NATIONAL BESTSELLER • An up-close portrait of the mind of an addict and a life unraveled by narcotics—a memoir of captivating urgency and surprising humor that puts a human face on the opioid crisis.
“Raw, brutal, and shocking. Move over, Orange Is the New Black.”—Amy Dresner, author of My Fair Junkie
When word got out
that Tiffany Jenkins was withdrawing from opiates on the floor of a jail cell, people in her town were shocked. Not because of the twenty felonies she’d committed, or the nature of her crimes, or even that she’d been captain of the high school cheerleading squad just a few years earlier, but because her boyfriend was a Deputy Sherriff, and his friends—their friends—were the ones who’d arrested her.
A raw and twisty page-turning memoir that reads like fiction,
High Achiever spans Tiffany’s life as an active opioid addict, her 120 days in a Florida jail where every officer despised what she’d done to their brother in blue, and her eventual recovery. With heart-racing urgency and unflinching honesty, Jenkins takes you inside the grips of addiction and the desperate decisions it breeds. She is a born storyteller who lived an incredible story, from blackmail by an ex-boyfriend to a soul-shattering deal with a drug dealer, and her telling brims with suspense and unexpected wit. But the true surprise is her path to recovery. Tiffany breaks through the stigma and silence to offer hope and inspiration to anyone battling the disease—whether it’s a loved one or themselves.
“Raw, brutal and shocking. Move over,
Orange Is the New Black. There’s a new bitch in town.”
—Amy Dresner, author of My Fair Junkie
“A great read for fans of
Orange is the New Black, this national bestseller provides a shocking and propulsive look into the life of an addict. . . . Jenkins breaks down the stigma around drug addiction and recovery in her first book, giving readers a story that is both joyous and heartbreaking.”
Tiffany Jenkins (maiden name Johnson) writes about motherhood, addiction, marriage, and life on her blog, Juggling the Jenkins, where she has acquired a huge social media following. She uses her platform to help and inspire others who are struggling with motherhood, mental health, addiction, and those who just need a good laugh. She speaks frequently about addiction and recovery. She lives with her husband and three children in Sarasota, Florida.
“One, two, three.”
The light from the flash was blinding. I’d been ordered to remove my glasses for the picture, and I could see nothing for a moment. I hadn’t washed my hair in three days, and since I was arrested directly from my bed, where I’d been sleeping, the mugshot about to be plastered all over the papers and the local news broadcasts was most likely just as horrendous as the crimes that started the whole ordeal.
“I am going to uncuff you, briefly, so that you can remove your jewelry and place it in this bag. Once you do that, you will head to that holding cell right there,” the officer said, pointing. “And change out of your clothes. You look to be a large, so here, take these,” she said, handing me a polyester jumpsuit. She reached into a nearby bin and pulled out a pair of rubber flip-flops.
“These are your new shoes. You will wear them at all times—including when you take a shower. Don’t lose them.” She thrust the shoes into my already full hands and nudged me toward the cell. I tried my best not to think about all the different feet that had already worn these rubber shoes, but, despite my best efforts, I was haunted by the thought of how many different species of bacteria would soon be inhabiting my toes.
I jumped when the metal door slammed behind me. The room was dark and the acidic smell of urine was overwhelming. I held my breath and quickly stripped off my clothes before slipping into the jumpsuit. It felt like I was wearing cardboard. The female deputy had been observing me through the window and opened the door once I was dressed.
“Put your stuff in here.” She held out a brown paper bag and I stared at my belongings as I dropped them in. My heart sank as she folded up the bag and handed it to another deputy. My clothes were no longer my own; they belonged to the county now. “C’mon, you gotta see the nurse for some blood work and a pregnancy test.” For a moment, I secretly prayed I was pregnant. Maybe then they would let me go home.
Home. I wasn’t even sure where that was anymore. I certainly couldn’t go back to where I was living. In fact, by now, my belongings were most likely packed and sitting outside.
As I sat down on the cold metal chair across from the nurse, I suddenly realized how shitty I felt, physically. The chair was freezing, yet somehow I was sweating. My bones began aching and my eyes watered uncontrollably. I was sick.
“Okay, Missss . . . Johnson. I’m going to do a couple of tests, but first I’d like to ask you a series of questions,” she said, grabbing a nearby clipboard.
“Gah. Like one-sixty, I think?”
“Currently taking any medication?”
I hesitated. She glanced up at me and repeated the question. “Are you currently taking any medication? Yes or no.”
I took a deep breath, and began. “Dilaudid, Roxicodone, Oxycontin, Xanax, Percocet, Lortab, Vicodin, and marijuana. I’m not sure if that last one counts as medication but—”
“Okay. And would you describe the crimes you have been charged with as ‘shocking in nature’?”
“Yes. Yes, I would.”
She looked up at me over the rim of her glasses as she set her pen down and leaned back in her seat. “Okay, I don’t usually do this, but you have piqued my interest. Would you mind telling me why you consider your crimes to be shocking in nature?”
As I proceeded to tell her what happened, I watched her expression morph from confusion, to shock, to disgust, then back to confusion as she leaned forward to check something off on her clipboard. “Okay, yes, I would say that counts as shocking in nature, definitely,” she said, attempting to regain focus.
She cleared her throat and nervously glanced up at me as she made some notes. “All right, since you are obviously going to be experiencing a severe withdrawal from opiates, we are going to keep you in Medical for a few days before bringing you to the general population. There we will be able to monitor you to make sure you have a safe detox. I am just going to quickly get a few samples from you and then they will take you down.”
I watched intently as she prepared her syringe, and my stomach doubled over on itself at the sight. My palms began to perspire and suddenly I felt as if I might explode. My skin crawled and my legs were restless. It had only been about twenty hours since I’d last gotten high and I already felt like shit. This was going to f***ing suck.