Opiates in Trumpland
Luzerne County, Pennsylvania is afflicted by an opioid epidemic leaving families bereaved and authorities overwhelmed
In Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death for the under 50s. Inigo Gilmore meets the affected families, overworked coroners, and the taskforces fighting the drug trade.
"We've been averaging about three [overdoses] a week for the last year-and-a-half", says William Lisman, a local coroner. The drugs responsible for this increase are Heroin and Fentanyl, and these days the roads leading to them can be traced back to hospitals. Many begin their journey into addiction with a prescription from a doctor, designed to alleviate pain. This was the case for TJ, who took his own life after a long battle with opiate addiction. His death is just one of many in the face of a seemingly unstoppable problem. "Heroin is not prejudiced... it's for every walk of life", says his mother.