As a child in 1980s, Chicago Willie stole to help feed his brothers, sister, and himself. In grade school his teacher told him to have his parents help him with his homework, but his mother, the only parent around, didn’t know how. As a young man Willie started smoking pot, which easily turned into harder drugs. This eventually led Willie to a life under someone’s front porch, two prison sentences, numerous trips to jail, and various recovery programs.
Living in the House of Drugs is the story of Willie Lee Triplett, a recovering addict and alcoholic. It tells of Willie’s life in the suburbs of one of Chicago’s poor neighborhoods, his chance trip to Wisconsin, and his struggle for sobriety. It’s a no-holds-barred account of Willie’s life on the street, in prison, and the roller coaster ride of recovery that many addicts know well. The story is unique in its telling, following not only Willie’s interesting life story but also the author’s interactions with Willie as she learns of his sometimes sorted past, seeing beyond the story and into the man.