High on Crack Street: Lost Lives in Lowell is an HBO documentary from 1995. The film portrays the lives of three crack users in the run-down, former mill town of Lowell, Massachusetts. Located about 30 miles north-west of Boston, Lowell has a drug problem that rivals any big city. Or at least it did at the time this documentary was filmed. It seems to be on par with the state average nowadays.
I was actually pretty surprised when I stumbled upon this — simply because I had never even heard of it before. Documentaries in this vein are right up my alley, so it’s odd that it flew under my radar for so long. Although, it doesn’t seem to be that popular, and I was rather young when it originally aired.
In any event, if you enjoy yourself a great drug documentary — or just great documentaries in general — I highly recommend you give High on Crack Street: Lost Lives in Lowell a whirl. It is an undisguised and unwavering tale about the true horror that is crack cocaine.
I don’t want to spoil much, but an interesting side note: One of the three broken characters that the film chronicles is former professional boxer, Dicky Eklund. He was once the pride of Lowell, and before crack took its hold on Ekland, he had been the New England Welterweight Champion for a time.
In 1978, a young, in shape and auspicious Ekland even fought and went the full ten rounds against future boxing legend, Sugar Ray Leonard. But, in the end, Ekland lost by a unanimous decision.
The real kicker — and the most depressing part in my opinion — is that the formerly promising pugilist’s fights were once broadcast on the very same television network now documenting his downfall and drug abuse. I suppose fate simply is a cruel mistress at times.