The Reel Review
This Oscar-nominated short documentary is about three women on the frontlines battling the horrifying opioid addiction problem in the overdose capital of America – Huntington, West Virginia. The state’s first female fire chief Jan Rader, drug court judge Patricia Keller and street missionary Necia Freeman are true life Charlie’s Angels in a city where overdoses are ten times the national average, and where drugs even more addictive and deadly than heroin are now taking hold.
Rader, who resembles Jodie Foster’s West Virginia-born character in Silence of the Lambs, worries about the psychological effects of the health epidemic on her young firefighters and EMTs who are coping with a meteoric spike in overdose deaths, slowed only by the drug naloxone, which instantly counters heroin-induced respiratory failure. Keller’s drug court attempts to rehabilitate addicts and Freeman works to get drug abusing prostitutes off the streets. One of the most impactful aspects of this 39-minute film is the respectful and hopeful manner in which each of these women deals with those afflicted by drug addiction. It is a shocking and important documentary, spotlighting a rapidly growing health and financial crisis that, if unstopped, will lead to America’s ruin.
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