The Tragic Fentanyl Problem Documentary

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Patricia Sullivan MD, MPH

fentanyl documentary

Table of Contents

Death Tolls Rising Along With Need for Harm Reduction Programs

The Fentanyl death toll continues to rise on the streets of Canada. The documentary begins with the cameraman walking down E Hasting Street, an area of Vancouver riddled with Fentanyl use. Seeing the reality of what goes on is almost like getting a glimpse of a wasteland. Users parade through the streets, many of them barely able to walk, some leaning to the side with their head down as if they were a zombie.

The documentary aims to shed more light on this problem and how incredibly crucial it is to address this public health crisis in Canada and beyond.

Escaping Pain at All Costs

One man filmed in this documentary explains that most of the drug users on Vancouver’s streets are self-medicating to deal with unresolved traumas.

The high from the Fentanyl is so strong that doing it once is all it takes to become addicted. It begins with that first choice to use, which then spirals into a disease that is beyond control. Many users make the first choice to use when they are in a vulnerable spot, not capable of making the right decisions for themselves.

The irony is that they become enslaved while attempting to escape the pain. Fentanyl offers a promise that it cannot deliver. In the end, there will be nothing but death for the users and heartache for the people who love them.

The Helpers

The documentary highlights the many harm reduction programs that provide needles, water, and Narcan.

Volunteers walk through Vancouver city streets armed with Narcan to stop overdoses from claiming more lives.

Other programs offer a safe place for drug users to come and consume opioids. This way, they can do so while being monitored by others to ensure that Narcan is administered in the event of an overdose.

While some of these programs are technically illegal, the Vancouver police do not often arrest or stop them from functioning. The city of Vancouver is experiencing a public health crisis due to Fentanyl overdoses, and sometimes public crises outweigh the laws on the books.

Do Vancouver Police Truly Care About The Lives Being Lost?

It is made clear in the documentary that many struggling fentanyl users who call the Vancouver city streets “home” do not trust the police.

One man even says that if he had a health emergency, he does not want their help. The reason is simple, and the users feel that the police are there to contain the problem and not make a positive impact.

The police only want the problem to stay within the confines of an area. Fentanyl use spreading to other areas of Vancouver city is not an ideal scenario for the police.

Police defend themselves by saying that their approach is based on pragmatism. Not every fentanyl user they come across can be arrested and prosecuted. It is just not possible.

How to Get Help for Fentanyl Addiction

If you are looking to get help for yourself or a loved one, please reach out today. We can help you find evidence-based treatment. While fentanyl detox and treatment is not easy, it is possible.


[1] The Tragic Fentanyl Problem: Real Stories
[2] CDC: Fentanyl Use Deaths

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Addiction to Meth and Fentanyl [Guide to Recovery]

Susana Spiegel

Susana Spiegel

Susana has experience writing about addiction, treatment, mental health, and recovery. She holds a Bachelors in Arts of Theology from GCU, and has a deep empathy for those who are struggling with addiction, as she is in recovery herself.

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