Pills to Heroin: The Domino Effect

by baladmin | July 16, 2013

“Pills to Heroin: The Domino Effect” is a new documentary charged with the desire to raise awareness of opiate addiction. 


The Safe Communities Coalition (SCC) of Hunterdon and Somerset counties in New Jersey could no longer sit silently. So far in 2013 alone, the counties have seen three fatal heroin overdoses. In a small community, it was clear that everyone was ignoring a problem that was reaching dangerous levels. 

As prescription pill abuse rose, and heroin became a growing problem, the whole community was affected. Crime increased and the safety of the counties’ people was impaired. 

The SCC funded the documentary and debuted it at an event with a panel discussion to follow with the intention of spreading the word, educating those affected, and helping someone with an opiate addiction

One part of the efforts includes the creation of a new “Good Samaritan Law” that allows you to report an overdose without penalty, even if you are using too. We hear story after story of friends who do not call 911 or take a friend to the hospital when an overdose is happening because they fear what will happen to themselves. It was even a scene in the movie Traffic. 

The idea is that helping someone with an opiate addiction shouldn’t just be to get them into rehab. Saving a life is just as important, and that overdose may ultimately help the addict get proper treatment. 

The SCC project director, Leslie Gabel says that, “We are in a crisis situation here and across New Jersey. Most people don’t realize that here in the United States we represent 4.5 percent of the world’s population yet we use 99 percent of the world’s supply of oxycontin, vicodin, and the opiate type of pain pills so the availability and access has increased.”

The film’s director just hopes that people can become as aware as he has about the true dangers of prescription drugs as a stand-alone, and in the path they lead to heroin addiction. Just because a doctor prescribes it does not mean it’s okay to use, or that it’s safe. 

The community is trying to come together for the safety of the whole, and so that everyone learns how helping someone with an opiate addiction can be most beneficial in getting addicts clean, one by one. 

“Pills to Heroin: The Domino Effect” is opening the eyes of at least one state. Hopefully the message can spread: opiate addiction is a real problem and opiate addicts really need help to change their lives.