Warning: This Drug May Kill You

Synopsis: An unflinching look at the devastating effects of addiction through the stories of four families whose lives have been decimated by addictions that all began with legitimate prescriptions to dangerous painkillers.
Genre: Documentary
Director(s): Perri Peltz
Production: HBO Documentary Films
59 min


Lyle! Get up, Lyle!

Get up.

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.

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!

She's breathing.

She's... Come on, baby.


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.

Jerry, look at me!

Come on!

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.

You all right?

You with us?

You doing okay?

Hey, stay with me, man.

Stay with me.

Can you wake up?

Are you gonna be okay?

Is she okay?

Yo, she's overdosing.

Like, what the f*ck, man?

Wake up!

Man 2:


Wake up, wake up!

Wake up, boy!

Get water,

get water, get water!

Man 2:

Pour water on her first.

Want him too?

Man 2:
F*ck it, man, 'cause...

I know.

Man 2:
Anything could've happened.

Mommy... Mommy!

Oh my God.


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.

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.

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,

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Warning: This Drug May Kill You" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 1 Mar. 2021. <https://www.scripts.com/script/warning:_this_drug_may_kill_you_23087>.

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