Pharmacist featured in HBO documentary on heroin addiction

December 15, 2015

Starting on December 28th, HBO will begin airing a documentary by award-winning director Steven Okazaki about the heroin epidemic sweeping the country.

Starting on December 28th, HBO will begin airing a documentary by award-winning director Steven Okazaki about the heroin epidemic sweeping the country.

Editor’s Choice: Pharmacy groups part of Obama’s plan to curb drug abuse

Heroin: Cape Cod, USA” follows the lives of eight addicts in their 20s who struggle through the seemingly endless cycle of addiction, rehabilitation, recovery, and relapse. The subjects all live in the Cape-Cod area.

Click here to see the trailer.

The documentary also includes interviews with family members of the addicts, law enforcement officials, politicians, and healthcare professionals. One of those healthcare professionals interviewed is pharmacist Lauren Heroux-Camirand, 37, who works at the County Square Pharmacy in Attleboro, Mass.

Filmmakers interviewed Heroux-Camirand twice about her experiences dealing with patients who were either addicted to potent drugs or misusing them. She told the Sun Chronicle that some people told her that pharmacists should stay out of the heroin controversy and instead only talk about legal drugs.

“We are here, as pharmacists and humans, to be compassionate and help in any way we can. That is why I agreed to participate and speak up,” Heroux-Camirand told the newspaper.

One of the stories Heroux-Camirand recounted to the filmmakers was about a customer who came into the pharmacy trying to get his opioid Rx refilled early. Many law enforcement officials and addiction experts believe that improper prescribing and dispensing of opioids has fueled the heroin epidemic.

“I told him he is taking them too fast,” she said. “He needed to slow down. The next day he was dead.”

 

Another story was about a patient taking a combination of three narcotics. She called the prescribing doctor to inform the doctor about the multiple Rxs. She said the doctor instructed her to fill the scripts, but she refused.

“My name goes on that,” she said.

According to the filmmakers, 85% of the crimes on Cape Cod are related to opioids. And Falmouth, Mass., where much of the documentary is centered, averages four heroin deaths each day.

“There are very few people I met in Massachusetts who didn’t have a connection to this crisis,” director Steven Okazaki stated in a HBO release. “It has taken a very real, and wide toll in a way that I did not see 20 years ago. I think this documentary could have been made in many communities around New England and across the country.”

See also: CVS makes naloxone available without prescriptions in 12 more states