Heroin(e) – Documentary about West Virginia opioid crisis


Oscar-nominated documentary Heroin(e) follows three women — a fire chief, a judge and a street missionary — battling West Virginia’s devastating opioid epidemic, as they try to bring positivity to their community.

Now streaming on Netflix, Heroin(e) is a powerful documentary showing glimpses of the opioid crisis in Huntington, West Virginia. The film has won an Emmy for Outstanding Short Documentary and got a nomination at the 90th Academy Award in the Best Documentary Short category.

Heroin(e) follows three inspirational women in their respective jobs: Huntington Fire Department chief Jan Rader, Brown Bag Ministries founder Necia Freeman and Cabell Huntington drug court Judge Patricia Keller, who together are fighting to deal with people who are addicted to various narcotics, including opium.

In their routine jobs, they have witnessed many falling preys to drug abuse, while some coming out strong. Fire chief, Jan Rader in her duty has been constantly receiving calls and reviving addicts with overdoses. This seems a never-ending cycle, but for her it’s life to save the lives of others.

Another heroine is Patricia Keller, the judge of the town’s drug court program, upholding justice and at the same time allowing people returning to the courtroom again and again. She is tough but also compassionate to those suffering the addiction and who genuinely try to come clean.

Our third heroine is a real estate sales agent and the Brown Bag Ministries founder Necia Freeman who roams the streets and offers food to the needy. She brings many to shelter and motivates many addicts to join the rehab programme or even go through the drug court if they have committed any crime, because of their drug abuse.

All these three women have a common goal as they fight the opioid crisis at different levels. They are indeed built to help people and that is what they are doing for their community. The film is to sensitize others about the worsening cases of opioid epidemic, as well as an acknowledgment of the tireless work few individuals do to bring positivity to a community.  

Director Elaine McMillon Sheldon has very beautifully brought the real story on Huntington opioid epidemic by capturing the social, medical and personal challenges.

This 39-minute documentary shows the real crisis and how tough it is to fight drug abuse in West Virginia town. The incessant effort by such brave and selfless individuals, including the three principal characters in Heroin(e) are certainly giving the community a bright chance to eradicate the menace.

Heroin(e) | Trailer | Netflix | Oscar-nominated Documentary



This post has been written, edited and published by the Cinecelluloid editorial team.

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