Heroin and opioid abuse in the United States


Heroin Triangle: Intervention
Wednesdays at 9.30pm AEST from May 2 until July 4

 

Heroin Triangle: Intervention looks at the all too human cost of opioid addiction in the United States across a collection of affluent suburban communities north of Atlanta which has become known as “The Heroin Triangle”. Documented through city officials, community leaders, and addicts themselves, this is an insightful view of the rise of America’s opioid crisis, from prescription analgesics to a full-blown heroin epidemic.

This is not a lesson in history, chemistry or for that matter pharmacology. This is a poignant insight into a crisis that is ravaging the United States that comes from the mouths of those affected. There is no mellifluous narration and punches are not pulled in this documentary by Primetime Emmy nominee Peter Field and Chris Knittel, who brought us the intriguingly uncomfortable 60 Days In.

In 2017 levels of heroin and opioid abuse had risen so high in the United States that it was declared a national public health emergency. It is estimated that 2.1 million Americans are addicted to heroin or prescription painkillers and 120 people a day will die from overdose. Opioid addiction is not restricted to any demographic, class, race or gender and its victims are not just the user, but often those around them, and especially loved ones.

In this series we come to know individuals who’s lives are in the balance because of their addiction to heroin, and we take a raw insight into the fragile lives they lead:

Tiffany and Billy, a volatile couple living out of their car that receive a sizeable tax return that sets them up to score a large of amount of heroin. Their addiction threatens to destroy the family that they’re building.

Tracey is a homeless and as a gay man on the streets, he faces unique challenges as he spends his days hopping buses and hiding out in bathrooms stalls shooting-up heroin.

And then there’s Zac, a free-spirit and musically gifted. His great potential and talent are undermined by his crippling heroin addiction.

 

Interventionist Heather Hayes enlists the help of her colleague Donna Chavous to further investigate how Atlanta is handling this crisis. There are a lot of complicated questions about opioid addiction, but are there any answers?

What we do know for certain is that heroin does not discriminate, and intervention is probably our best hope of a cure.

 

By: R. J. Hawksworth