Movie Review: Heroin(e)

Heroin(e) is a documentary that focuses on the opioid crisis in Huntington, West Virginia.  This film cites a lack of education in general, unemployment and hopelessness as factors contributing to the opioid crisis in this particular area of the country.   Experts think that many of the prior and current opioid addicts became dependent on opioids as the result of injuries sustained as the result of physical jobs and legitimate injuries.  Since they can no longer obtain pain pills, they have resorted to street drugs as an alternative.  Those alternative opioid drugs have included heroin, Fentanyl and the elephant tranquilizer Carfentanil.  Carfentanil is a drug 100 times more potent that Fentanyl; this is the drug that killed Prince.  This documentary does not discuss how those who still have pain from their injuries are expected to manage their health problems.  It argues that we have turned addiction into a crime rather than a public health issue.

Although Huntington, WV is located between both Wayne and Cabell counties, Cabell County ranks third in costs associated with the opioid crisis.  The county that is number one in costs associated with the drug crisis is Boone County, WV.  Boone County is rural and only has 23,645 residents.  It is estimated that Boone County spends $206.5 million per year battling this problem.  The American Enterprise Institute estimates that the opioid crisis costs West Virginia’s economy a total of $8.8 billion, yes billion, dollars a year.  Let’s remember that West Virginia is not a populous state; it is ranked #40 out of 52 states or territories.  Clearly the present efforts to control this crisis have not been very effective.  Yet the paramedics are still responding to overdose calls where Naloxone rescues some, but not all overdose victims; and the fire department reports seven overdose deaths a day. You can find this documentary on Netflix. Reviewed and recommended by Justine.