates him from most dealers is, he won't rip anyone off. He cares a lot but of course, it's often hidden under a tough-guy image. His heart's made of gold and oneday, he's going to achieve his secret goals and dreams. He doesn't make money from the deals. It's only enough to keep his declining habit going.
By Christmas, he plans to have stopped, although it's going to be very hard. It takes a lot of work, help and determination. But for now, life goes on the way it is.
"I will not deal anyone anything I won't put up my own arm" Carl says. "I've never done a dirty deal. If it's not good enough for me, it's not good enough for anyone else".
The consequences are harsh if you're caught Possessing, Trafficking or Dealing. A heavy fine or a sentence of imprisonment is what many people pay. On and around the streets, you always worry. You could be walking around but won't have anything on you and you get pulled over. The police know you use speed and will always hound you but you've just got to take it. You're doing something wrong so you can't turn around and accuse them.
"Police are a threat to everyone," Carl says. "It doesn't matter what you do, they'll always have an eye on you." He's never been charged with drug possession but has had three close calls, with two from random pat searches. "I could have been locked up for a long time."
Carl hasn't been searched for three to four weeks but he knows on average, one person a week goes down for various drugs charges and just hopes he isn't next. In the last three weeks, he knows of four people who've been caught. It makes him want to stop even more. The police know a lot about Carl but have never caught him for anything.
You lose business and customers. They get angry because they're hanging out. Some people will wait because they know you'll have a reliable supply and you won't rip them off.
When Carl was 16, he began using speed, which lead to other drugs. It started with smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol two years before. Using drugs was an easy way to cope. Carl was usually by himself when he took drugs, as he was a loner. Interestingly, he was an A-grade student and liked primary school but not highschool. His family was part of the reason life was intolerable and he didn't have a happy childhood.
There'd been a time when things were going well and he planned to be a chef when he finished school.
In Year 11, he was kicked out of school for truanting. "I should have been chucked out in Year 10 or the year before," Carl laughs.
"The biggest problem to a dealer, is not having a good or regular supply."
Ten years ago when Carl was about 21, he managed to kick his drug addiction after taking a chance on Narcotics Anonymous.
Regrettably two years ago, he started using again. Carl's biggest influences was his surroundings and the people he hung around, who encouraged him to use drugs. His problem was not being able to say no and always wanting to try something new.
Needles are exchanged at a van that comes around. It doesn't cost the user anything. It's good for the community. Carl sometimes finds himself picking up needles from the ground, so he puts them in the bin or in a bottle first.
"If you find a needle, break the top off and put it into the bin. Be very careful you don't get pricked. Someone has to pick it up or a child will!"
It makes Carl angry. The first thing he thinks is, "What if one of my kids got jabbed from a needle on the ground?" Some people are so lazy and think it's all right to drop their needles.
Carl feels sorry for his addicted clients but goes through the same pain and anxiety. It's hard saying no to them when you know they’ll come through. When he's hanging out himself, he feels so depressed, sore and his health is, "fucked," from the drugs.
The ages he deals to tends to be between 17 to their 50's. The youngest dealer he's seen was 13 years old. "It's bullshit! They're doing it for their parents because they can't charge a 13 year old."
Carl's been offered sex a few times but has never taken it up, "because it's not in my belief. I tell them they can come and see me when they've got the money. They don't get credit either because it's too risky. You don't know if they're going to come back."
On any given night in Northbridge, there could be anything between three and 20 dealers working at the same time, according to Carl. It's always a competition and it affects your business but users might get a dirty deal when they look for the wrong person. Carl adds, "I've never had a client OD from my supply."
"Don't try it, if it's something you've never tried before. It's not a craze. It's just a crazy thing to do."