New Documentary Tackles Regional Opiate Crisis


It’s no secret that the United States is in the midst of a heroin epidemic—and Baltimore is no exception. Though the city has always been plagued by the drug, the past several years have seen unprecedented growth in the number of addictions and overdose deaths, nearly doubling from 2015 to 2016 and showing little slowdown in 2017.

In response to the crisis, Maryland Public Television has produced a new documentary called “Breaking Heroin’s Grip: Road to Recovery.” The show follows three Maryland adults who have struggled with addiction, including Baltimore native Darlene Pope.

Pope, who grew up in the 80s, first experimented with drugs at age 13 and, by 20, had developed an addiction that would land her jobless and homeless, struggling with “homicidal and suicidal” thoughts.

Now 55, she works as an addictions counselor with University of Maryland and works to constantly build awareness of and erase the stigma surrounding addiction.

Pope’s story will be broadcast alongside that of a Calvert County native and a Hagerstown resident in the 40-minute documentary, which airs at 7 p.m. Saturday night on various local channels (and live-streams here). The doc, which was produced in partnership with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, will be followed by a 20-minute phone bank for viewers, offering “expert information and treatment.”

Learn more (and see the trailer) here.

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