Traná (pronounced Tra-nay) died from an overdose on Halloween 2013. She had been in jail a few months, and upon release made a beeline for drugs. She overdosed with her first injection.
Traná's "God's Gift" shoulder tattoo gives an idea of her precocious personality. Blonde, five feet tall, and nineteen at the time of these photos, she would have made the consummate saleswoman, though she said she wanted to someday have a restaurant.
In 2012 Traná fell quite ill and went to the local Episcopal Hospital emergency room. The doctors misdiagnosed her and sent her on her way with an aspirin. Some days later she wound up at Temple Hospital and was placed in intensive care for several weeks for endocarditis (a heart infection) and was a candidate for open heart surgery. Such infections usually arise from contaminated needles or contaminated heroin, along with a weakened immune system. She was bedridden for several weeks and against doctors' pleadings checked herself out of the hospital prior to heart surgery to return to the street and heroin use.
Traná's specialized acute care costs likely totaled several hundreds of thousands of dollars, and I met another addict whose bill for a similar infection and surgery was, if I recall, $700,000. These are a mere two instances which have likely exceeded a million dollars in healthcare costs which are ultimately are passed onto society, taxpayers, and the healthcare system with little or no direct economic consequence to the drug users or traffickers.
I saw Traná a couple of times after that close brush with death and she said she felt fine, and looked it, but her luck did not last long.