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Heroin(e) (2017)Heroin(e) (2017)

Huntington, West Virginia (population 48,000), has been called the overdose capital of America, and for good reason. Their overdose rate is about ten times the national average — roughly seven people each and every day. The film maker Elaine Sheldon, who has won a Peabody Award for her previous work, and who is herself a native of West Virginia, won an Oscar nomination for this short film (thirty-nine minutes) about the crisis. The documentary revolves around three heroines who are making a difference and who refuse to despair. Jan Rader, a nurse by training, is the first female Fire Chief in the history of West Virginia. "I was built to help people," she says, and she is unapologetic about providing the controversial Naloxone (an opioid reversal medication, brand name Narcan), even if it takes fifty times to help a person make that one recovery. Patricia Keller is the judge who presides over the county drug court. Necia Freeman started Brown Bag Ministry. Every Wednesday night she drives the streets, looking to befriend the drug addicted sex workers, providing them with food and shelter. This film is a frightening mashup of both causes and symptoms — drugs, crime, poverty, homelessness, poor education, and unemployment.  I watched this Netflix Original Documentary on streaming. 

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