tv Heroin USA A Soledad O Brien Special Report Al Jazeera April 7, 2016 4:00pm-5:01pm EDT
>> all i wanted to see was her walk, it was amazing. >> probably the most profound moment was when i stood up. these were emotions i had been dreaming about for so long. thank you. >> techknow, proud to tell your stories on al jazeera america. sprawling... safe... serene. the suburbs. not the kind of place you'd
expect to find... an epidemic. olivia deland is desperate for a fix... so desperate for heroin she's stealing from her family. >> what did you grab to take to the pawn shop? >> just a weed eater. i'm going to get it all back out tomorrow though. >> how much money can you get for it? you put it in the back of the car? >> 40 dollars. >> which probably cost a couple of hundred dollars to buy? and you'll buy 40 dollars' worth of heroin? >> yeah. i follow her as she drives away from the suburban home where she grew up. she races through the rain to get to the pawn shop before it closes. >> my anxiety is horribly high. it's just a really scary feeling. she arrives just in time. >> my whole body just aches and you have like chills, and you puke.
it's like every symptom you can possibly think of. it's not the first time she's stolen from her family. she pawned her father's leaf blower already this morning... just to get high. 24-year-old olivia deland is typical of the new face of the heroin epidemic- young, well-off, and white. >> when you wake up do you immediately think, "i gotta go score some heroin"--. >> that's the first thought--like i don't--i don't do anything else until i do that--that's number one priority. olivia grew up in maineville... one of the sleepy suburbs in southern ohio and northern kentucky overshadowed by the cincinnati skyline. >> i grew up in like a n--a good home, and i mean i had a good childhood, and um...i don't--i don't know why it's such a problem now. i mean it's everywhere now, there's like--i mean, there's so many people from my school around this area that do it,
that i had no idea until recently, and it's just--i--i don't know, it's crazy. after leaving the pawn shop, she scores drugs with her friend maranda vormwald. they can't wait to get high. so they pull over in this leafy, suburban neighborhood to shoot up in the car. >> what kind of job do you have, mandy? >> i was a pre-school teacher for four years, and i stopped because i didn't want to teach kids while i was getting high. >> is there a belt back there? >> does that hurt? >> no. >> what's it like when you get a hit of heroin? >> it's amazing, you just--i mean it's just like a relief, like so many things can be wrong, but you feel like everything's just perfect. it's like on your wedding day,
like that feeling that you get, it's like that every time. >> and how long will that last for you? >> it honestly doesn't last very long. the first hit, the rush, is what people chase after more than anything, um, that rush you get when you first shoot up and then after that it's like most people just feel normal, honestly. back in 2013, olivia's life had already descended into drug addiction. she was just 18 years old when she started using heroin. >> the first time i ever tried heroin was here at this house. i remember like the exact day clearly still. just like the smells of the house, everything. i remember my mom had had the carpet cleaned that day, so the whole house smelled like, like just fresh. and i remember um, just being in my room and out of nowhere my older brother walks in and um he
just asked hey you want to try this. and, and i don't know what came over me but i had no questions in my mind, i was just like yah. she told her boyfriend, tyler, she had tried heroin. >> i had told him about it i told him i tried it. and he was really really mad at me, very mad. uh, and i-i just was like i'm sorry, tyler but i gotta tell you how great this stuff is. like it was amazing. like you have no idea like. then a couple of days later he was like "well i want to try it". olivia stopped using when she became pregnant. she gave birth to her daughter, callie in 2010. then quickly started up again-snorting at first. when we caught up to her a year later... heroin addiction had taken over her life. >> i--i started injecting pretty fast after--after i started up again, yeah, and that's when it really went downhill. >> when you say go down hill, what do you mean? >> i--i started using everyday, i--i needed it, like my body
physically needed it. >> what's your habit now cost-wise? >> cost-wise, i probably spend like $100 a day. olivia arrives for our interview after getting high. then she's obsessed with arranging a drug deal. she constantly checks her phone to see if her dealer has texted her. >> did he text you back? >> um... not yet. >> are you getting anxious about it? >> yeah. the drug that was once an inner-city problem is hitting suburban america... and hitting it hard. heroin overdoses... once very rare here... are now happening at an alarming rate. just last october, hospitals in three small kentucky suburbs
outside cincinnati treated ten overdoses in a 48-hour period. two of them were fatal. the death rate from heroin overdoses across the country nearly quadrupled between 2000 and 2013. >> that's one of our spots where we've had a lot of activity. on the front lines... spike jones... the police chief of covington, kentucky. >> the type of people that we're seeing that are drug addicted aren't people just passed out in alley ways, they're people from suburbs, they're people from very successful families, uh, they're not what you would imagine. the number of heroin users across the country soared 82 percent between 2007 and 2013... to 681,000. >> how much of your time now is spent focused on heroin? >> a lot. chief jones works with crime scene investigator dawn bayliss. and they show me some of the heroin that's been seized during
recent police arrests. >> what would something like this cost a heroin user? >> anywhere between $15 and $20. you know, that can be cooked down, put in the syringe and shot up. so... it's a relatively inexpensive price for a long high. >> we catch people quite often in their car, ready to shoot up. they, they get caught all the time. >> we've found people with their kids in car seats in the back. >> shooting up? >> and mom and dad in the front seat passed out from shooting up. the number of people who died of heroin overdoses in ohio nearly tripled in just three years, between 2010 and 2013... while in kentucky, the number of deaths over that same period rose nearly 500 percent. heroin addiction isn't just plaguing the suburbs around cincinnati. the drug is also infesting suburbs around the country... like here in new jersey.
>> i think it would be hard for a lot of people to think that in a bucolic, beautiful suburban neighborhood like this one that there would be, actually, a big drug problem. >> most people when they think of heroin, they think of inner city communities. they think of the heroin epidemic that hit the country in the 1970s and that disproportionately affected people who were poor and non-white. dr. andrew kolodny is the chief medical officer at phoenix house, a non-profit drug treatment organization. >> the heroin crisis we're dealing with today is affecting the suburbs and rural areas. it's much more severe than the epidemic we had in the 1970s. so we're dealing with the worst drug epidemic in united states history. back in 2000, it was older black people who had the highest rate of heroin overdose. but by 2013, young white people had the highest rate.
dr. kolodny says the epidemic began shifting a decade ago in the appalachian area of the country- it also began hitting new england early... spreading into the midatlantic states and the midwest... while heroin is also hitting other parts of the country, these regions are all now heroin hot spots. heroin's move to the suburbs began with the explosion of prescription pain pills... pushed hard by drug companies. >> it's important to remember that you have to try to help yourself by finding a doctor that understands pain management. with the right doctor and the right medication in place, many patients can live a complete and normal life. sales of prescription pain killers quadrupled between 1999 and 2010. >> less than 1 percent of patients taking opioids actually
become addicted. >> about four out of five heroin users today became addicted to opioids- to opioid pain killers before they ever used heroin. heroin is also an opioid-and the most addictive of all illegal drugs. as authorities cracked down on prescription pain killers... the pills got harder to get and more expensive. at the same time, heroin was becoming more pure. that made it a potent alternative you could snort instead of inject. >> a young person who gets addicted to pain killers they'll switch to heroin, because a ten dollar bag of heroin will do exactly what a thirty dollar pill of oxycodone would do. drug traffickers began targeting the suburbs and rural areas searching for new clients. >> the opioid epidemic is hitting middle class white families and communities because it's in white households, that
you're more likely to find painkillers in the medicine chest. sarah kordenbrock grew up in a bucolic setting just outside the kentucky suburb of covington. her family... solidly middle class. >> so how many animals do you have? >> um let's see... we have 5 goats, a pig, one mini horse, um a donkey and three tennessee walking horses. >> how old is this pig? >> she's close to 20. >> how far are we from cincinnati? >> uhm, maybe 15, 20 minutes. >> oh, that's it? >> yeah. >> oh my gosh. >> i feel like i'm in the country. >> i know. sarah was the captain of her high school volleyball and softball teams. she injured her knee during a regional volleyball tournament at the age of 18. her doctor prescribed percocet. >> i took maybe two one day and really i liked the feeling.
it was more of a buzz than just the pain gone and i liked that. it would be the beginning of her descent into heroin addiction. >> what happened when you did it the first time? >> i was immediately in love with it, i loved the feeling. >> you and i, we're going to change this country, and we will change the world. >> mr. president, there's a one in three chance of a second grade depression. >> first hand accounts from the people who are there. >> your opinion was shocking. >> ...that i am president of the united states and i can't make anything happen. >> he stood up and said, "that's it, i'm finished."
she was trying to kick her heroin habit. >> when did you start using heroin? >> it didn't take long. um, maybe within a year. it got to a point where pain pills were too expensive. >> what did you pay? >> 80 dollars for one pill. i always crushed them down and snorted them. and the boy i was dating at the time, had hidden the fact that he was using heroin from me. and i walked in and found him using heroin and thought i could try it once, it's not going to hurt me one time. >> we went into downtown cincinnati and pulled up to this back alley in the most awful part of town, no place that i should have been. and waited for a stranger to bring us a bag of heroin, and hope that nobody stole our money while we sat there. that almost becomes part of the high, you know...
the fact that you're in a part of town that is a little sketchy and you know you really shouldn't be there and it's excitement, you know? first, she used heroin on the weekends... soon every day....then all day every day. back and forth into the city... spending hundreds of dollars daily. but she was able to hide her addiction and have a normal life at first... like enjoying meals with her family and young niece. >> i have a job. i've got my car paid for, i've got my own apartment. i had to have heroin to do all those things to be able to function, but i was still doing it. >> did you think you were an addict? >> absolutely not, no. no my idea of an addict was you know this girl that walked down the street and prostitutes or lives under a bridge or you know, that was my idea, that was my picture. that didn't include me.
kim and greg kordenbrock began to suspect their daughter was using drugs. >> when she began to be very secretive about things and our relationship wasn't as important to her, i just knew a mothers gut instinct that something was terribly wrong. >> yeah, they confronted me um, and of course i lied. no, of course not, i would never do that, you can drug test me and ... >> did they? >> they did. but as a manipulative addict, i just got around it. i just passed it. you know, so there was always ways for me to get around things for a long time. sarah's father, greg, didn't want to believe his wife's suspicions. >> she was always daddy's little girl. >> do you think the fact that she was daddy's girl played a role in you not believing that she had a problem? >> i think it played a huge role - i was like no, this, this, no,
this can't be. not sarah, not sarah. it would be more than two years after sarah started using heroin that her mother would finally feel certain. >> my mom picked up a pair of jeans that i had laid across the chair in the kitchen. and she picked them up to fold them for me and put them away for me and when she folded it, a little packet of heroin fell out onto the floor. and she was just devastated. sarah's parents had her committed to a psych ward for 72 hours... and then into an intensive outpatient program. >> did you think once she was in that rehab program for 10 weeks that...? >> we thought, we've really won this battle. we've caught this just in time and this is gonna be wonderful. they were wrong. several months after finishing rehab, sarah relapsed.
>> how bad did it get for you? >> oh my gosh, umm, i can't imagine it getting any worse for me. uhm, it turned me into somebody that i, i wasn't at all. it turned me into a liar. it turned me into a thief. >> so what kind of things would you put in here? >> we put anything of value. >> we purchased a safe that's the size of a very large refrigerator. that's how crazy it became around here. >> we got this because all our stuff was walking out of here and i had to have some place to put our valuables. >> how much money would you guess that you spent on rehab and buying your stuff back and all the stuff that comes around rehab. >> 77,000 dollars. >> you know exactly? >> i know exactly what i spent. >> well, it's-i turned 52 sunday. i've worked for my company for 30 years, i have a pension, i have a retirement, i could have walked out of there sunday. >> but you can't because? >> because i have to keep
working. we liquidated, we liquidated to pay for this to save her life. sarah would spend the next several years in and out of rehab. >> well, we delivered her to a place, and it was a dump. it was a dump. and she said, dad please don't leave me here. i said, honey i don't have any choice. >> she called me a couple of days later and she loved it, and that her counselor was so nice that she allowed her to use her cell phone. and i just thought: this is fantastic. she just - it's really clicked with her this time . we were supposed to visit with her in about 7-10 days i can't remember the exactly what the... maybe about 10 days. we went to the front desk and they're just looking at us like "oh no, here they are." and the director just came and said: "she is not here. she has not been here." she left the day we dropped her off.
>> so every phone call had been a lie. >> yeah. addicts are master manipulators. if their mouths are moving, they're lying. another time, after being clean for six months... she relapsed again. >> it had strychnine in it to i guess make it look like more than it was. i fell...they call it falling out...i fell out and the person i was with called 911... sarah.... had od'ed. >> we'll have 8, 10 overdoses in a week, 3 or 4 in a day, i've had uh, two at one time, three at one time, in the same house, same parking lot. dan mathew is the fire chief in covington, kentucky, the suburb where sarah lives. his department is seeing the number of heroin overdoses skyrocket. covington's emergency medical service crews respond to all those overdoses. >> you find the patients,
they're usually not breathing or they're breathing very slowly or shallowly. we put an airway in them, we breathe for em, uh, prepare an iv usually, and give em narcane narcan... also known as naloxone, the generic name for the drug... is an opiate blocker that can literally revive a heroin overdose victim. >> medication comes in a 2 mg pre-filled syringe and it gets attached to an atomization device. very, very simple to use. after sarah's overdose, she got two shots of narcan to revive her. they told her that if she had waited two more minutes, she'd be dead. >> i died and came back to life, but still wanted to get high. so i had to be able to go get more. and so that's what i did. i got in the car and put it out of my mind because i knew i could get high, and as soon as i got high i didn't think about the fact that i had od'd anymore.
sarah's parents began to feel so helpless they started to hatch a desperate plan. >> i said, we gotta do something with sarah, and we gotta do it today. >> people out here are struggling and just trying to get by with whatever they can. >> al jazeera america - proud of telling your stories. >> somebody to care about us man... >> we're live in ferguson, missouri. >> brick by brick, i will open it. it will take more than a few rocks to stop me from doin' what i have to do. >> suddenly heroin seems to be everywhere. >> there's no way i am willing to give up my family for a drug ever again. >> i know you all have strong opinions about the border. >> i don't believe in borders. >> our government is allowing an invasion. >> i don't really know as much as i thought i did. >> people don't just need protection, they need assistance. >> what's your message then? >> we need help now. >> oh my god... the town's out of water. >> we came up here to talk to some people who are selling fresh water... fresh water for fracking. >> we are a town that greed destroyed.
>> what do we want? >> justice! >> these people have decided that today they will be arrested. >> i wanted to dance, and eventually i started leaving the gangs in the street alone. >> we're pushing the envelope with out science every day, we can save species. >> i'm walking you guys! >> all i wanted to see was her walk. it was amazing. >> these were emotions that i had been dreaming about for so long. >> getting to the heart of the matter. proud to tell your stories. al jazeera america.
kim and greg kordenbock were considering the unthinkable- putting their daughter behind bars. >> i brought her home, and i said look, if i were you, i would get downstairs, and i'd jump in the shower, get yourself cleaned up, put some fresh clothes on, put a sweatshirt on, because your life's gonna change today. >> they handcuffed her on my back porch and took her away and she was, standing on my back
porch with her hands behind her back and she says: "dad, are you gonna come bail me out tonight or tomorrow?" really flippant. and he said: "i'm gonna save your life." sarah found herself here-at the kenton county detention center in covington, kentucky. >> you know i was in this concrete cell for four days, so sick and cold and just feeling horrible, like the super flu. i called and would cry and beg them to come and get me. >> she called? >> all the time. >> were you ever tempted to say, let's just end it, take her out of there? >> oh yeah. oh yeah. and my attorney's going, don't you break, don't bail her out. do not go get her. >> but you wanted to? >> oh yeah, oh every day. >> oh cricket is right there. she said they will buy verizon phones, but it's under contract. olivia deland is still in the grip of her heroin addiction.
>> go in there and tell them that it's not new. she and her boyfriend tyler are trying to get the money for their next fix by pawning cellphones. >> it's kinda sad when you get to know people at the pawn shop, like first name basis. tyler phones his dealer to buy heroin and syringes. >> hey what's up? >> nothing. >> nothing, i'm uh, i'm heading down, i need a rig to though. >> alright, what you need? >> uh, probably like 4, maybe 5. it's been a rough morning. olivia's mother, carmen, kicked them out after finding pawn receipts and drug paraphernalia. >> it's hard to watch her just be so desperate and anxious and mean and... she just turns into somebody else and then, and so do i. olivia and tyler had to sleep in their car. >> it's a small car. you can see there's not much room for two people.
but we did. we both laid back there and grabbed what little sleep we could. it was cold, and like i said, we didn't have food, money, always hungry or thirsty or--and then on top of that, trying to find drugs. >> doing heroin? >> yeah. now that i think about it, i don't know how we managed to even do it, but we found a way, obviou-- we always find a way. they leave their daughter, callie, with her parents. it's not the first time olivia has been separated from callie. >> child protective services almost took callie away-. >> uh yeah, that's right, that was when she was younger-. >> how old was she? >> i can't even remember now, she was like a baby though, like four months, something like that-. >> this is a pretty complicated tower. >> it sure is. >> was it hard for you to leave callie with your mom? >> it's very hard for me not to be with her, very--and she's so attached to me. >> this can go right here. >> wow, look how tall it is now, cal.
>> and yet you're doing something that's pretty likely to kill you. >> mmhmm-. >> ...which means you could end up leaving her forever. >> yeah...i just don't think about that...that's just--i'm just addicted to it, it's just an addiction. an addiction that's threatening her life. olivia's contracted hepatitis c from i-v drug use. it's a contagious liver disease that can be fatal. >> i've done anything from stealing... i have prostituted probably three times, maybe more-. >> for drugs-. >> for drugs, yeah... >> do you just feel terrible, do you feel nothing, do you feel... >> after doing this for so long, um, it just affects the chemicals in your brain, and i'm pretty much like numb to emotion almost, um, i really don't feel anything, like music isn't the same when you listen to music, it's um, just--you--it's hard to
laugh and cry, it's like impossible to cry. >> does it kill your mom? >> yeah, my mom has --she's completely changed as a person...i've destroyed my mom... i mean i've just killed her...killed her. >> and how do you feel about that? >> i mean i feel horrible about so many things that i've done, and that's--that's like another thing that like keeps it going almost, is like, you do the drugs, and you do things that are bad, and then you feel bad about doing the things that you do for drugs, and that makes you want to use drugs even more to cover up that pain, so it's just like a vicious cycle of...over and over and over again. >> how difficult have the last years been for you? >> indescribable, just constant worry. i mean even when things are good, um you're still worried
that something might happen to change them. even after going through rehab, addicts often relapse. genetics play a substantial role in becoming addicted to heroin. the drug actually alters an addicts' brain chemistry. the national institute on drug abuse estimates that up to 60 percent of all addicts will relapse... but some addiction experts put the relapse rate as high as 90 percent. >> the brain's reward center becomes hijacked by the drug, and trying not to use an opioid can be like trying never to eat again. in september of 2014, olivia finds out she's pregnant again. she and tyler swear they will stop using. >> i know for a fact that me being pregnant uh, that's not gonna happen. i just don't have that in me to do that, so this is a big motivator. i mean i wanted to before, but
it's not gonna happen, it's over with for me, i mean it's done. no more. >> in my eyes it's a, it's a, you know, not just a second chance at being a, a good father, but a second chance at life. i don't care how sick i get, it's not, it's not worth losing my family. sick... from going through withdrawal. a heroin addict who stops using gets physically ill-with intense flu-like symptoms and extreme anxiety. mike heffron, like olivia, grew up in an upscale ohio suburb. he knew the pain of withdrawal well. back in 2013, mike and his friend joe lah-gore went through that hell. you got to do it every day or you can't walk, and you're sick,
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mike heffron and a friend, joe lah-gore, are going through withdrawal... so they're looking for their next fix. >> you got a ride? i'm still without a ride, bro, you need to come see me, or i'll meet you. this is the two of them back in 2013... caught in a desperate moment. >> dude, if it's seriously 75, it better put me on my ass. and i'm not trying to be put on my ass right now. 75 is kind of outrageous. they shot up heroin that morning... but if they don't get another fix soon, they'll get what's called "dope sick." they are physically craving the drug. >> you use so much you got to use probably every 3 to 4 hours before getting sniffles, eyes water, chills, heat flashes. it just takes your body over. they shoot up just to feel "normal". >> you actually feel like you're dying out actually praying to god to kill me i don't wanna live no more. >> it's the worst feeling in the world. they both have tried to quit. mike's been in and out of a local rehab center nicknamed
"the cathouse". >> i'm sure they're tired of seeing me at the cathouse. i've been there so many times. i've been there probably three times since october. they have lost their jobs, their spouses, and their children. >> i have a boy and a girl. my daughter is 12, and my son is 6. and i love them to death. >> in this picture, she was probably not even a year old. in this picture, probably three in this picture. mike was raised in an upper-middle class family in the cincinnati suburbs. >> i grew up in a, you know, somewhat wealthy family. i was very, very fortunate. i had both parents that loved me. and luckily they loved me enough to provide me a very good childhood. >> that's me. i was in a tournament. i had perfect, perfect swing.
>> i loved sports especially golf and every single day after my sophomore year it was about golf... you know it's all i played. mike's father, dennis, encouraged him to play. >> i would drop him off at the golf course on my way to work at seven o'clock and i'd pick him up at five o'clock in the afternoon on my way home from work...he was literally there all day, and he--he played golf all day--all summer, in high school, i went to every golf match that he played in. >> he was there for me. we were real close, and i felt like i let him down huge. let him down-when he started doing drugs. first smoking marijuana, then prescription pills and cocaine... and finally ... heroin. >> he admitted it, that he was--that he was on heroin, and um, i asked him, i said "michael, how could you do that, knowing full well what it's gonna do to you," and he said
"dad, " he said, "i tried it once...and then i tried it again, and then i couldn't stop trying it". >> hey, what's his number? what's his number? ok. >> some parents it seems to me often have to make this decision between the tough love-like, that's it, we're cutting you off-or i'd rather know where you are and know where you're sleeping--what was that conundrum like for you? >> um, you know, everybody preaches tough love, okay, i couldn't do it because in my mind i thought that we'd get a phone call one day and they'd found him dead. >> but my dad, he still talks to me, he just doesn't-he wants me to get better, and right now i can't get-i've checked myself into rehab, i just can't get through the dope sickness part. >> yeah, what about that guy from yesterday, um uhh, "t," or
whatever. that you introduced me to or whatever. the 658 number. then, after scoring more heroin, mike and joe prepare to shoot up again... >> ok it's ready for shoot. >> the life of hell. >> here in about 30 seconds, i will - the whole world will be lifted off my shoulders. that's exactly how i feel right now. mike says he wishes he had never let someone persuade him to try heroin that first time. >> if i would have known what this does to you, that i would be like this, you know a year later, i would have told him to go to hell. i would have straight up told him to go to hell. i would have never stuck that needle in my arm. never in a million years. he says heroin has robbed him of
his life... and his future. >> uhm, i'd love to see my kids grow up and i know if i keep using i won't get that opportunity to see them grow cause i'll probably end up dead. yeah, this drug will kill me eventually if i keep using. ten months after this interview, mike died of a heroin overdose. he was 34-years-old. even though olivia and tyler vow to quit when she finds out she's pregnant, they continue using heroin. a month later, tyler checks into a rehab facility-this one in las vegas. olivia is faced with a tough decision. >> yeah, i was pregnant, and i actually, um, terminated the pregnancy, um, and that was really hard for me to do, because normally, um, i'd never do something like that, i wouldn't even think about it, um, but i have thought that i
couldn't imagine myself having a child right now, it wouldn't be fair, it wouldn't be fair to anybody, especially the child. >> you're going to head off to rehab? >> yeah, tomorrow i'm going to go to a detox, is what it is. i'll probably be there for like seven to ten days, and then i'll come home, and i'll do like intensive outpatient where i'll go like three times a week to--to groups and counselors, and stay clean. >> are you nervous about it? >> yeah, i am, i'm--yeah, i'm nervous, i'm really nervous. >> what are you nervous about? >> i'm nervous about coming home afterwards. >> why? >> i just--i hope i can be strong enough to not let the--that evil take over me. >> do you worry that you're gonna die? >> um...yeah it's--i mean, it's hard--you're not really thinking about that when you're doing it, but i know that--the reality--i--i know that i could, yeah, because i've had people
overdose in front of me, and it is scary, you know, but when it comes to yourself, you just, you don't think about it--you just don't. >> i think there are a lot of people that would say, "but you have a kid, " like can't you just get it together for your kid? >> if it wasn't for callie, i'd probably be dead already, she's the reason that i'm just holding on still. olivia deland's mother, carmen, knows the difficulties that lie ahead. olivia has already been to rehab five times. >> it's not like you just go to rehab and, or detox and then rehab and you're done. and i used to think that myself. i always wondered well, they went to treatment, you know, why aren't they better? i didn't realize that the hardest part is, comes later so, it's a forever thing.
it's a forever struggle. dealing with olivia's addiction has drained carmen and her family... both financially and emotionally. >> i've gotten to the point where i've told olivia, i-i feel really bad for you. i- i feel helpless. i can't help you, it's almost like i had to let her go. i said, but i've come to the point where it's either you or all of us. this whole family, i have to make a choice, between you or all of us. it's now up to olivia to get the treatment she needs. today she is packing to go to the detox center for treatment... when she gets a text from her friend, maranda. >> maranda just messaged me saying that somebody, that if somebody can get her right now, she's got forty dollars. and she called someone and they said they would hook it up.
so basically she's going to get drugs right now. it's such a temptation. >> these people have decided that today they will be arrested. >> i know that i'm being surveilled. >> people are not getting the care that they need. >> this is a crime against humanity. >> hands up... >> don't shoot. >> hands up... >> don't shoot. >> what do we want? >> justice. >> when do we want it? >> now. >> explosions going on... we're not quite sure - >> is that an i.e.d.?
>> pushing the boundaries of science. >> we are on the tipping point. >> we can save species. >> it's the biggest question out there. >> it's a revolutionary approach. >> we are pushing the boundaries. >> techknow is going to blow your mind. >> our experts go inside the innovations, impacting you. >> this is the first time anybody's done this. >> i really feel my life changing. >> techknow, where technology meets humanity. only on al jazeera america. >> al jazeera america - proud of telling your stories. >> i wanted to dance, and eventually i started leaving the gangs in the street alone. >> we're pushing the envelope with out science every day, we can save species. >> i'm walking you guys! >> all i wanted to see was her walk.
it was amazing. >> these were emotions that i had been dreaming about for so long. >> getting to the heart of the matter. proud to tell your stories. al jazeera america. >> you know i went into this population area looking like a deer in the headlights. i was completely out of my element so it was really scary, it was really really frightening. i didn't have anything to do but sit and think. sarah kordenbrock spent 54 days locked up here in the kenton county detention center after
her parents had her arrested. jail forced her to take a hard look at her heroin habit. >> i had turned into such a thief and a liar and just you know, i would walk into the family functions and the women would grab their purses. >> what was it like to get out of jail? >> wonderful. >> were you clean by then? >> oh yeah. >> and you felt like you were ready to turn it around? >> i felt like i needed to go a treatment. i was ready for a change. i was ready for anything but the life that i was living. sara's parents were at a breaking point when they drove her to crossroads rehabilitation center in indiana back in 2012. >> now, from this point on forward, its gonna be actions are gonna tell the tale. >> exactly. >> because we don't buy words anymore. >> no. but you talk the game. so i know you know-i know you
know exactly what you're supposed to do. >> yeah, i know. she would spend the next 45 days here. >> i mean, i've been to inpatient and outpatient and i really just went to shut everybody up, until i had to face the chaos of my life and go sit in jail for two months. that was my bottom. after getting out of rehab, sarah managed to stay clean. through a support group, she eventually met the man who would become her fiance-eric kyle. they have a daughter together--ella grace. >> do you feel like you dodged a bullet? >> i feel like i have a second chance. i'm able to live and enjoy my life because i didn't enjoy it before. it was just an existence, it wasn't really living. >> what makes you think you
won't go back to using heroin? do you think about it? >> no. >> never? >> you know i didn't have any type of a purpose and my daughter means the world to me. and there's no way i am willing to give up my family for a drug ever again in my life. nothing is worth my family... looking back on her life, sarah says she regrets all the time she wasted. >> i wasted seven years doing nothing but getting high. you know, i didn't accomplish any of these dreams that i wanted to do. >> what did you want to do? >> i wanted to go away to school and play ball. (crying) i wanted to experience college like a normal twenty year old. you know i wanted to be able to have those memories, and i
didn't get any of those memories. now she's making new memories. >> i'm getting little braids and curls and a twist in an updo. i'm excited. sarah is getting married. >> like a lot of little girls i couldn't wait to pick out my wedding dress and plan my wedding and...that was something that was so exciting to me. i wanted to be married, and i wanted to have kids and...when i got into the midst of my addiction, i just kinda pushed it aside. i just thought it wasn't an option for me. >> you never thought you'd get married? >> no. i really...i think when i was using really hard i didn't think that i was gonna live long enough to get married.
as she walks down the aisle, her parents are proud of how far their daughter has come. >> that was a great day. it was a day that i didn't think i was gonna get. >> so i think my wedding day was just, they were so happy for me to finally be at a...in a position where i want to be... and have my happily ever after. >> i therefore pronounce that you are husband and wife. erik, you may kiss your bride. olivia deland is still searching for her happily every after. she's getting ready to go to the detox center... and leaving her four-year-old
daughter, callie, behind. >> what makes you think you're ready this time? >> i just, i just know. i can't do it anymore, i'm just--i just know, i just can't--there's so many people dying, and it's just, um...i just can't--she's getting older, i just can't do it to her anymore, i can't, it's like killing me inside. >> can you successfully kick your habit without moving out of town, giving up your friends, not ever seeing tyler again? >> i think that if i am wanting to stay clean, i'm gonna have to not talk to any of the people that i go get high with ever like again, not at all. but just hours before the van from the detox center arrives to take her there... her friend maranda starts calling and texting... asking olivia to go get drugs with her.
>> i'm thinking that i want to get high before i go, but i can't do that. (sighs) it's just such a temptation for me not to just go right now. like if i wasn't having a driver pick me up right now, i'd probably do that before i went. desperate, olivia goes out to her car to retrieve the cotton swabs she used to shoot up the day before. >> i got the cottons that we use when we do this and i soaked out everything i could out of the cotton from the dope we used the other day. >> so because i've used to much for so may years its really hard to hit my veins.
>> it's like, it's like pulling me like. it's like a fricking force, like just pulling me, like sucking me in, just like telling me like say screw it and leave. this wouldn't be so hard. if this guy wasn't coming, i would just go get drugs and go to treatment. it wouldn't be a big deal. the van from the detox center arrives. she leaves the middle-class suburb where she grew up. the journey ahead for olivia... what could be... the road to recovery.
>> you and i, we're going to change this country, and we will change the world. >> mr. president, there's a one in three chance of a second grade depression. >> first hand accounts from the people who are there. >> your opinion was shocking. >> ...that i am president of the united states and i can't make anything happen. >> he stood up and said, "that's it, i'm finished." >> we can save species. >> macaw are at risk of dissappearing in the wild. >> we are on the tipping point of an ecological disaster. >> radiocarbon dating method can tell us if trade of ivory is legal. >> gold, we have come at the price of human rights, pristine forests, and clean water. >> the future of fracking is about the water. >> how do you convince a big oil company to use this?
>> al jazeera is always pushing the boundaries of reporting and techknow really falls into that perfectly. >> this is the biggest question out there. >> we always get perfect plants every time. >> this opens up whole new possibilities. >> we have 300,000 kids that are in collapse prone schools. >> katrina was really a wake up call. >> we can design and engineer a system to not fight nature but kind of work alongside it. >> new orleans is on a good track towards sustainability but the job is not done here. >> it's a revolutionary approach to science reporting. >> this is some of the best driving i've ever done, even though i can't see. >> i really feel my life changing. >> this is the first time anybody's done this. >> i'm walking you guys! >> all i wanted to see was her walk, it was amazing. >> probably the most profound moment was when i stood up. these were emotions i had been dreaming about for so long. thank you. >> techknow, proud to tell your stories on al jazeera america.