Wednesday October 22nd 2014

Crack cocaine addiction documentary

Crack addiction documentary

“Hitting Rock Bottom” is a docudrama webseries that tells true stories of addiction and recovery. Narrated by the addict, the stories unfold and reach from the experiences of a person’s darkest moment to their ultimate triumph. If’ you’re in the market for a good documentary, check out the series. And consider supporting, partnering, or otherwise helping the team continue to make valuable and timely films that document the real lives of real addicts. And their recovery!

Crack cocaine documentary: Episode 1

The first of the series is a documentary about crack cocaine addiction.  The story begins in 1985, when the crack epidemic is about to explode in New York City. We meet Darryl Brown, a young man who loves basketball and dreams of a better life but he is constantly tormented by racism and domestic abuse. His father batters his mother and she, in turn, takes out her frustrations on Darryl. After one particularly traumatic incident with his parents, Darryl’s back is against the wall (figuratively and literally). Does he leave it all behind? His home, his friends, and the only life he knows? Does he have a chance to make it on his own?

See the “Darryl” episode 1 at Hitting Rock Bottom.

Filmmaker’s comments: Drugs don’t play a role in episode one. The story builds up to that later. We see a lot of domestic abuse going on in the opening chapter. It was important to set up the details of Darryl’s home life, which are part of the reason for his later problems. In most, if not all, cases of addiction there are underlying traumas that either lead to or trigger the abuse. And that was the case here as well, therefore, we needed to establish Darryl as a normal guy who had a lot to deal with. He wasn’t a ‘bad seed’ from day one. Darryl is a good guy who had a lot of bad luck.

Crack documentary: Episode 2

After a long time of trying live on his own, Darryl finally catches a break and gets a job as a bartender in a popular nightclub. His new life introduces him to drugs and soon he begins partying all night long. He is surrounded by friends, beautiful women, and all kinds of drugs. He is living a wild life he had never dreamed of. All the women love Darryl, all his friends toast him, but there is one woman who is still beyond his reach. The only way to her heart is her drug of choice – crack. Does he take that plunge to be with the woman of his desire?

Filmmaker’s comments: This episode introduces Darryl to the world of drugs. The story demonstrates Darryl’s naivete regarding drugs. He walks wide-eyed into everything. Viewers who don’t know much about drugs will be introduced to terms like “freebasing” as Darryl himself is inducted into the nightlife by his partying friends.

Cocaine documentary: Episode 3

Darryl experiences personality changes, becoming more aggressive, more confident. He gets into a fight at the club, which brings him the attention of local drug-dealer Carlos. They become fast friends and party constantly. Darryl begins “palming” money at work to support his increasing drug habit. Abby, Darryl’s ex-girlfriend, comes by hoping to resume their party life. She supplies the drugs they need, enough for a 30-day binge. Darryl forgets about his job and life he had outside his apartment. After thirty days, they are out of drugs, out of money, out of friends, and desperate for another fix. What do they do now?

Filmmaker’s comments: In this episode, viewers are introduced to two key enablers, Carlos and Abby. These are important characters in the story of Darryl’s downfall because they are vital in dragging him deeper into his downward spiral. People like Carlos (those who supply us with drugs) and Abby (those who party with us) are inevitably part of the life of every substance addict. We also see how one of the effects of drugs is how we isolate ourselves from the things that make our lives whole, stable, and worth living – family, friends, jobs, other interests, and social activities.

Crack cocaine documentary: Episode 4

Darryl is penniless. With no money to buy drugs, he goes begging on the street. He sees Carlos approaching and thinks he is saved. But Carlos is here for another reason, to take Darryl to Juan, Carlos’ brother and local narcotics kingpin. Juan is not happy because Darryl owes thousands of dollars, which Darryl can’t pay. To pay off the debt, Darryl agrees to let Juan and his gang use his home as a drug lab to cook crack. They take over the apartment, but give Darryl drugs to keep him quiet. Later, Carlos and two of his thugs bring in a kid, whom they beat down for information. Darryl is afraid for the kid’s life as well as for his own life. Does Darryl risk his life and speak up against this violence?

Filmmaker’s comments: The first real villainous character is introduced here, in the form of Juan, the drug lord. He is a menacing figure who raises the stakes of the story. Darryl not only has to deal with addiction but the consequences of his addiction that put his life in danger. Not everyone who struggles with addiction ends up in the same perilous life-and-death situation that Darryl finds himself. But all addiction lead to health- and life-damaging consequences. Impaired judgement, our desperate need to score, isolation, loss of jobs, friends, and family, depression, and unresolved trauma, all lead to desperate acts and poor choices that can send us out on the streets, in jail, the hospital, or even the morgue. Hitting Rock Bottom is as much a cautionary tale as it is a testimonial.

Photo credit: coda

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