Documentary : #Oscars Heroin(E) (2017) Short Subject

Length: 39 minutes

Release: 3 September 2017

IMDB Synopsis: Three women fight to break the cycle one life at a time.

IMDB PageHeroin(E)

This one was not as tough to watch as it should have been.  It was filmed in my home state, in a city where I spend almost every summer weekend.  We live an hour away from Huntington.  For my perspective:  I have rallied against the woman who lived in a house adjacent to mine, who is an addict and who bolted the door to her home on a consistent basis, then crawled out of the window to go score for the night.  Why bar the doors?  So the kids could not open it in the event the cops showed up for a wellness check on them (or so I have been told).  I watched the system fail her kids a couple of times through her arrests, her being high, her dropping her kid off at a local Dollar General Store to a customer there, to wellness visits that started with a 6-year-old answering the door while babysitting the 6 month old sibling and ending in the addict showing up so Child Protective Services felt they could do nothing but leave the children with her.  I watched her boyfriend push her home in a baby stroller because she was cracked out.  I have reached out to local officials (with no success) to ask what can “John Q Citizen” do to prevent harm to her children.  I Facebooked the hell out of it to a point that, now that she is no longer there, I have no drive to be vocal about it, or her epidemic, any longer. 

It is still a massively important topic, especially for this area.  I am thankful that this film has the exposure an Oscar nomination brings.  But the cynic in me feels that the epidemic will outlast the fanfare.  The saturation of this epidemic I have seen personally is exhausting.

I watched this short on Netflix, the trailer for it is here:

Items below this are spoilers, my thoughts while watching this film:

  • It is phenomenal that there are three women (in a state that leans toward the guidance of men) who are highlighted in this film.
  • This is my state, my husband owns a business in that town, I know the landmarks they pass in the film.  On a personal level, I have become so desensitized by this very topic, in this very location (the town in which my daughter currently lives and teaches) – that this film did not have the emotional impact like the others (with subjects less inundating to me).  And I know that it is important and I am glad that they are giving a glimpse into what it is like.
  • Huntington has a nickname, Overdose Capital Of The Nation.  It has 10x the national rate of OD deaths due to heroin.
  • In Cabell County (where Huntington is located), over $100M was spent in 2015 on this epidemic.
  • I want to donate my time to Brown Bag Ministry.
  • There have been numerous screenings of this film in our state with the three women and I have been unable to attend.  A friend attended one at the University of Charleston and told me that a recovering addict in the audience stood to tell her story and that story included having been Narcan’ed (it is a verb in this area) 17 times.



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