Inside the life of a 13-year-old drug dealer

By Stacy Thomas

Britney has escaped drug dealing after a couple of brushes with the law. Photo / 123RF
Britney has escaped drug dealing after a couple of brushes with the law. Photo / 123RF

For more than a year, Britney* would pick up a car from her boss, get a list of customers with their locations and phone numbers and deliver drugs to them across Sydney.

She believes because she was female and looked innocent she was a less ­obvious runner in the drug world.

She sold marijuana and worked 12-hour shifts alongside another person and averaged 60 customers a day, reports News.com.au.

Her payment was a couple of hundred dollars plus food and cigarettes for each shift. She did more shifts than others because she never got caught.

Teamed up with another person in the car, she would deliver drugs to a long list of regulars as well as first-time buyers.

They were given a different car to make it difficult for police to track them.

There were a handful of people she would ride shotgun with on the job. Teaming up was a safety measure for the drug runners.

"The drug dealer believed because I was innocent looking, I wouldn't get pulled over or noticed as much," she said.

"They would make me work more often. And they were right until I got caught.

There were times she felt threatened by customers but she said they were often "sorted out" by the boss pretty quick.

"They (buyers) think they can take advantage of you because you're small and female," she said.

"You mess with me and you've got the boss to answer to.

"They know if they rip me off, the boss will come after them - it's his drugs and his money." But every now and then, there's always one person that thinks they can get away with it."

Selling drugs was a natural progression for her.

At 13, Britney left home and began a life of heavy drug use.

Through her then-boyfriend, she dabbled in the world of drugs and got a taste for ice.
He was a dealer, so she learned the lay of the land through him.

Because it was a violent relationship, Britney used her job of dealing as a way of getting out of the house, away from it.

She got off ice by replacing her expensive habit by accessing the methadone clinic because she wanted to sleep and feel numb.

"I didn't even take heroin, I just knew what to say to get on the list," she said.
"It was free but still gave me my hit."

She said she was always so wired, that doctors wouldn't help manage her mental health".

After stepping away from the methadone clinic, she went to marijuana.

It made her feel good and it was easy to get.

To support her habit, she began selling.

"I've been prescribed lots of tablets to ease my anxiety but nothing really worked," she said.

"Weed (marijuana) always calmed me. So to help pay for it, I started selling.

"I was able to buy the weed cheap because I was selling for drug dealers."

She had a patch in Sydney to cover.

She said it was territorial. "You step into someone else's patch and you'll hear about it," she said.

There was a positive to the drug dealing and interactions.

"My maths got really good and my confidence was up," she said. "It was good money - we had a car, cigarettes, lunch and we got paid a few hundred dollars for our 12-hour shift.

"The most I collected in cash in a day was $8000."

The 25-year-old got out of selling after a few brushes with the law, saying she was paranoid she'd get caught again and have to do time.

She left the world of drugs behind and is trying to live as normal a life as possible and is getting training to enter the workforce.

She hopes by sharing her story, people can see "the other side" and understand the drug world a little better.

"More education and support is needed to stop others from going down the path I did," she said.

*Not her real name.

- news.com.au

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