Opioids from Inside

About This Episode

There is a person’s story behind every opioid addiction. And each story of addiction has a ripple effect.

Opioids from Inside follows the journey of three women, all mothers, who have served time in New York State jails for opioid-related crimes. Growing up, these women dreamed of having a family, a career. None of them dreamed of being an addict.

Told in the first person, with no narration, the film follows the story arc of their life before drugs, the power of the drugs that took over their lives, and the effect addiction had on their families as they spent time in and out of jail as their children were raised by other people.

We hear how trust of family members was lost over time as the addiction took hold. We feel the frustration, anger, and heartbreak. Interviews with experts help to contextualize what we’re seeing, that these are not isolated stories but are symptomatic of the unraveling of communities. What is the long-term impact on families, specifically on the children of incarcerated mothers? Where is this heading? What is the ripple effect?

These women are not simply addicts, they are mothers and daughters, they are loved and feared, they are abusers and victims, but most of all, they are humans.

Opioids from Inside is produced by WXXI. The documentary is part of a series of reports on the opioid crisis with WXXI, Oregon Public Broadcasting and Ideastream in their local communities. The multimedia journalism collaboration is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.