Segments in this Video

Addictive Synthetic Chemicals (04:03)


The oldest city in Wyoming County, West Virginia, Oceana is reportedly a place of natural beauty, ideal for spending time outdoors and raising children. Ten years ago, pills became introduced and changed the social landscape of the community.

Complex Contradiction (04:18)

After OxyContin became widespread in Oceana, trust diminished as crime increased. People began stealing from one another to feed addictions. Young people describe pills being passed around freely in high school and at parties

On Drugs and In Mines (03:07)

Young people attribute the drug problems of Oceana to the lack of other things to do: malls and movies are a 45 minute drive away. Wyoming County is the number one county in West Virginia for prescription pill addiction, yet there is no methadone clinic.

Underground Economy (04:51)

A man shows a place under a bridge where he lived when he first arrived in Oceana. He ended up on drugs. A woman describes the difficulty of making money without drugs because of mine related lay-offs.

Local Epidemic (04:38)

At the Oceana Dental Center, a dentist admits that when he first began working, was taken advantage of by patients who wanted prescriptions for pills. A young woman describes winning the lottery and blowing $12,000 with her father on pills. Another young woman who is pregnant expresses her addiction, distress, and fear of having her child taken away.

Generation Lost (03:00)

West Virginians receive more prescriptions than inhabitants of any other state. Overdoses that lead to death are a daily occurrence. Babies are treated with methadone after birth because of addicted mothers.

They Call it Oxyana (03:14)

James Robert "Bobby" Lewis has brain cancer and has been on opiates for years. He and his wife shoot up pills. Lewis says he will not get high but the dose will prevent him from getting sick.

Burying Friends (03:37)

Prosecuting attorney Rick Staton says that he once had to ask the drug task force to stop making controlled buys because the paperwork could not be dealt with. Both addicts and dealers are overdosing and killing themselves. One 23 year old man says that half of his graduating class has died because of drug abuse; when someone overdoses, the town people say that they have been "oxycuted."

No Value to Society (04:22)

A young woman, Chelsea, talks about staying with her boyfriend Jason after discovering he was doing pills. He says it is not his fault he is addicted and plans to continue doing them. Chelsea was once sure that she would never date someone on pills.

Scared of Withdrawal (03:47)

Jason shoots up a pill he paid $45 for using a method that prevents the chemical from turning to gel. Pregnant Chelsea says that when they run out of money, he gets sick and it upsets her as she worries about him dying.

Abusing Medication? (02:31)

Lewis describes his girlfriend learning about his drug addiction and deciding to do it with him. A drug-addled woman talks about her prescriptions. She says she needs pain medicine because she has a young daughter.

Falling in Love with Addiction (03:59)

A pregnant young woman says she began doing pills because she saw her cousin lose weight through addiction. She admits she robbed a guy for $1600 to spend on cocaine and pills. Jason says he loves the high but feels badly about affecting his friends and family with his addiction.

Nothing Means Nothing (04:37)

Lewis's wife won't leave his side and says that God will help her through her problems. She talks about her self-esteem problems and her love for Lewis. Another young woman talks about her husband going to prison, her car being repossessed, and her child being taken away from her.

Disappearance Stories (02:34)

Residents of Oceana talk about bones found in a nearby city and elderly people being robbed of their pills. Another man talks about his brother being found murdered nine months after his disappearance.

Fatal Domestic Dispute (05:23)

A man talks about losing his family. He left his family one day and when he returned the next morning, his mother, father, and brother were dead of gunshot wounds inflicted by his father. He believes his father had lost his mind over methadone pills, he believes.

All Give Thanks (05:09)

Lewis reads from the Bible. Another woman says that her ex-husband prevented her from dying when she was overdosing and that she wanted to die. She says she is currently on drugs because she does not have her children.

No Saving These People (04:52)

A woman cries about her addiction and wishes that her child would grow up with a better life. She blames her addiction on getting hurt. A man says the war on drugs is failing.

Binge Addict (04:54)

Jason's mother tells him that he should take Aleve and Tylenol when he is in pain. She tells him he needs to go to rehab and get educated on his illness.

Credits: Oxyana (09:10)

Credits: Oxyana

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Once a thriving mining community, now a destitute hinterland ravaged by its addiction to a prescription painkiller: the West Virginian town of Oceana is a portentous glimpse of the American dream, collapsed. It is home to high-school girls with $800-a-day habits, former miners who turned to dealing to make ends meet, and pregnant women selling their bodies for another fix. Dubbed "Hillbilly Heroin," the drug Oxycontin is slowly rotting the soul of rural America.

Length: 83 minutes

Item#: FMK118385

ISBN: 978-1-63521-498-7

Copyright date: ©2014

Closed Captioned

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