Dopesick: Fentanyl's Deadly Grip

2016 ,    »  -   13 Comments
Ratings: 8.98/10 from 43 users.
Dopesick: Fentanyl's Deadly Grip

An all-too-commonly prescribed opioid for those suffering from severe chronic pain or undergoing a surgical procedure, fentanyl is now one of the most abused substances on the street. Many times more potent than heroin, it's also significantly more dangerous. As the numbers of the dead continue to escalate, VICE News travels to Canada where they witness the horrors of fentanyl addiction from the inside.

Dopesick: Fentanyl's Deadly Grip is a difficult and bleak viewing experience, but essential. We're introduced to a host of addicts - some of them as young as 14 - whose lives have spiraled out of control. Many are homeless and hopeless. As the drug's effects only last a brief period of time, they spend every waking minute in search of their next fix. In the wake of their addiction lie dashed dreams, ruined relationships and diminished potential.

Most of their supply comes from non-pharmaceutical pills imported from China. But regardless of their origin, their devastating effects are universal. We're shown the extreme physical and mental toll of both the addiction and the inevitable withdrawal process. We see the lengths to which abusers go to score their next dose. Most heartbreakingly, we witness the glimmers of humanity and promise shine through in each of the film's tortured subjects as they contend with a demon they can't escape.

We're also given entry into the community's treatment centers and hear from the compassionate counselors and medical personnel who try desperately to curb the rampant growth of this epidemic. Much like the addicts themselves, these brave professionals are working against seemingly insurmountable odds. Their facilities are often filled to capacity, and most of their patients will not succeed in their attempts to kick their deadly habit. Last year, three hundred people died from fentanyl abuse in Alberta alone. As shocking as this statistic may seem, it's just a microcosm of a wide-sweeping disease which is currently infecting the most diverse and unexpected regions of the world.

A smashingly effective piece of investigative reporting, Dopesick: Fentanyl's Deadly Grip delivers in its deeply human portrayal of a problem that won't go away, and can no longer be dismissed.

Directed by: Shawney Cohen

More great documentaries

13 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Tomaz

    The docu to me looks like a distraction from reality.. The real problem is still heroin.. Because the biggest dealer of this world buys all raw stuff to produce it - the quality of heroin in the rest of the world dramaticaly dropped.
    American pill producers became this biggest dealer of the world in last 10 - 20 years... and they will remain there on the throne till that comet drops down... coz nobody will remove the king from up there.
    usa will keep this problem with opiates because noone is really trying to stop this chemo industry from behind this curtains... i talk like nerd, i know.

  2. scubahalo

    Yeah, everything is America's fault. You stupid losers. Your all just a bunch of victims. Poor you. How pathetic. The man has you down. Get over it. For Christ's sake, take some responsibility for yourselves and quit blaming everybody else for your own failures and lack of ambition. Stand on your own two feet and don't expect everyone else to hold you up. Jesus, what a bunch of crybabies.

  3. scubahalo

    BTW, Tomaz, watch the video. They say most of the drugs come from CHINA.

  4. scubahalo

    I should move to Canada, where I can be a drug addict, have the tax payers support me and my useless wife and kids, and then reward myself with a two week vacation to Hawaii. Awesome!

  5. Tomaz

    im so sorry.
    i dont say its all a lie..
    others.. pls go visit kosovo and check it out.

  6. Tomaz

    and pls @scubahalo
    i would say more like this... its our fault because we listen and fallow such a hollywood buoulllzsheieieat that even martians would't and could't belive it.. even if they tryed.. its our fault. u dompf ook!

  7. Tomaz

    BTW scubahalo
    OFC it comes from china.. as it grows in afghanistan... where its made into opium.. then its shiped to (or pakistan, iran) to china where its cooked into H and this fentanyl.. i am sure that fentanyl market is not more then 1% of morphin and up.

    ppl i am sorry but I wouldn't say it if I wouldn't be informed more then this docu. excuse me if it shocks you BUT you can't change the facts that repeat themselves for last decades. america is, was, and it will be biggest consumer and by it dealer of dope.
    half of europe has sh*t heroin just because of the fact that the need for it in america grew so exponentionally... coz that "Moo Jyah Edd In - blacksheepofthefamily - scapegoat" heroin smugglerss can produce just so much.. not enough anymore.

  8. AM

    Only users lose drugs..But seriously those blue fentanyl tabs look extremely toxic judging by the condition of the users, i suppose they are more likely to OD before they have liver/kidney shutdown.

  9. desmondsdrums

    Don't believe this stupid propaganda film by VICE. Simple fact, the Vice is owned by FOX and Disney. The film starts off with some absurd statistics, quoted from the movie 2:08; "Half to one percent of fentanyl users will die". In monetary terms that is a ridiculous range is fifty cents or one cent. Fentanyl works great everyone should try it. VICE FILMS SUCK!!!

  10. Trudy Ferguson

    Last Dec lost a young man from extended family who had the whole world. Talented, smart was a father. His two buddies OD at the same time. The people that profit from this shit should be put away for life. The government needs to shut them down at the top. Rich from the exploitation of the most vulnerable and marginalized people these criminals are seemingly protected. That's a story that needs to be told as well.

  11. Patricia Anne Shea MSW

    I was Rx'd Fentanyl patches when I had extreme 24/7 pain (Shingles & Post Herpetic Neuralgia). Coming off that stuff was horrendous 😨

  12. Derek

    The counselor ( forget his name ) the dude st the end of the film talking about his brother, I know he's doing good work trying to help but if he was my counselor or trying to give me advice the only thing I would be thinking of is getting high. You can hear the oppiate in his voice. He's def taking too much suboxone or methadone.

  13. NC

    Tomaz: Fentanyl is an entirely synthetic drug and not derived from opium/morphine. In my country, fentanyl-derivatives has largely replaced the classic opioids, especially among novice users. People go straight to fentanyls, get hooked and build monstrous tolerances to a degree that the dose of heroin they would need is crazy high! Fentanyls are very much more easily available, and often legal to use. So heroin is very much losing ground here at least.

Leave a comment / review: