Heroin(e)- A documentary about Heroin and Heroines

A new documentary on Netflix details the lives of three women as they attempt to stop the ravages of heroin.


Heroin(e)- A documentary about Heroin and Heroines

As a person who’s always looking for an interesting new show to watch,- I place a lot of faith in Netflix’s show suggestions for me. Last week while doing my calculus homework Netflix recommended to me an interesting documentary about drug use in Huntington, West Virginia. I was intrigued enough to watch it and was immediately impressed. This documentary is unlike any others on the subject because, instead of focusing on drug addicts or law enforcement, it focuses on three women who are on the front lines of drug addiction and have dedicated their life to stopping drugs and helping those who are already addicted- as evidenced by the documentary’s name Heroin(e)- a play on words emphasizing the similarity between the words heroin and heroine.

The documentary focuses on Huntington, West Virginia- a place that has been called the overdose capital of the world and experiences up to 26 overdoses a day. It shows you life from the perspective three women; one being Jan Radar, a female firefighter who recently became the first female fire chief in West Virginia’s history, who talks about what it’s like to respond to the same house and revive the same person week after week. Then there’s Patricia Keller, a female court judge who presides over the local drug court and talks about the fine line she walks while trying to simultaneously punish and help drug addicts, and Necia Freeman a realtor who volunteers by handing out meals to the homeless and attempting to find treatment centers who will accept homeless addicts. The most poignant moment in the show, however, was the moment they interviewed a former drug addict named Mickey who revealed that 2016 was the first year in recent memory where he hadn’t been among those who were counted in the overdose tally.

This documentary is at the same time empowering and humbling because you realize at the same time how much one person can affect a community and how you yourself aren’t doing enough- a topic especially poignant for our community in which 256 people died of overdoses in 2016 alone. I would definitely recommend this documentary to anybody who loves watching hard-hitting reality TV and is interested about the effects drugs have on both individuals and the community.