Chasing Heroin examines how, starting in 2011, Seattle began a program called Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion, or LEAD, aimed at arresting fewer addicts and diverting them to counseling, social services or treatment instead.
As programs like LEAD take hold in cities across the country, Chasing Heroin deeply explore show America, faced with nearly 30,000 prescription opioid and heroin overdose deaths each year, is rethinking incarceration as a response to drug addiction.
“A large majority of Americans now agree that there has to be a more compassionate way,and at the bare minimum, a more effective way of responding and trying to stop what'shappening,” Alison Holcomb of the ACLU tells FRONTLINE.
Alongside an in-depth look at shifts in U.S. drug policy over the years, Chasing Heroin explores the country’s current shortage in treatment options: More than two million Americans need treatment for heroin use and abuse of prescription opioids, but only half have access to it.
It all adds up to American television’s most searing and comprehensive look yet at the heroin epidemic. Watch Chasing Heroin, a gripping and intense investigation of an American crisis at a make-or-break moment.