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The film reveals the lives behind addiction: their aspirations, why they do drugs and why they don’t quit, etc. It interviews their families, friends, and members of the community, discussing how drugs have destroyed the lives of the addicts. The filmmakers follow around three people: Boo Boo, Brenda, and former professional boxer Dicky Eklund in their daily exploits to get high. Throughout the course of the documentary, Brenda, a prostitute, becomes pregnant and contemplates an abortion but has to “hook” to pay for the abortion. Boo Boo, whom she says has been pimping her out. Brenda ultimately goes missing which launches Boo Boo into a panic as he looks for her all over Lowell, including filing a missing person’s report with the police.
The police eventually do locate her, but are unable to tell Boo Boo her location, per her wishes, only telling him she is alive and well and “she’s had the child and straightened her life out, but does not want to reveal her present location. After this, it’s not clear what her situation is. Dicky is a boxer who had at one time had a promising career as a boxer and had fought Sugar Ray Leonard, losing by decision after 10 rounds, and had attempted to make a comeback. After Brenda leaves the area, Boo Boo’s drug habit gets worse and he begins shooting cocaine intravenously.
He then gets tested for HIV and finds out he’s positive. This acts as a catalyst to turn his life around. He stops using for several months, joins an HIV support group and gets a job working as a delivery man at a local area donut shop called Eat-A-Donut, where he’s well-liked and they actually feel he’s dependable. He starts to re-open contact with his family. The documentary ends with Boo Boo discussing how he is the only member of the three left.
Dicky is in jail and Brenda is gone. Boo Boo hopes she’s doing well with her new life with her baby as he puffs on his crack pipe. Brenda died from a drug overdose before the film’s release. A fictionalized version of the documentary is featured in the 2010 feature film The Fighter, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture. In the film, the documentary is titled Crack In America.
Brenda delivered her baby and was noted in the film credit updates, to have overdosed on October 25, 1995. Gary “Boo Boo” Giuffrida continued to have trouble with the law. In 2012, he was placed under arrest for receiving stolen property and using a stolen credit card. In 2013, while in New Hampshire, after scuffling and spitting on a police officer, which resulted in charges alleging attempted transmission of HIV. He received a suspended sentence that forbade him from ever returning to the state of New Hampshire. Dicky Eklund has struggled continually since the documentary’s release, noting he’s been arrested over 66 times, including for domestic violence, drug crimes and even attempted murder in 2006, in which charges were dropped and his nephew served 11 months in a self-defense fight. His most recent charges are from 2015.
May 8, 2006 by Frank Eberhart. She allegedly attempted to sell him “fake crack” and drew a knife on him, though Eberhart was uninjured. Her body lay in Eberhart’s apartment for four days until her murderer attempted to dispose of her body by wrapping it with a carpet and leaving it in an alley. The actor who played Boo Boo in The Fighter, Paul Campbell, childhood friend and bit part actor for three of Mark Wahlberg’s films, was killed by police after fatally stabbing a woman on the steps of a home. Co-director Richard Farrell struggled with his newfound fame with this documentary of his hometown. Farrell turned inward and started writing of his own personal struggles in Lowell as an addict in the 1980s. Farrell used inspiration to write a book titled What’s Left of Us.
The owner of Eat-A-Donut, Sotiros “Duke” Schrow, who gave Boo Boo a chance at a job and being clean before discovering Boo Boo did not possess a valid driver’s license, died in an automobile crash in 2001. Eat-A-Donut was subsequently sold by his widow, then shut down for various health violations such as dirty syringes and human fluids throughout. High on Crack Street: Lost Lives in Lowell”. The Fighter’ and the Damage Done”.
In Lowell slay trial, drug deal tied to woman’s final hours”. Crack Street’ director turns spotlight on own lost life”. CANNES: Channing Tatum To Play Junkie”. Berkeley Square works on Dennis Lehane, Channing Tatum projects”. Lowell man’s funeral had many friends in tow”.