Warning: This Drug May Kill You (2017) Movie Script

Lyle! Get up, Lyle!
Get up.
Man: Facebook Live,
he found her passed out, man.
He found her passed out
on her face...
I don't know. But he might be dead, bro.
Hold on, bro.
Yeah, hold on, fool.
He might...
might be dead, jack.
Alan Spanos:
We doctors were wrong in thinking
that opioids can't be used
They can be and they should be.
We used to think
they'd stop working
or that patients
would become addicts
or that they'd be sedated
into inactivity.
Spanos: We now find that these
medicines are much safer,
much more powerful,
much more versatile than we used to think,
and we feel that they should
be used much more liberally
for people with all sorts
of chronic pain.
Some patients may be afraid of taking opioids
because they're perceived
as too strong, or addictive...
but that is far
from actual fact.
Less than one percent
of patients taking opioids
actually become addicted.
She's making noises.
She's making noises. Yo!
Woman: She's breathing.
She's... Come on, baby.
Man: Breathing?
Woman: Yeah. She's...
She's trying to...
Come on, girl.
Come on,
Jerry, wake up.
Jerry, wake up!
Look at me.
Look at me, Jerry.
Officer: Jerry, look at me!
Come on!
Man: Wake up, girl!
There you are! Man 2: Woo-hoo!
Stay with us.
Hang on. Stay with us.
High five, you're alive.
You're fine. You're okay.
Man: You all right?
You with us?
You doing okay?
Hey, stay with me, man.
Stay with me.
Man: Can you wake up?
Woman: Are you gonna be okay?
Is she okay?
Man: Yo, she's overdosing.
Like, what the fuck, man?
Man: Wake up!
Man 2: Hey!
Wake up, wake up!
Wake up, boy!
Get water,
get water, get water!
Man 2:
Pour water on her first.
Man: Want him too?
Man 2: Fuck it, man, 'cause...
Man: I know.
Man 2: Anything could've happened.
Mommy... Mommy!
Man: Oh my God.
Newsman: Law enforcement says
they have never seen abuse
of a prescription drug mushroom
out of control so fast.
Newsman 2: These drugs all belong to
a family of drugs called opioids.
And prescription painkillers lead to heroin.
Newswoman: It is a narcotic,
closely related to heroin and morphine
with the same potential
for addiction.
Stephany Gay:
If somebody'd told me six years ago
that I was going
to be a heroin addict,
I would have thought
that they were crazy.
Never in a million years.
I didn't hang out
with bad kids.
I didn't get in trouble.
I-I just would have never ever
thought that it could happen to me.
When I was about 16,
I started getting
kidney stones,
and they would give me
pain medication for it,
because that's pretty much
all that they could do.
Kathy Kelly:
The X-rays would show the kidney stones.
There was no faking it, nothing.
I mean,
here is a child, 15, 16...
that was about the age
she started getting 'em,
um, and she's getting 'em
every... few times a year.
They gave me a shot of Dilaudid,
which is a very
strong painkiller.
And then I remember
them sending me home,
with a prescription
of Oxycontin
and a prescription
of Vicodin.
And I remember thinking at that time,
"Wow, those are kind of high-powered
medications for such a young person,"
but I trusted the doctors.
Stephany: In the beginning,
I would just take my Vicodin
as prescribed
when I was in pain,
but it, like, gradually
got worse over time.
It numbed my feelings
and made me feel like...
okay about everything.
You know, "I'm fine.
I'm... I'm good."
You know, I would take
an extra one here or there,
and then, if I ran out,
I would just pretend
like I didn't know what was wrong with me,
so that I could get more.
You know, faking pain to go to
the hospital to get painkillers.
I mean, it would be
anything from Oxycontin,
to Vicodin to Norcos.
Then it went from taking
the prescribed dose
of like one every six hours
to taking, like,
20 Norcos a day.
I'm going through a month
prescription in two days.
And I called my mom crying, and I was like,
"I don't know what's wrong with me."
"Mom... I can't
stop taking these,
'cause when I stop taking them,
I don't feel good."
I said, "Well, we need
to talk to your doctor."
And he wrote me another
prescription for Percocets,
which was stronger than the
Norcos that I had been taking.
My sister, Ashley...
she was the closest person
to me in this whole world.
We did everything together.
I would get painkillers,
and I'd, like, you know,
when I started
getting bad with them
she was curious,
because what I did, she did.
So, to go to sleep, she'd be like,
"Let me get one of your pills.
Let me get one of your painkillers to
go to sleep. Let me get a Vicodin."
And I'd give her one,
you know,
and she'd be like,
"Oh my gosh, I love this."
They would share 'em with each other.
"Oh, I have a headache." "Oh, well,
here, you can take one of my pills."
Um... menstrual cramps.
One sister sharing medication
with another sister.
We'd never been exposed to drugs like that.
We didn't know what
could happen, you know?
We just thought, like,
"Well, our doctor started
giving us the, you know,
these painkillers,
so it can't be that bad."
Well, then he cut
her off on 'em,
and then she didn't feel good.
Her friends say, "Oh, well, here,
I'll give you... Take mine."
But they became expensive
to buy privately from friends,
and the doctors would not
give 'em to her anymore.
So, this friend
gave her a little bag,
and said, "Just sniff this.
"It'll do the same
thing as the pills do,
"only thing, you don't
need to take five pills.
"Just take this
little bag, sniff it,
and you'll feel better."
And it worked!
She took it and it worked.
I remember thinking, like, "Wow.
This is the best feeling in the world."
It was really, like...
I had, like,
not a care in the world.
It made me feel like
I could do anything.
I felt like Super Woman.
It's a lot cheaper than...
buying 15 Norcos a day
at five dollars apiece.
You know,
"Here's a ten-dollar bag of heroin,
and it'll last you
three days."
I didn't have anxiety
or I didn't feel depressed.
I felt happy, I felt warm.
I felt like it loved me,
and I loved it back.
It felt like I was in, like,
a relationship with it,
like, I felt like I had
a relationship with heroin.
It was just the best
feeling in the world.
I snorted heroin
for about a year.
Me and Ashley both did.
They did not know
the scope of the addiction
that they were up against,
like a tidal wave.
You know, you're standing on a beach,
and you've got this...
50-foot wave coming at you.
And I remember
Ashley saying,
"It's not like we're sticking
needles in our arms, Mom."
"That's for real junkies.
"You know,
I'll never do that.
"I'll never touch a needle.
That's disgusting,
that's gross."
And somewhere...
along that time,
somebody introduced
the needle to them.
You only have to do a little tiny bit,
and you get, you know,
ten times as high,
and it lasts
ten times as long,
but then, it, like, gets
so out of control so fast.
If I was lucky, you know,
it would only take me
ten minutes to hit a vein,
and then I could go
lay back down.
I had no veins left.
I mean, in my neck,
and the side of my face,
palms of my hands,
my fingers,
I mean, like, on my chest,
and I'd be covered in blood.
I would just sleep all day,
till I woke up
from being sick again,
and then I'd have to go
through it all over again.
When I started using...
I had my own three-bedroom,
two-story house.
I was a stay-at-home Mom
with my two-year-old daughter.
Me and my daughter's father,
we each had our own new cars.
We had a pool in our backyard,
we had two dogs.
I had, like,
the perfect life.
By the time I started
injecting heroin,
I had lost my house.
We'd sold both of our cars,
and I lost custody
of my daughter.
I remember Ashley saying,
"I don't want
to do this anymore."
It was no longer a party,
and she was a slave to it.
She got into a fight with her fianc,
and she went and got a motel.
I was clean at the time,
and I...
I didn't think
that she was using.
Ashley had been in treatment.
She had stayed in
just long enough
to get through
the withdrawal period,
and she felt fine,
and then she walked out
of treatment early.
That's when it can take 'em
because they think
that they can use
what they were using before.
They say,
"Well, I did this much,"
um, "so I can handle it,"
and they can't.
Their body is back
to what it was.
And when I would
tell my daughter,
"I'm so worried
about you, Ashley,"
she would say,
"Mom, I'm... I'm too young,
and pretty to die.
I'll be fine.
I'm gonna beat this."
I think that maybe she thought
she could just do it
one more time
and get that
really good high,
and then not
do it anymore.
And it's like... that one time,
you never know.
Stephany: Her fianc called me,
and he was at the motel,
and she wasn't
answering her phone.
Stephany: He called me and he was,
like, hysterical.
He started banging on the doors.
He called 911,
and told the operator,
"My girlfriend
is a heroin addict.
"She's not
answering her phone.
"I know she's in trouble.
Please come to this hotel
and help me."
I remember where I was at.
I was at the
Taco Bell drive thru.
I remember seeing the police
station's number come up on my phone.
And I remember
picking up the phone,
and it being a man's voice.
He was like,
"I'm sorry for your loss."
And I was just like...
I was like,
"What are you talking about?"
And, um, he's like,
"I need you to come
into the police station."
And I just... I knew.
It was like my whole
world just, like, stopped.
It was the worst nightmare
that anybody could have.
I miss her every day.
From morning till night,
it's an all-day thing.
I was suicidal when I lost my sister.
I would just do
massive amounts,
$200 worth of drugs,
in an hour, in a sitting.
Just praying, like,
"Please don't
let me wake up.
I don't want
to live anymore."
She was like a second mom to Audrey.
She acted like Audrey
was her daughter.
You know, she would...
She would take over
when I would get stressed or...
You two were inseparable.
I can never imagine going back to...
living like I was.
I could never imagine
going back to...
sticking myself with needles,
15 times a day
for hours at a time.
I've been clean for
long enough to where...
it scares me,
the thought of using,
because I know
one time could kill me.
This is a crucial time...
now that you,
you have clean time.
She had that,
that clean time,
and then she used...
and I feel like you're...
you're right there,
and it's so scary.
Anytime I get a call
in the middle of the night,
I-I get that gut feeling.
Everything tightens up.
I couldn't imagine...
putting you through
losing another... child.
Britt Doyle:
That picture...
was taken when I was,
I think, six years old.
I sort of remember that day,
like a little bit,
but I remember that
that photo was...
in her room always, 'cause she said
it was her favorite photo of us,
and I really like it too.
This cross...
she gave to me when
my parents split up,
because I told...
I was really sad one day,
and I was like...
"Mom, I'm not gonna
be able to see you anymore.
I'm not gonna live with you,"
and she was like,
"I have the same necklace.
"I'm gonna give you this one,
"and if you wear it,
then we're gonna...
"just know that
we're together,
and just know that
I'm thinking of you."
"Dear Preston,
"I've enjoyed every minute
of our time in Tahoe.
"You're this
amazing young man
that makes me
proud every day,
"and more every year.
"There are incredible things
that await you in your future.
"You're a success in life...
"and always will be,
because you have that special spark
"to do and enjoy
life to its fullest.
I love you. XO, Mom."
And I read that...
literally any time I have
any sort of problem in my life,
because there's just
the fact that she wrote that.
It just...
I don't know,
just shows what kind of person I
had by my side for all those years.
Here's a screenshot
of a text she sent me.
And, uh, she did not
mean to send that.
She, like...
was just probably
high out of her mind.
That mean picture.
I know, I'm sorry.
This one's funny.
Britt: Whoa!
Britt: Get off!
I'm ticklish, and I don't like being tickled.
I wasn't tickling you.
I was trying to make a wish
on your tummy, you big biddy.
Ow! Not happening!
And she wipes her nose with my hair.
Each one of our three kids were C-sections,
but the third one was
a particularly hard pregnancy,
so when Wynne got
out of the hospital,
they gave her a lot of...
uh, prescriptions,
I mean, in a row.
I had no idea
that she'd been
given Oxycontin,
or Vicodin or any of the opiates
that we all know about now.
We had no idea that
there were any dangers.
About a month and a half
after the baby was born,
Wynne was starting
not to get out of bed.
And that's when
I started finding
the pill bottles
around the house.
All of a sudden, now
there's pills all the time,
and there's more
and more doctor visits,
and there's more and more
trips to the pharmacy,
and she's getting less and less
interested in anything.
She was hiding 'em,
and she was getting 'em
from multiple doctors.
Different doctors that started
showing up on pill bottles.
Doctors were just
throwing pills at her.
And by the end of the year,
you know, she just was
a totally different person.
Completely different.
It was like Jekyll and Hyde.
When we were dating,
I had never thought
about any kind of addiction,
or alcohol, I mean, anything.
We went out
a few times a week.
We'd go to restaurants
and drink wine.
I mean, there was nothing.
I mean, I never saw anything.
She was driven,
and fun to be around,
and it felt right.
We had a couple of kids,
she was a great mom.
We were going on vacations.
We were visiting with family.
We had friends over all the time.
We'd have dinner parties.
She was raised really well.
She was, like, a track star,
cross-country, the cheerleader,
everyone loved her.
I just always looked up
to her when I was little,
and being like, "That is the most
beautiful woman, like, ever."
And I'd wear all of her clothes,
all of her jewelery,
I would do makeup with her
ever since I was...
I could walk, I feel like.
Christmas morning of 2000,
about five or six months
after the baby was born,
I woke her up, and it
had been a couple of days
since she'd been up,
and, uh, I got
the kids out of bed,
and, you know, she didn't even
realize it was Christmas.
I asked her if
she would consider
going to a treatment facility,
and I had already talked to Betty
Ford Clinic down in Palm Springs.
She stayed for three days
and then went missing.
I went down
and tried to find her.
She'd checked
into a motel, and...
she was passed out.
I had just no idea
what was going on.
She went to a second
rehab facility,
and I figured, since I could
afford it at the time,
maybe this place would be better
'cause it was three times as expensive.
When she checked out
28 days later,
she had a whole
bunch of new pills...
and it happened all over again.
She would go around
to different doctors,
telling them
that she had pain.
You know, she'd do
something to injure herself.
I watched her slam her hand
in the car door one time
just so that she could go
to the emergency room,
and the doctors would
always give her something,
Vicodin or Oxy
or something.
She shattered
both her wrists,
and she had...
um, this... I don't
know how to...
she had like a cast
on both of 'em,
and as soon as they
were all healed up again,
she did something
that shattered it again.
Repeatedly, like, the cycle
was over, and over,
where she'd hurt herself,
and then get medication,
and then she'd go off, and leave.
My dad always told me
it was "cooking school."
Once we got older,
we started to realize that, like,
she is going to rehab
right now, but...
It's not... ...it's not gonna...
it's not gonna work.
It got to the point
where it was so common,
I was like, "Maybe
she was really like that."
But then I could tell
when she was clean,
how healthy and just
amazing she looked,
but when she was high,
it was like...
it was like
she was sleepwalking,
like, she wasn't
herself whatsoever.
Just, like, her eyes
were different,
her speech was different,
the way she walked,
everything about her was just really off.
Preston: When she was clean,
she was an awesome human being,
and just the best mother,
and I'd trust her with
my life when she was sober,
but I had to do things that
most kids wouldn't have to.
It almost felt like
I was the parent.
It's like the roles switched,
where I'd be searching
her room for... for drugs.
Whenever I'd open drawers,
there would be pills hidden.
There would be pills
in the bathroom counters.
You know, in her coat pockets,
or in her shoes,
in her sock drawer,
I mean, in the back of the food pantry,
or wherever.
They were everywhere.
Her family was ashamed.
Every Christmas
was a disaster.
All of a sudden,
we're losing friends,
people didn't want
to be around us.
Doyle: I think at this point,
the kids...
they were just starting
to understand it.
The reason why I would keep them
out in the evenings, you know,
and always filled their days
with things, you know.
I mean, at one point,
I had all three of 'em in Little League,
which was a disaster for me,
because I'm driving
all over the place.
Two practices and a game
for each one of 'em every week.
You know, we'd have
dinner out all the time,
and movies,
and you know.
It was exhausting.
I'm trying to keep them away
from wanting to go upstairs
and see their mom in bed.
We knew there was a problem,
but there was nothing that
we could say or do
that was gonna change it,
so it just became
part of our life.
Doyle: In 2008,
like seven years into it,
a rehab facility in Malibu
called and said,
"Are you not coming for family week?"
And I said, "No, I've had it.
"You know, I'm not coming
to anymore family weeks.
I've been to too many already."
And they said, um...
"Well, it sounds to me
like you're done."
And I said, "I don't even
know what that means."
He said...
"Well, if you're thinking
about a divorce,
"we... we really ought to think
about that while she's here,
"so that she doesn't
come home to that
and not have a support group."
I mean, it was the first time
anybody had ever said...
that I actually...
you know,
could get out, so...
um, I...
I filed...
and moved the kids out.
When we divorced,
Wynne got half custody,
and started living
in San Francisco.
The kids would visit her.
They're getting older.
They're starting
to really develop
a relationship with their mom
that's separate from me.
The last house that we lived at with her
was in the South Market,
and the Embarcadero.
And I used to skate
on the Embarcadero at 10:30,
'cause she would allow me
to, like, leave the house,
like, she gave us
that much freedom.
It was just like my favorite
feeling in the world.
This was her house, you see,
with all these candles.
Oh, that's cool, yeah.
When the kids were with her,
I was always on edge.
Then it really just
became about safety.
I became this hyper-vigilant
sort of guy,
and she was fine,
but I knew it
wasn't gonna last.
It just slowly
deteriorated again.
I heard from the kids that she
was going into the hospital
because she had a kidney stone
that they had to remove.
She had been taking
a lot of opiates,
and once she got
to the hospital,
they were giving her
what a normal person
would be getting as a dose
when you have pain,
but it wasn't near the amount
she'd been taking on her own.
So, there she is
in a confined spot,
for four days going
through withdrawals,
and it was just getting worse.
So, she left the hospital,
and they gave her a bunch
of opiates on the way out.
Preston and Harry
were staying with their mom.
Harry: Like, she had all these
pills on the side of her bed.
"The hospital told me to take these,"
and I was just like,
just... please
don't overdo this.
Like, there's a lot
of pills here.
Eight bottles
filled to the top,
and I was like,
"Who gave you all of these?"
And she said,
"Oh, my doctor did."
Like, "I'm still in a lot
of pain from the kidneys."
And then, in the morning,
she was just laying there
with her arms spread out,
and her eyes were kind of open.
We said goodbye,
and got no response,
and we thought that was odd.
Preston, like, pulled out
his phone to, like,
take a video to just,
like, show our father,
like, what was,
like, going on.
And I told him, like,
"Put down the phone,
like, right now."
And he's like, "Why?"
And like I, that was...
I was like grabbing her foot,
and it was just ice-cold.
And I called 911, they were telling
me to do chest compressions on her.
I was just yelling
at Preston to stop,
and he was just like, said,
"We need to do everything we can."
and... it was, um...
I mean, that's when I had to call,
like, my father.
And it just was surreal,
in having the conversation
with Harry
as I can hear Preston
in the background.
"Mom's dead.
Like we... we need to do something,"
and he just...
he didn't believe me, and I was just like,
"Just get to the city,
like, right now."
And then hearing Preston
screaming on the other...
You know, he's, um...
trying to give her
By the end...
at the funeral,
there were hardly any of her friends.
When I saw the pills on her bedside table,
when she had passed,
that was probably the most
anger I could feel ever,
because she's been
to that hospital
easily like 50 times.
They've seen her there, unconscious,
had to, like, pump her stomach
so many times,
and yet, she comes in there,
and they leave her,
like, with more?
Doyle: I firmly believe that
there are so many people
that are being
prescribed opiates
without any
direction or support
that have no idea
what they're getting into,
and then, once they
can't get out of it
the shame and the inability
to actually confront it
and talk about it with somebody...
makes it worse,
because now, all of a sudden,
they're an addict.
Do you like it so far?
I love it,
I think it's beautiful.
I was thinking,
maybe we would make one for your mommy.
That's what I
would like to do when,
when I'm done with yours,
if that's okay.
Let her know
that we're thinking of her.
I have adopted Audrey.
She needed
stability, security,
and until my daughter
could recover,
she just couldn't
give her that.
I'm trying to keep her a child.
I don't want her
to grow up too fast.
But she's part of this,
and she's kind of my partner.
We have the Narcan,
and I dropped
some off for her.
If something happened,
and I couldn't
get over there,
do you remember
what you would do?
where do I keep it?
In the top.
So I keep
the Narcan right here.
This one is real
easy access
for Audrey if she needs to.
I keep a couple
of packs inside here.
Three, actually,
and it's two...
two doses per box.
But this is really
easy for her to reach.
I can get at it.
It's very visible
in the red bag.
If she wasn't moving,
try to shake her?
I would check if she was breathing.
And, then, what's the
next thing you would do?
Rub, rub the lips,
try to stimulate her.
And then what
would you do
if she didn't wake up?
Then I would take
the... the Narcan...
...and I would...
and I would place it on her thigh,
her butt,
or right here.
Exactly. And then
what do you do?
Then, call 911.
I'm gonna say a special
prayer for your mommy today,
'cause she really needs it.
I know she's
trying very hard,
and I know
she misses you.
I'm gonna bring
some to Stephany.
I don't know
what she's doing...
but it's always good to have it there,
just in case.
And also...
a lot of times,
they don't use alone.
They're so pretty.
Gail Cole:
When we found him,
the two of us
pulled him off the bed.
I'll never forget the sound
of just the air
coming out of his lungs.
For the longest time,
I couldn't come in this room.
It's literally like
the day he died.
It took me a year to come in
and throw his garbage out,
and I think I did that,
because I saw that
the medical examiner
left the wrapper for
the body bag in there.
I just...
I can't go through it.
I feel like it's like
getting rid of him.
Brian Cole: Part of me takes great
comfort in all of this stuff too.
Just reminds me of his personality,
you know.
I did everything possible
to... to create a perfect
life for a family.
Brothers get together!
All the brothers, hold on.
To have this happen is just
not even conceivable to me.
Come on, Connor.
Here's Brendan!
Hey baby, I'm not four yet!
Yeah, Brendan!
Brian: That's his calendar, he was
marking off the days when he was first...
Gail: Sober?
I just thought it would be
important for him to be able to
look at the calendar
at the end of every day,
and cross it off,
and say, you know,
"There's another day,
I've done it."
You know? I just
wanted him to have
some type of way
of measuring his success.
Gail: When he had
come out of rehab,
he looked the best
he had in years,
He looked so healthy
and was so positive.
And he said, "Oh, can I borrow the car?
I want to go to the mall."
And I said, "Sure."
And he's only gone
45 minutes.
He's texting Brian pictures
of shoes, of all things.
And he came back.
He poked his head in,
I said, "You know,"
I said, "It's so nice
to have you back."
He goes, "Thanks, Mom, I love you.
Thanks for giving me another chance."
And, with that,
I look at his face
and I'm, like,
"Wow! He's high."
And, you know, the yelling,
the screaming, and...
we agreed tomorrow
would be another day.
And, um, I went to sleep.
Brian fell asleep
on the, on the couch,
and woke up at around one o'clock,
by the grace of God.
He found him kind of laying
at an odd angle on the bed.
He turned on the light
and screamed.
His lips were turning blue.
He was unconscious.
He was barely breathing.
And you were screaming,
we're shaking him,
calling 911.
The police came,
the ambulance came,
and then Mobile
Intensive Care came
and they revived him
with Narcan...
and he walked out the front
door to the ambulance.
When we got into
the emergency room,
nobody really talked about the
withdrawal from the Narcan,
and there was
no real game plan
for what to do
after overdosing.
So, we got in the car
and I drove him home,
and I could, could
barely even speak to him.
I was just so furious.
He was, you know,
sleeping in the front seat,
and we pulled in
the garage and I said,
"Do me a favor, would you just take a
shower and try to get yourself together?"
And he goes, "I can't."
And I didn't
really understand,
but I've learned,
after the fact,
that when you're
going through withdrawal,
it hurts to shave, it hurts to shower,
it hurts to brush your teeth.
He went up in his room.
The door was open.
We had his laptop,
we had his cellphone.
We had taken
all those away,
so he was, you know,
kind of in lockdown.
That was at 1:30
in the afternoon.
And then about 2:30,
Brian came up
and said to him, he goes,
you know, kind of
tussled his hair, and said,
"You know...
you got a second chance.
Not everyone gets
a second chance."
He goes, "You better not
waste that second chance."
And that was probably the last
thing anyone said to him.
It was about quarter to three,
and I came upstairs,
and he was kneeling
with his hands on his head.
And, to this day,
I wish I would have said something to him.
I wish I would have
come over and said,
"You know, B, I love you.
It's going to be okay."
Connor came home.
It was 20 after three, or so,
and he said, "Where's B?"
I said, "I don't know.
He's upstairs kneeling next to his bed."
And he went upstairs.
And he must've tried to...
move him and shake him,
and he screamed.
And we called 911 immediately.
And everyone...
Connor's throwing up,
and everyone's screaming,
and Brian had run over
and got our neighbor
who was a doctor.
It was a nightmare.
They, uh, made us
leave the room.
And they tried to revive him
again with the Narcan,
but it didn't work.
They had worked on him
for about 40 minutes.
I knew. I just,
I knew he was gone.
You know, you prayed, you hoped.
You did everything, but...
And probably at about 4:20,
our neighbor
pronounced him dead.
He had used heroin again.
We found this
old stuffed animal
that had old baggies
of heroin and a syringe in it.
I had the hardest time,
and so did Brian,
wrapping our head around that.
Why would
he have done that?
Like... he knew we loved him.
He knew we wanted to,
you know,
send him back to rehab
and get him help.
And what
could you be thinking,
that, like, that
love wasn't enough.
One of the things that's always a regret
is that you
completely underestimate
how hard the battle
of addiction is.
I mean, you think that,
if you drop everything,
and, you know, you get
the right help,
that you'll be able
to see your way through this
and help somebody,
but it's not quite that easy.
I mean, I thought I knew Brendan
like the back of my hand,
but it's a different person
once this addiction kicks in.
As a father,
you have this,
this guilt that it,
it happened on your watch.
And it's just, you know,
you can explain it away all you want,
and other people can tell you,
you know, you did everything you could.
But that always will linger
in the back of your mind.
You taking that also?
And this?
When Brendan overdosed,
we didn't know
what happened.
Like, you know, here we are, we're in...
we're in Allendale,
we're in "Mayberry."
you think a dark alley,
you think, you know,
somebody on the streets,
not in towns like this.
Gail: Just sign in.
Nice to see you.
Good to see you too.
Yeah, just sign in,
make a name tag.
Gail: We formed a group
"Hope and Healing After an Addiction Death,"
and we meet twice a month,
and it's for people
who have lost somebody
to the disease of addiction.
I thought we would start
by sharing our stories,
um, and, if you have a picture,
that would be great.
Um, you know, just,
share your story and,
and talk about what you went through.
I have two pictures of Georgia.
This is my favorite.
Gail: That's Georgia.
Group: Georgia, Georgia.
This is her.
This is her.
She's just all energy.
All, like, "Yeah!"
You know?
And that's how she was.
Georgia. Hey, Georgia.
Come here. What?
When Georgia was born,
I remember that I was
in the delivery room with her,
and I started talking to her.
I didn't talk to her
like she was a newborn baby.
I talked to her like
she was somebody who...
we had been waiting for,
and that she had been
waiting to arrive.
Who is that?
David: Within minutes,
we had our first conversation.
It was one-sided, but...
but it was, uh...
But she was special,
she was the first grandchild, first niece.
David: Yeah.
And we took a lot of pictures
of her doing nothing.
We thought it
was so exciting.
She was just very happy.
It was a very special,
happy time of life.
David: I had a nickname for her,
I called her "Soda Pop,"
because she was bubbly,
and she was, like,
you know...
you didn't want to shake
her before opening her.
It was just a constant amazement.
You know, watching her unfold
into an amazingly
bright, young child.
She died, um,
Thanksgiving Day a year ago.
She was 26.
It's like she never
knew what hit her.
But the way
she described it with me was,
that, um, she was
working with a group
that ran several
group homes,
and she was an assistant
in these group homes,
and one day,
she was taking a break.
She was on the porch,
and this was in 2011,
and she fell
through a guard rail,
or a hand rail,
on the porch.
Took a fall
and went down.
Hurt her back
and her hip,
and went and got
prescribed these,
you know,
monster painkillers.
It could have been
anything from Vicodin,
OxyCodone, I'm not sure.
I know it was one of the heavier ones
just by the way she described it.
And they gave her enough
that, by the time
the prescription ran out,
she needed more.
And, then, this one night,
I came up the stairs
to go into the bathroom,
and Georgia was in
the doorway of her room,
and she was upset about not
being able to find something.
So I said, "Okay."
I went into the bathroom,
and as I shut the door,
in the middle of the floor,
was a glasses case.
Right? So.
Somebody dropped
their glasses case.
I picked it up
to put it on the counter,
and it felt weird.
And I opened it up,
and there was six
bags of heroin,
and a syringe, and a couple of other
things in there, and I just went...
"Oh, no, no, no, no."
You know?
And she said she didn't know
where it came from.
"Oh, my God," you know,
it was just the whole thing.
And, and...
So this was probably
a month before it happened.
On Thanksgiving morning,
Judy woke me up
about five o'clock, I guess.
And she said,
"Something's wrong with Georgia.
I can't wake her up,
and she's really cold."
So I went
into the living room,
and Georgia was sitting,
the television was on,
she was sitting
between the couch
and the coffee table
on the floor
with her feet out
in front of her,
and her hands
folded in her lap.
She had just leaned
forward like this.
And we had this little carpet-covered
stool thing, you know, right there.
There was a syringe
laying right on top of it,
and it looked like
she had just dozed off.
And I went over to her and I...
and I could...
as soon as I touched her...
I don't know, at that point, you're just
in something that you can't even...
Well, all of you probably could.
So, I put my hand around her
neck looking for a pulse,
and her skin was
starting to get that
real stiff kind of,
you know...
If you've ever had
a dead pet
that you've had to pick up,
you know that feeling,
and I knew I wasn't
going to find a pulse,
and then I got around, you know,
I had turned on the lights.
So I got around
in front of her,
and I picked her head up,
and I looked...
I had called the police,
and they were on their way.
And whatever I said to Judy,
I let her know that
Georgia was gone.
And we finally went outside
with our son, Eli, and
a man pulled up in a car,
parked across the street,
and he got out with a camera,
a big camera in his hand,
and it was obvious that he was
going to photograph the scene,
but as he was
walking toward me,
we made eye contact,
and he said,
"I'm sorry for your loss."
Pretty soon after that,
they were rolling her out
of the front door on a gurney...
in a body bag.
That was the last
time she was here.
This person that had
been a part of my life
for more than 26 years...
would never be again.
I know she's,
uh, she's here.
I feel her.
And I talk to her
the same way I always have.
I miss her.
The last time I was with her,
she seemed fine.
Her outlook on
things was hopeful.
And then...
all of a sudden, nothing.
She's not answering the phone.
She's not answering the door.
She started this relapse
around the time
of Ashley's birthday.
Kelly: And, when she's using,
it's a very dark,
small, closed world.
What happened?
We were together.
We were making plans.
Kelly: Nobody's given up on you,
Please, honey.
You can't do it
on your own, sweetie.
You tried,
you gotta go in.
Kelly: Why don't you get up,
you come back to the house,
take a nice hot shower.
You'll feel better.
Get dressed.
Okay? You ready?
Oh, it feels
a lot nicer in here.
Better than the majority of my clients.
I'm going to sit here.
You want to try a little protein?
Whatever. Looks good.
Kelly: They're not chilled.
I was drinking...
Laura: I can get some
for you if you want...
Like ice tea, like
this is really good.
Well, drink the ice tea.
There's a, a pot of it in there, too.
If you want, I'll chill this,
this is good for you.
All right. Kelly:
I don't know how well you've been eating.
I haven't eaten
in like two days.
I just need my clothes.
Clothes? You've got them.
Laura: Mm-hmm.
I'm worried about that too.
What are you doing?
Stephany: I'm taking my medication!
You okay?
And I can't
straighten it or close it.
This is the spoon of a heroin user.
She had it in her bag.
Stephany is feeling
very anxious right now.
She's gonna be going into rehab.
She knows that she can't use.
The program that we started
is called "A Way Out."
We have seven
police departments
in our county
that are participating,
and someone can walk into the
police department and say,
"I need help."
No repercussions whatsoever.
All right.
If you do have any sort
of paraphernalia or drugs...
Stephany: I got...
gave it all to my mom.
Yeah, I've done
her laundry before,
and I've asked her, "Is there
anything in there that will poke me?"
Like how... how many bags?
I just have, like,
a backpack and, like, a carry bag
with clothes in it for when I go. Okay.
So, what we'll do on, on our end,
is we'll go through it.
Okay? Kelly: Yeah, that's...
just in case, she might...
It's part of the program,
so, whatever we find,
it just gets disposed of.
Stephany: I definitely did not know
that that one was there, Officer.
Just a little bit.
What is it?
It's like really embarrassing.
Officer: Okay.
It happens.
Hi, this is Officer Jake Anderson
with the Mundelein Police Department.
I am calling with
an "A Way Out" participant.
Well, I have, I've suffered
with kidney stones.
That's how I got
addicted to opiates was
I had been getting kidney stones
since I was sixteen,
but that's it.
I do blame prescription opioids
for my daughter's addiction.
I never pieced together
how does one become
an I.V. drug user.
That was... that was
the bridge right there.
Are you ready?
Yep. I'll help you
carry some stuff here.
Kelly: She was still a teenager
when she started with 'em...
these really
high-powered pills.
And I trusted the doctors.