Tracey Helton Mitchell is the author of "The Big Fix: Hope After Heroin," which was published in March. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three children. She works as a manager of peer-based mental health services.
(CNN)There is a scene in the documentary "Black Tar Heroin: The Dark End of the Street" that continues to resonate with me, despite the 18 years that have passed since 25-year-old me was featured in the film. I was asking the camera, if I wasn't using drugs, "what would I do with my life?" I was pointing to the camera, showing the soft tissue infections on my skin. I was skeletal, living in a filthy hotel room with my boyfriend. I had left my apartment a few years earlier for a spring break trip to San Francisco and had never returned home.