The Rise of Fentanyl: Drug Addiction On The I-95 – Two Years On

The Rise of Fentanyl: Drug Addiction On The I-95 – Two Years On

# Oh, say can you see…? # Get him on the ground. HE GROANS
Get him on the ground. Sir! It is the number one public health
challenge of our time. Sir! Pulse. MAN CONTINUES TO GROAN It’s not a poor people thing
any more, it’s not a inner-city ghetto drug any more,
it’s everywhere. It’s hard to even recognise some
of these people when they’ve lost a lot of their humanity down here. Tomorrow’s not a promise. It’s not heroin that’s
killing our people, it’s fentanyl. MUSIC: Star-Spangled Banner I’m not going to die from this. Like, I’m not.
Not going to die from this. It was like, we went from
20 overdoses to 80 overdoses in the matter of a month and we
were like, “What the hell happened?” # In the land of the free… # I feel like it’s a waste
of my life, it’s a fucking
waste of everything. # And the home of the… # I would say that fentanyl
is the Horseman of the Apocalypse, and it’s the one named Death. # ..brave. #
SIRENS WAIL For decades, Interstate 95
has been notorious for its role in the illegal
drug trade in America. Stretching from Florida to Maine,
this corridor gives cartels easy entry to major cities. We first met Anna two years ago. She was a new resident on Baltimore’s backstreets
of addiction. A lot of people walking by. All right, come on… SHE YELPS Do not do that! Dude, you scratched me! Are you OK? Little bit of a rush? Anna was recently released from jail
after serving two weeks for prostitution –
which means two weeks on no heroin. What time is it? And since then,
she claims to have only taken pills. What time is it? Is there something in it?
Barely. If you want it, I’ll go grab it… The last two years,
I guess nothing’s changed but everything’s changed.
I know that sounds really weird but I’m still down here, I’m still jumping
from house to house. I’m still with the same guy. I feel a little trapped. I’m scared to shoot up again
but I know eventually I probably will if I stay down here. I’m not sure
if I see my future right now. I mean really when
I think about it, I don’t know what I’m going to do in three years,
I don’t know what I’m going to do tomorrow, I don’t know
what I’m going to do in an hour. I mean, all I can do is hope
that I’ll do the right thing, you know, and not
what I’m doing now. This is gang-run west Baltimore, the epicentre of Baltimore’s
opioid epidemic. Patty, a former addict,
formed Angels of Addiction just after her son died
of a heroin overdose. Here, walk on my feet. A lifeline to the lost,
she has fed and clothed addicts and their families
on these streets for years. Any time, 24/7. I lost my only son in 2002,
and God blessed me with many, many children and
it’s an honour to serve them and they’re very precious people,
a lot suffer from the disease of addiction, it’s a very big
problem, an epidemic here. I could never count throughout
the years how many people that I’ve helped or known
that have died from this disease. At least 100 people
in the last few years. It’s sad because they’re my… You know, next time we come,
somebody might say, oh, so-and-so didn’t make it. That happens often. Especially since this
fentanyl has been out. Fentanyl is very dangerous,
because it’s stronger than the heroin and people are
overdosing on it and it’s, you know, really scary and very
alarming and we’re… We’re losing a lot of people. I chase fentanyl,
I chase carfentanil because it’s the only dope
I can feel any more. But it is a big problem,
because it’s so powerful, people that have been clean
for years and just recently decided to relapse, erm, they end up OD-ing. You know,
off of a half or a quarter pill. That’s what it is, it’s not heroin. I used to get high,
I don’t get high no more. I’m just addicted to the cut,
fentanyl. They stick it in capsules
and then you stick it in your arm,
not knowing what you’re getting. And it could be a little bit
of nothing or a whole lot of too much. And I’ve had friends drop… Several, more than several, handfuls, that have had
a little bit too much. Every day coming down here,
seeing my friends, I would hear about one of them
overdosing or dying. It’s very dangerous and
it’s killing a lot of people. The sickness of addiction
is when you hear people overdosing and dying, the addict wants to know,
where’s that stuff? Because they want the stronger,
longer-lasting stuff. But they don’t realise
that that’s that next hit, that may be the last. The bottle’s empty. Thank you, ma’am. I appreciate it. Probably nine out of ten people
do fentanyl and don’t even know it. None of us know what we’re doing. A lot of the people that we know
either died or moved or went to jail. Some go to rehab
but they always come back. Everyone out here
is hooked on fentanyl. It’s not really so much the heroin,
like I said, it’s not even in it. The fentanyl’s what
everybody’s into it now. I said I’m not going to leave
my boyfriend ever. And if he’s down here,
I’m down here. Either he goes to jail,
or I go to jail, we’ve never been clean together
since I’ve been with him. Well, since we’ve gotten high. She said she hasn’t used
no needles, so I’m proud of her, she’s been doing good. But she always threatens me,
so that’s her threat, and that would make my heart,
I told her it would break my heart. We meet Anna as she searches
for her morning fix. Addiction seems to be fighting back. Hi. Hiya. Hiya. Yes, I’m fine,
you don’t have to ask. SHE MUMBLES I’m fine. How was your night? Great! Tell us what happened?
Nothing. The last thing I feel like doing
is fucking talking right now. Yeah, I’m still here. Anna and Dave squat in abandoned
houses, moving frequently to avoid being found by landlords or police. The landlord actually ended up
coming while we were inside so we had to hurry up and go hide
in one of the rooms and then escape out the house
when he wasn’t looking. So I again got
interrupted on my sleep. What did you spend your money on? I got a pill, he got a pill
and then we each bought crack after we got our deal. That we needed, like gas and stuff. What were the pills? I don’t know, dope? What else? Then you said you had to go
get some more money, how did you do that? Go and get a date. Anna prostitutes herself
for the money needed to buy drugs for herself and her boyfriend Dave. It never ends, you know? I wasn’t even
planning on going outside. It’s just that we didn’t
have any money. So because of that,
it took me for ever to get a date. What time of day were
you out trying to get a date? It was night-time. What time of night? Something like five in the morning. But I didn’t go until
like one in the morning. I can’t remember,
but I usually go in and out, I don’t just… What I mean is I usually go outside,
I’ll get a date then I hurry. Get the money, either rob them
or just do a super date and come back home and then
I go back out, before morning. Or it depends, sometimes I
don’t even know I want to do drugs and we hang out. Most people, when they are 23,
have a goal in life, have wishes, desires. Do you have any? No. I don’t plan no more. Why not? I guess because it’s like
too late to fix. Anna still claims that
she has not injected heroin since her release from jail. Her body tells a different story. She heads off in search for a place
to stay for the night. But that wasn’t her first priority. I was just sniffing it just to try
it and make sure the powder’s… Like, heroin’s bitter,
but fentanyl has kind of like got a sweeter taste to it. Anna is back in the
full grip of her addiction. I don’t know how to live
in any other way no more. Am I wrong? Like, we don’t know what else to do,
do you understand? Like, when people break their arm
and legs, they need rehab to walk. Like, we need rehab to learn
how to live, like all over again. Name’s Nathan O’Brien. I’m from Kentucky. My name is Olivia Light,
I’m from Ojai, California. My name’s Ed, I’m from
New Haven, Connecticut. I’m Johnny Montasanno,
I’m from Long Island, New York. My name’s Al, I’m from Ocean County,
New Jersey. My name’s Joe Wilkins,
I’m from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. My name’s Tommy,
I’m from Birmingham, Alabama. My name’s Millie,
I’m from Currituck, North Carolina. I’m addicted to heroin.
I was addicted to heroin and prescription opiates.
I was addicted to heroin. I struggled with heroin
for four years. I’m a recovering heroin addict. I struggle with prescription
pills and heroin. My addiction was
pain pills and heroin. I struggled with heroin. Over the course of the last
two years, I wouldn’t say that it got better. I would say that it’s gotten worse. We see more and more patients
coming in that have experienced multiple overdoses
prior to coming in. I really don’t see an end in it. I don’t see it getting
better at all. Jodi has dealt with the
opioid crisis since she was a child. Her mother is a lifelong addict. And she now runs an addiction
recovery centre in Florida. This addiction changed me
from being a talented, ambitious young kid into basically a degenerate,
just a shadow. It took my family,
my friends, my freedom. It took everything. My addiction took my self-worth,
my dignity, my self-respect. My health, my friends and family,
my education, money. What are they going to do with me? I couldn’t get a job,
I couldn’t keep the job. Most of my family members
consider me dead. I’m thankful that we have a place
where patients can come, seek help in a safe environment to start working on the reasons
why they turn to drugs. But every single day
it’s a multitude of new people. It’s like the floodgates have opened
and it’s just non-stop. I’ve been clean
for four and a half years. And two months,
I’ll have five years. Currently, I’ve been clean
over 100 days. Just over one year. I’ve been clean for,
the 23rd of this month, it will be 60 days. Since March 20, 2017. I mean, the date resonates
in my brain, March 19, 2016. That’s when I got clean
and it wasn’t easy, but it was the most glorious
experience of my life. Brittney seems to have travelled
a long way from her days of addiction. But the beaches of Jacksonville,
Florida are only a couple of hours’ drive from Orlando,
where Jodi first introduced us to Brittney two years ago. When Brittney admitted to
The Recovery Village, she absolutely was
ready for treatment and admitted the fact
that she had an addiction problem. She had OD’d several times –
very, very close calls – and she was ready. I’m addicted to heroin. SHE SOBS I want to stop, but I can’t. It’s that right here – I remember
thinking how would it feel if my mother would have seen me
at her kitchen table, where, you know,
I grew up eating at. I don’t know, it’s just when
you’re in addiction, you don’t care. Find the Narcan, find the Narcan. Seeing that video, watching her at this table… ..and nodding off as they call it, nodding and falling asleep and then pretty much
drooling, it was horrible. It was really devastating
to see that. I was sick for three months,
like, throwing up constantly. I thought it was a bad flu. I got all these different
tests done, one of them was a pregnancy test. I remember her coming back
and telling me, “You’re positive.” And I was like,
“I’m positive for what?” And she told me I was pregnant
and I immediately started bawling. Brittney had a baby girl,
beautiful, sweet baby girl. Say cheese, baby, say cheese. And about a month after that,
sadly, Brittney relapsed again. And this was very devastating. My mom… Me and my mom got in a
fight earlier in that morning. My mom said some things
she didn’t mean and I was already in a very bad mental place. I went out to get formula
and ended up at a gas station and an old dealer ended up
being at that same gas station. Ended up purchasing a bag,
but I came home and we had a nice dinner, held my baby,
I sat right here. We had been sitting
here at the table, chitchatting and the baby
was snoozing. Brittney had asked me, that
she wanted to go to the bathroom. So the baby started
waking up and I held the baby. Then Brittney was in the bathroom. I remember sitting on the toilet
and talking to my mom from the living room. And I snorted the whole bag. My mom’s in the other
room with my child and, and I just kind of nodded off
and I felt OK for a little bit. And my mom’s voice got distant
and then everything went black. And I had the baby in my arms
and I go into the bathroom and she is passed out, gurgling
and drooling from the mouth, leaning against the wall,
sitting on the toilet. Um… It was devastating, it was scary. I had to get her to wake up
and I ran into the living room, the baby was sleeping again. I put her down in her little bed
and ran back into the bathroom shaking and screaming at Brittney
and smacking her on her face to try to get her to come out of it. And she’d finally came out of it,
I’m at the same time trying to call 911. And came out of it to my mom
holding my baby in her arms, on the phone with paramedics,
trying to bring me to. I just felt nothing but anger. Anger, frustration again, and I really, I was so angry at her,
so angry and so hurt, and so confused how
she could do that. I did not know what happened. But once I started
putting things together, I was just kind of
in disbelief at myself. So… I wasn’t thinking about my daughter,
I wasn’t, I didn’t care about my mom or how she felt. I just felt so depressed. And not good enough,
like, I just felt like my daughter didn’t deserve me.
She deserved better. I felt like my mother
could raise her, I mean, it’s just… But, yeah. You just don’t think
that they’re going do this again, especially now,
especially with a baby, especially knowing
that you have that beautiful little baby, how could do you this? This drug pulls them in,
like none other. It steals their dreams,
it steals their lives. It’s almost stole my grandbaby’s
mother from us again. I’ve told Brittney that one
of the saddest things I would ever have to do would be to have to tell my granddaughter about her mother, that her mother was an addict,
and she tried very hard to get past this addiction,
but was unable to, and died from it. In 2017, we had just under 72,000
Americans die of drug overdoses. Jay, Jay look at me. That’s a phenomenal number. It’s almost hard to imagine. Has he taken drugs or anything?
I have no idea. It is the number one public health
challenge of our time. Opioids are now the biggest
drug epidemic in American history. The number of deaths from
opioid abuse have skyrocketed over the past 15 years… Killing tens of thousands
of Americans every year. That’s more deaths than
from car accidents and from guns. Emergency services overwhelmed. Another family burying a loved one. She overdosed in her car,
while her two-year-old daughter was in the back seat. CHILD CRIES CHILD SOBS In certain age groups,
between 25 and 34 in the United States,
20% of all deaths are due to opioid overdoses. Of that 72,000, the majority
are opioids and the majority of the opioids are the synthetic
products, such as fentanyl. Fentanyl is taking the opioid
epidemic to a new level of urgency. Fentanyl, a drug more
powerful than heroin. It’s 50-100 times
more potent than morphine. Fentanyl’s so potent, you could die
with the syringe still in your arm. It’s so potent,
so incredibly potent, that it only takes a few
milligrams to cause a death, and now we see fentanyl lacing
not only the heroin supply, but we see it in cocaine and
methamphetamine, in all sorts of drugs because
it’s dirt cheap. If heroin’s the devil, to continue with
the biblical analogy, I would say that fentanyl is
a Horseman of the Apocalypse and it’s the one named Death, because it just brings death. All right. Yeah, if you just go
straight here I’ll show you some of the more affected areas. Kensington is Philadelphia’s
Ground Zero for opioids. And it has just been
declared a disaster zone. Dan’s family has also
battled with addiction. He now fights on behalf
of those still struggling. I mean, this becomes
what the neighbourhood is. You see, most people around here
you’re going to see are high. You know, so the neighbourhood
is almost entirely consistent of people who are abusing. Can’t walk through
this neighbourhood without being offered drugs. It’s hard to even
recognise some of these people, it just seems like
they’re in a jungle. And they’ve lost a lot
of their humanity down here. Heroin’s been in Philadelphia
for decades, this is not a new story. It’s just that recently the death
toll has gotten so out of hand and the farther you look,
the more you realise how truly desperate things have become. I believe in 2016
we had 272 homicides and over 900 overdose deaths. Last year we had around
300 homicides and 1,200 overdosed. So it went from being
three times the murder rate to four times the murder rate
in one year. If you look at the charts
of what opioids are killing people or what drugs are killing people,
in recent years fentanyl has just taken off
literally just like a rocket, but now because of, you know,
how deep some of these people are in the throes of addiction
and how high their tolerance is, fentanyl has become introduced
slowly into the mix so that people can get high again,
because what some people don’t realise, is that a lot
of these people who are using drugs on a regular basis aren’t
necessarily using it to get high, they’re using it to maintain
their addiction, make their headache go away, to sort of regulate. Any amount of fentanyl would kill
most people who aren’t addicted almost instantly. If it continues to get worse,
like, where does it go from here? I am a heroin user. I’ve been using heroin
for about 20 years. Alex is just one of the 70,000
active heroin users currently living in Philadelphia. This ain’t no life for nobody,
I mean. This is like the bottom
of the barrel right here. This ain’t for nobody. I don’t wish this on my worst enemy. I generally have to score about
six times a day to keep myself well, just to be able to function, really. It’s all it comes down to,
just to be able to function. I hope that it’s fentanyl
because I’ve been doing it for quite some time, and heroin
that’s actually heroin will not get me well. My body actually
craves the fentanyl. It’s different,
it’s a different high, it’s a different feeling and I’m not
really sure what the difference is between the heroin and the fentanyl. I don’t know. But, it’s what my body
craves and without it, I’ll be just as sick as I am now. I feel like it’s a waste of my life. I mean a got a lot of people
in my corner who care about me, a lot of people in my family
that love and care about me, and want to see me do well,
and I’m not doing nothing except sticking a needle in my arm,
every day, all day long. Waste. Waste of time, waste
of energy, waste of money. It’s a fucking waste of everything. It’s just a waste. In need of a place to sleep
Alex heads to an abandoned house that he and other addicts
sometimes use to crash. What’s going on? Not too much. It makes me do things
that I normally wouldn’t do. Lie. Manipulate. I’ve never been like the person
to lie and tell stories, and to, you know,
try and get over it, I was not like that. But my addiction has
definitely made me that way. Makes me feel alone,
it makes me feel vulnerable. Makes me feel scared. Makes me feel unsure
of what my purpose here is. Manchester Fire And Emergency. Request for an ambulance
at Manchester. It’s the Shell gas station,
the patient is in the bathroom. She has overdosed. It’s going to be for
a female in her 20s. My caller states he went into clean, found her overdosing in the bathtub,
she was not conscious. The caller states
that she has overdosed, the patient’s going to be just
outside the church on the side. Where are the people located? She said they’re in
the middle of the street. Two people are overdosing. For a male in his 50s found
unconscious, not breathing. There’s a needle next to him. 35-year-old male.
He is not conscious, not breathing. Overdose. I don’t know what to do!
Stop talking for a moment. I don’t know what’s happening
to this generation, you know, I look out my window, you know, I’m like looking at Ground Zero,
for the United States, for fentanyl,
you know, and fentanyl dust. It’s like what the heck am I seeing? Truck 1811 – response. Outside of 340, 340 Hanover Street
for a man down, possible overdose. SIREN WAILS We went from 20 overdoses to 80
overdoses in a matter of a month and we were like,
“What the hell happened here?” Why did it hit us? Because of synthetic
heroin, it was fentanyl. We don’t have a heroin problem,
we have a fentanyl problem and we really realised that
back 2015, when we got hit so hard, but we’ve been chasing it
ever since, to try and get ahead of this and it’s really tough
to get ahead of something like this. I talk to these guys all the time,
when I’m down here, I’m pretty invested in my personnel
and I worry about what they do. I go to a lot of the calls that they
go on because I just want to see how they’re,
you know, handling things, and make sure that… I know there’s going to be some
compassion fatigue, it’s really… It’s really difficult to see this. I mean,
when I grew up in the Fire Service we never saw this much,
you know, you know, death. He’s not unconscious,
but you don’t really know, you know, when he used, you know,
what’s going to happen. They don’t want to hit him
with Narcan right away, because if they do,
he’s going to be sick. Right now they want to get
him out as, you know, as slowly as possible, so what
they’re going to probably do, is we’ll get him in the back of the
ambulance, get him to the hospital, and get a monitor on him and probably give him some Narcan
via an IV and so on. All right, Dale, we probably
should go to the hospital, get you checked out there. Oh, I don’t think I need to go
to on the side hospital. Well, yeah, you’re not… All right. Give me your hand there,
we’ll take you, we’re going to walk you back here. Tell us what happened. This gentleman was seen
on the sidewalk, unconscious, with very limited breathing,
and had just done heroin as he reported. He was actually one of the honest
ones where he admitted to doing it. Sometimes they come up
and they don’t admit to doing the heroin and, or fentanyl. And this time he did and we know
we’ve got to take him to the hospital to have him checked
out and have him not lay down somewhere elsewhere no-one
can find him and him passing away. You go on calls like that,
in this neighbourhood, and it’s a lot,
it’s the aftermath of – you ask them where the needle is. “I threw it in the street.” OK, well now, where is it?
Who plays with it? Is it an adult that picks
it up and throws it away? Or is it a child that plays with it? Then it turns into he said he did
half fentanyl, half heroin, mixed in a bag. So the little baggy
that he has, where’s that? He probably threw it on the ground. A kid plays with that,
sees it, is it candy, whatever? It’s that whole,
from my personal stand point, it’s frustrating,
because you see it all the time, every single day. Since this crisis has hit,
we go out on these types of calls over and over and over
again, all day long. So 10% of the overdoses that we get
called to for an opiate, that results in death. So how did you make it over here?
You just walked over? Yeah. Yeah, have you
ever overdosed before? Doug, can you get up? OK. You gotta. You can’t stay here! Dude, we were talking
and having like a full conversation and you just fell asleep
like, mid conversation. Douglas has obviously
overdosed on opiates. He admitted to using
fentanyl, so, yeah. This guy needs help. He needs somewhere to go,
and you know, and like I told him, it’s like there’s help
for him, you know. It’s, but it’s getting
to these people, and you know, hey, I don’t judge you people
but you don’t know where they came from, you don’t know what kind
of trauma was in their lives, so, he needs help
more than anything else. He’s sick. So… With no increase in
budgets or personnel, Manchester Fire Department now
spends 70% of their time responding to drug-related calls. Layla. Layla. Layla. Wake up. We got here, the police
officer came by the park, was doing some surveillance. Gentleman here saw her passed out, called 911, unresponsive,
we came here. She showed
all the symptoms of an overdose. Right away we administered Narcan,
started breathing for her. He’s going to give her another
Narcan, so this will be the
second one that we put in, She didn’t
respond to the first one. So we’re going to put
in a second one. If this one doesn’t work,
they’ll probably do an IV and then put it in that way. Narcan is used to block the effects
of opioids in an attempt to reverse overdoses. Now they’re going to put
the Narcan in by IV, because the two nasals got her
to come round a little bit but not fully, so… There we go. Hi, Layla! Careful, Layla. It’s just unfortunate, you know,
daytime at a park, you know. You know, you think you’re going
for a walk in the park, you know,
the next thing is an overdose, so… If this crisis right now don’t worry
you then there’s something wrong, you’re not paying attention to it. Every day,
people are out on the highway, driving down that I-95 quarter,
to the source city or source cities where these organisations
have these drugs readily available. It’s all day long,
it’s Monday through Friday, and on the weekends
and it’s night-time, daytime and during business hours,
the product is always available. But look, New Hampshire,
as of this morning hasn’t had a heroin overdose death. It’s not heroin
that’s killing our people, it’s fentanyl,
and it’s changed the game. It’s cheap, it’s easy
to manufacture for these cartels. They don’t want to worry
about opium any more, they don’t have to
worry about the plant, sun, water, how they’re going
to grow these, growing cycles, they don’t worry about any of that,
they can mass-produce this stuff in the same labs
that they have set up, that they’ve used, you know,
when they were making methamphetamine or any other drug,
and they’re able to manufacture it faster, and cheaper. Working with local law enforcement,
the DEA has identified dealers operating from a park. He’s getting into a blue BMW. He picked up. He’s looking around. The blue BMW is leaving. So you can see how this works,
we’re set up in the park, we’re sort of
at a position where we can see what’s happening,
we see customers coming in. He’s coming to the park. They’re getting served,
they’re getting back in the car. Our guys are calling it out
to the surveillance units, the surveillance units are taking
them away to a place where, whether it’s in New Hampshire
or Massachusetts, we can safely
make these traffic stops. Straight ahead. OK, we have another
New Hampshire customer, guys. Another
New Hampshire customer arriving. A vehicle possibly going on 95. We’re up here in New Hampshire now,
we just stopped a car that we saw it pick up from that same park,
and this woman too had the stuff stuffed inside of her body cavity. She’s pulling
it out for the troopers. Here’s the evidence here
that they just removed from this female here
on this traffic stop. Again, fentanyl,
driving up into New Hampshire to pollute our communities. The cartels will never change
what they’re doing. They have found an avenue
now with fentanyl, where they can make so much money. The other thing is we’re seeing,
and this really frightens me is, the dealers are now mixing
fentanyl with everything. We’re seeing an increase
of fentanyl mixed with cocaine, Fentanyl mixed with methamphetamine,
and if you think about it, it doesn’t even make sense,
because really they do opposite things in the body
and in the brain, but to the dealer they almost look at this
fentanyl now as a magic dust that’s just a money maker. They think if I just put
a little bit of this in there I’ll be able to spread that product
further and make more money. So they’re trying to figure out
how to get that recipe to the right point, where they can
still addict everybody, but have them come back
as much as they can, and that’s really
what’s happened here. They’ve killed more people
than war has. I like the person I am today. I used to hate myself. When we met Steven,
I didn’t know him previously, he didn’t want to hear
anything about recovery. He didn’t want nothing
to do with the conversation, even though he was kind
and sweet and respectful. I knew he just wanted to get up
and go get high that day. He had it written all over his face. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen that scene, like,
and it disgusts me how I looked. Couldn’t even keep my eyes open. I couldn’t form a sentence. Slurring, and like,
I believe I was very close to overdosing that day. Runs my life. I don’t need it
but I feel like I do. Never could get enough of it. And it just… It kind of just fed itself,
it just took everything from me, and I, and I gave it, I gave
it everything I had, willingly. It kinda took control. I’m not the same person,
you know what I mean? I’m not that person. I believe drugs, heroin especially,
completely changes who you are. It will make you do things
that you never thought you’d do. Make you into somebody
that you’re not, you know. Steve had hit rock-bottom
and just accepted an offer from Jodi to leave Pennsylvania
for the first time in his life, and fly to Florida for treatment. Hi, Jodi. Hi, Steven, how are you, dear? How you doing? I’m good. I’m so glad you made it.
How was your trip? Good? OK. Feeling OK? Yeah, sure. I wasn’t… But I know it’s not too late,
that can still make it right. What I told them. After three months in rehab,
Steve left Florida clean and in search of a new life. One without the temptations
of America’s opioid crisis. Steve and I have kept
in touch here and there, throughout the course
of the last two years. I know that he’s still clean
and sober, I know that he’s living in Kentucky,
you know, I haven’t spoken to him on the phone. SHE KNOCKS ON DOOR We just text every couple of months. Oh, my God! Hi. Oh, how did I know he had
some tricks up his sleeve. Hello.
Oh, hi, how are you doing? I’m good. How are you?
I’m good! Oh, my God,
look how healthy you look, boy! You look amazing. Yeah? Uh-huh.
I’m glad to see you. I’m glad to see you. Oh, that’s awesome,
that’s such a surprise. Come check out the house.
All right. Sounds great. So you left Florida,
went back to Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh area. Yeah. And wasn’t going to work or… I had an opportunity to move here,
and I kind of jumped on it, you know what I mean,
for the first time in my life I was able to just pick up and move. Before, I was so afraid to leave. You were afraid to leave
what, afraid to leave? I was afraid to leave the area
I was in because I didn’t know where to get the next one, cos I wouldn’t know where to get it
if I left. Right, it was the… Right, so the drugs kept you captive
in so many different ways. Yeah, yeah, it kept me there,
in the same area. Now, I had the freedom
that I didn’t have to stay around the area,
because I didn’t know where I was
going to get the next one. Does it exist here? Like, it technically
exists everywhere? It exists. It’s everywhere. Right, so,
I mean, it’s happening here? It definitely is here,
I’ve seen it a little bit. I know an addict when I see one. It’s definitely here. You have to go looking for it.
If I wanted to find it. It doesn’t come knocking
at your door or drop you off like a pizza, right. Yeah, like back
home, it was right in your face… Sure. ..and it came and found you. I really like it here. It’s really nice.
I feel better than I’ve ever felt. I don’t remember a time where
I felt this good about myself. Two years ago, I couldn’t even
dream that I could be here, doing what I’m doing,
and as happy as I am. If there’s one individual – Steven –
who I know that we had a hand in saving his life, it’s worth it. Nobody’s life’s better
than someone else. We all deserve a chance. At success. And to live.
Just some of us have lost our way. It’s not a poor people thing
any more, it’s not an inner city ghetto drug any more,
it’s everywhere and it’s killing people left and right,
every single day. Something’s got to be done. It’s got to change. What’s it going to take?
You know what I mean? Someone can see the power like that,
losing their child too it. Before they open their eyes to it? Like, something’s got to give now,
or there, eventually, there’s going to be no coming back from it. I just hope we haven’t
reached that point already. My story doesn’t end here. This isn’t the last time
anyone’s going to see me. Just I…
I’m not going to die from this. Like, I’m not.
Not going to die from this. I want my daughter to be proud
of me, and I want my… I want people to be proud of me. You know, I want
to be proud of myself. If I was your mother right know,
what would you want to say to her? Oh, mom, I’m sorry. I know, I mean, I can’t tell her, “Hey, wait, couple more years I’ll
get better,” I can’t tell her that, I don’t know. That’s what sucks about this. Tomorrow’s not a promise. For her or for me. Oh, my greatest hope
is that I can beat the addiction. That I can just go
back to being Alex, that I can be a good son,
good brother, good father, that’s like my greatest hope. That I can beat this,
walk away from it, and just not look back. We lost contact with Alex,
so went back to search for him. But he was nowhere to be found. # Gave proof through the night # That our flag was still there # O say does that
star-spangled banner yet wave # O’er the land of the free # And the home of the… # ..brave? #

100 thoughts on “The Rise of Fentanyl: Drug Addiction On The I-95 – Two Years On

  1. It is not about becoming an addict. It's also about WHAT PUSHED these people to become addicts. It can be depression, it can be anything. It can be the system, marginalization, ZERO social inclusion. We need to act on these things.

  2. It`s really sad and scary. I`ve watched some movies about drug addiction at school because my teachers wanted us to see how drugs can kill you, but I`ve never watched sth like this before. It`s really… hard to watch. I want to believe all the people all around the world, who have a tough time, will never try drugs. Never. Because when I saw these people, who just couldn`t control their bodies and looked like zombies, I was frightened. Seriously. It looks too scary for me.

  3. Soboxen really did work for me , I was addicted 25 yrs been clean 15 , I was so tired of that life. I never want to get sick again.

  4. It’s so very sad that one can be in so much pain that this is what people do. It breaks my heart. I understand why people are in addition. The pain gets so much. But the death from the overdose doesn’t hurt the person it hurts the person they leave behind. R.I.P to all who lost their lives to this heartbreaking illness. And God Bless those who are in active addition.

  5. wow this is really powerful. watched the whole thing. i didn't know the opioid crisis was THAT bad exactly. I really hope they get the help they need. i was addicted physically to alcohol and i can tell you, NO ONE who is addicted to anything, wants to continue that lifestyle. i am 19 days clean, and never looking back.

  6. My fiance was sober from drugs for a year then had relapsed for 3 weeks. He is now in detox and will be released tomorrow. Please keep him in your prayer.

  7. Stop giving them nalaxone, let the garbage rot..useless and total waste of medical treatment, money and time..bag em and tag em..10 down thousands to go…no government benifits for addicts that are not in treatment. law should read 10 years in jail for refusing treatment, it her wise bag over the head and we will be ahead

  8. The thing is that there just thanking about the Drug dealer there not thinking about the person that lives in chronic severe pain.

  9. The people who sell this shit are worse than the worst serial killers. If one of them came near my kid i would destroy them.

  10. Coming up on 90 days after 22 yr heroin and crack addiction. Nearly lost a leg. Hardest thing to stop but so worth it.

  11. 5th jan 2019. Been almost 9 months clean from hashish.did it for 5 years around 2 to 20 joints a day Knowing its nothing as compared to these other drugs but leaving it brought me to the question that this really is effective because only then i realized i was an addict.

  12. Why don't you short to kill the sellers??? Police officer must start killing those basted on the street..they kill my wife, from now police numbers will be on my phone and I will call police any time I will find sellers on the street…if police officer don't want to find them we will find them for them to come and pick them up ..

  13. I am sending prayers, love and hope to all that have been affected by addiction. This documentary was so much better than most. It actually talked about how you have to find the REASON the addiction started before you can try to help someone get over it. You can help someone get clean but if they just go back to the same issue that started the addiction in the first place they will just relapse. The government doesn't seem to understand that. Another thing the government doesn't get is that passing all these laws to regulate prescription pain pills is not the main issue. It is almost impossible now for the people who need those types of meds to get them and they are not the ones causing the main problem. The cartels and the gangs are the main problem. What the government needs to do is to build the wall and regulate what is coming in from Mexico and China and anywhere else they know Fentanyl is getting smuggled in from. That is what is causing the over doses. That is where the governments money needs to go and the DEA needs to concentrate. Not doctors writing one to many scripts. Unless it's a crazy amount. Sorry rant over. Soap box put away.

  14. Why would people do this to themselves? You dont want to live? You want to die early in life? Is it that bad that people have to turn to drugs to deal with life?
    You're not scared what you are doing and the fact that you are going to die from this? we can't be this stupid… and yet, people are so easily influenced by the power and persuasion of others to lead them! How ?

    We idolize super stars, musicians, we almost make other people look like God figures why? When we see this in movies, on the street, other people are doing it so it must be ok… and yet, these actors, movie stars, athletes – they continue to live their lives and you continue to screw up yours. It's sad.
    So this is the life you want? To be in court, judges, lawyers, jail, cops, always looking over your shoulder… Is this a life to live knowing we are all only here for maybe 60 – 70 – 80 years. We are healthy and then our bodies begin to break down over the years but I would rather age normally, peacefully and deal with the daily struggles of life than turn to a drug that is just going to kill me quicker.
    Why people? What makes these drugs so important that you can't desire a normal life of family, friends, kids, a love life, fun..I don't get this !

  15. I find myself caring for Anna,If I met her I'd give her a hug and tell her she can beat this addiction.I hope she is safe & has tried getting well as everyone else that has an addiction.
    I myself have been clean for over 20 yrs.I wasn't addicted to heroin regardless, addition is addiction.I hated myself for whom I had become.I quit ony own.I become pregnant,my son was the reason I quit.he saved my life.I thought my son only had me to take care of him.Id never forgive self if something happened toy son. Everyone has to find a reason to live.Im proud of every one who has quit using.My husband wasn't as lucky.he is no longer with us.he passed away in 2007.We all have one live & should try to make the best of it.God Bless everyone

  16. Where is personal responsibility? You choose to try the first hit, take the first pill. I'm sure everyone is aware that drugs are addictive it's not a surprise.

  17. Lord God in heaven, I pray that You Lord will provide the provisions and strength for all that suffer, to overcome this horrible crisis, please help us parents that have grown children that are suffering, in Jesus Holy Name Amen!

  18. Definitely looks like the US win the bullshit war on drugs, doesn't it. Why are these politicians too dumb to realise that the war on drugs has been a total and utter trillion dollar failure on all levels. Look at how well the prohibition of alcohol went.

  19. I feel that this drug was deliberately released into the streets to kill the drug addicts/homeless. Maybe I sound paranoid but
    I think it's a way of the powers that be culling the unwanted. It's extremely sad and I pray often for these homeless/addicts because they are suffering and live in torment and they have no help and nowhere to go. Not all homeless people are addicts btw but all do need help and support.

  20. I can't even begin to fathom the seemingly impossible recovery that any of these individuals should be lucky enough to complete. As a recovered cannabis addict, I can look back and from my perspective, deduce that quitting it will almost definitely be the most challenging task I'll ever take on so trying to imagine what these poor souls endure on a day-to-day basis is beyond the realms of my comprehension.

  21. Fentanyl made me feel weird after my Csection. I told the nurses forget it. I was in pain after it wore off but I refused to have those side effects again.. I don't see how this particular opioid is so loved.



  24. That mom with her baby killed me inside 😭
    I'm sorry but I have zero respect nor understanding for moms who do that to their kids

  25. wow in 2017 approx 27000 die from this shit, it fills me with pleasure to know thats 27000 less pieces of shit on the street.

  26. I don't know why i end up watching this video but while watching it pained me seeing those people who are addicted i can't even watch the whole video to that couple when they were injecting the drugs.i know a lot of people that close to my heart destroy their life because of drugs i even ask them why they used drugs and most of them have the same response because of curiosity, influence of friends and they just want to escape from reality,you know you really want to help them but if they don't want to help themselves to change then nothing will happen. After watching this video im scared to have a baby because of the possible choices that they will choose that leads them in a bad environment as much as you can you want to protect the people who are very precious to you. I can't really explain my feelings watching this video. But i will include you in my prayers especially to those people who are fighting now of their addiction by gods grace i pray for your complete healing and wisdom

  27. Crazy watching this and growing up 30 mins both ways to philly n bmore. Struggling w addiction for 15 plus years in n out of multiple rehabs detoxes. My home town of Cecil is a cesspool. This time coming out of rehab has been the hardest…..pray for me

  28. I have been clean since July 20, 2017. I have all my children back, I have a home, and i am more joyful than i ever imagined i could be. I want to live. I am beyond grateful for sobriety, there is no freedom greater. I give all my thanks to God and those through whom he works in my life ❤️

  29. sadly narc makes them when come too go and get more gear so not got rattles from the narc also cops need get dealers not the users but thats what they do pull over users which just causes them to buy more and do what need to get money as cops took there drug of them in system dont judge its not easy to fight back at this monster it changes you it makes you do horrible things for it it takes your hope your pride your life

  30. Those are not really Heroin injection points, Heroin doesn't burn your skin. There's an idiotic phenomena across the addicts: "Injecting Crack Cocaine", Crack Cocaine is not water soluble, so it doesn't get dissolved in human blood, which causes those skin and muscle tissue burns in injection points. Standart Cocaine-HCl is soluble in water, so it's injectable, but the Crack is not. It doesn't even gets them high, they're only feeling the small amount of Cocaine-HCl found inside the Crack Cocaine, which is just un-freebased leftovers from the Crack Cooking process. The Crack just stays at the injection point, burning the tissues gradually. Because it doesn't get dissolved in blood, it never reaches to the brain. So they're harming themselves while wasting the drug.

  31. My ex girlfriend was using this stuff back in 2016 or so, this shit is no joke. It was sad seeing her throw her life away

  32. World has gotten so crazy! Greed, made Big Pharma filthy rich, & others. I think we get lost in depression, anxiety, life is not so easy these days. No mental health care. Then they gave us an abundant amount pills of any kind. God Bless give us strength. Keep faith try try again if you fall

  33. Those white marks on her chest at 12:58 are cigarette burns from smoking and dropping a cigarette on yourself..i was on heroin and pain pills from the day that I had my son on September 30th 2006 until May 13th 2017. I have not used ever since. But I know those burn marks all too well, I have the same marks..sad i hope she gets help.

  34. I had the pleasure of meeting Anna yesterday, and you would not recognize her. She's clean, sober, and looks like a million bucks. Anna is proof that recovery happens even when it seems like a world away.

  35. Ppl forget that alot of ppl start with prescription drugs. I was prescribed morphine, codeine and tramadol…. For a break in my neck! I was addicted for 16 years, and was buying extra pills Dailly. One day I said, enough is enough. I have been clean for 3 years and won't even take a paracetamol now…… Don't want to ever experience the feeling of swallowing a pill again. I was a different person……… Only now, I am finding out my true personality. Stay strong ppl, one day at a time…. You got this 👍

  36. In Canada , it's the same situation it's hard enough to get from paycheck to paycheck to live in today's society , It's a death wish , if U live from Opiod to Flakka or any of these fabricated drugs , day to day.If I ever have to choose I would choose the first problem , it would be much easier and clean to get back on your feet & at least have some kind of purpose .This is one issue the governments have to do more active solutions to irradicate once and for all , this epidemic!!!

  37. Frankford Ave is only worst from the time this was released. Unfortunately more and more fall victim to addiction.

  38. Dope is the worst drug in the world. Zubzovle saved my life to the point I can feel life again and bc it has a blocker in it I don't get high I haven't done drugs in four yrs it is amazing how well it works no craving no hurting no nothing. I beg you please seek god and ask him to help you with the struggle of the thought and physical struggle I never in a million years though I be clean and sober .but with love for my self not wanting to die bc my daughter just lost her father and a lot support ppl putting up with me not giving up on me …. I just did it and I mean I beg Jesus to get me through it now looking I don't want to use never again there's not a craving in but ill never forget where I came from bc I know for a fact it goes day by day I don't drink I don't take pain medication or smoke weed I'm clean and sober thanks to hard work … I'm just saying it is possible

  39. How sad she has her pimps name tattooed on her in a heart with her name. If you weren’t supplying money for drugs you’d be so gone, Anna.

  40. Don't listen to the comments yall life is too short and everyone dies. Do drugs and fight hard! I believe in yall!

  41. Besides China who else imports Fentanyl to the US?

    Is the US the only country which has a Chinese/Fentanyl problem?

  42. Besides China who else imports Fentanyl to the US?

    Is the US the only country which has a Chinese/Fentanyl problem?

  43. Thank you Dr Herdocisa for getting me off of vicodin, and i can only get ibuprofen for my arthritic spine, i get spinal block shots yearly, but will never go on narcotics again, pain still unbearable, but i will never go back to narcotics. 15 years was enough. Thanks doc!!!!

  44. According to the statistic in the beginning, about 5 people died during the time I watched this. This week about 916 people will die and in a year about 47,000 people will die from an opioid overdose. I new a classmate that died from an overdose. When I found out I couldn't believe it. This individual was very talented and was surrounded by people that cared about him, but sadly he didn't see all of that and was a victim of this crisis. A 19 year old, with so much to accomplish, was taken away because of an overdose and that is why this is so upsetting to me. It doesn't matter if people are rich, poor, whether they are male or female, what race they are or where they come from, this is a serious problem. I see the life these people live and it breaks my heart because they must've gone through some really tough things to turn to drugs as a way to cope and live. Talents, hopes, dreams and lives gone. The remorse and pain that these people feel is devastating. How many families have been torn by this vicious cycle and how many more will be affected? This is not just an addicts problem this is a problem in society. Parents, families, children, friends, neighbors, teachers, daycare workers, police officers, nurses, doctors, landlords, entrepreneurs, bus drivers, garbage workers, construction workers, priests, scientists, morticians and all others are affected by this in one way or another. The makers and dealers of these drugs want to have money and while they make money the world suffers. Some people do good, while others hold hate in their hearts and do bad.
    How does an addict pay their hospital bill if they barely have enough money for their addiction? Is rehab free? To all the people who are suffering with this disease, I hope you get the help you need and if you are recovering from addiction hats off to you, keep up the great work! Those being affected or those who have lost a loved one from this crisis, my deepest condolences go out to you and your family.

    -Here is a link for the National Helpline if you know someone who is suffering from mental or substance use disorders.

    -This is an article if you want to know how addictions affects the brain.

    -And this article talks about what Fentanyl is and its negative effects.

  45. Drugs are perfect for slowly getting rid of people that shouldn't be allowed to exist with everybody else on this planet

  46. I have a 20 year old daughter who is terribly addicted to heroin and cocaine. I now have her little girl because she refused to comply with CPS. I desperately want to help her. I don't have money or insurance. No one here in Texas will help me help her. What do I do? How do I get her real help? Her bilateral lower arms weigh 10lbs each from the swelling infection that live in them from shooting heroin. Please God!!! I don't want to bury my baby but I'm so scared.😥

  47. Just stopped using heroin in hawaii on Kauai 7 days ago. Never heard of fentynal here but I'm glad I never accidentally took it or I'm sure I'd be dead. God speed to those in effected areas.

  48. Is this really the American Dream… really sad to see these people fail at life. An epidemic of mass proportions

  49. This is being goin on since the 30s if ur stupid enough not to learned from the past then be it . U have a choice good life or fakedup life ,take a pick

  50. why not just quit making fentanyl and synthetic opiates altogether the way they quit production of qualudes? i was addicted to Oxycontin and Opana for years been clean since 2011. Keep fighting til you find sobriety, it's worth it. Love from Tennessee.

  51. I'm praying for all you that are struggling with this sickness, It took my Dad from me, I nearly died too, on more than one occasion. I understand. I don't judge you, I'm no different to you. I understand the struggle. You're all brave warriors, just do your best. My heart is with you. Jesus hears your prayers, call out to him, please be strong my heart is with you.


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