It’s pretty cool when Sault Ste. Marie get national attention, but the hard hitting documentary “Steel Town Down” that aired nationally on CTV Saturday night didn’t exactly paint a pretty picture of our fair city.
The one hour documentary, was broadcast as an episode of W5 – hosted by Kevin Newman showed how bad the drug overdose problem really is in Sault Ste. Marie.
According to the producer’s research, 5 people overdose in the city – everyday. Sault Ste. Marie city council has yet to call it a “crisis”
Directed by VICE Canada’s Shawney Cohen, STEEL TOWN DOWN: OVERDOSE CRISIS IN THE SOO takes a close-up look at the city of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. In the wake of the decline of the local steel industry, the documentary reveals the shortage of job opportunities and dearth of social services have left “The Soo” vulnerable to a growing addiction epidemic, stated a press release on the program.
Featuring revealing interviews with addiction counsellors, paramedics, harm reduction workers, and local residents struggling with their own addictions, STEEL TOWN DOWN: OVERDOSE CRISIS IN THE SOO is an in-depth account of the way the opioid crisis is taking hold in small communities across the country and larger ones.
The program depicted the Sault as a community that is in a crisis, not just from overdoses but also a place with a depressed economy, troubled youth and the cry that no one is doing anything about the problem.
In an interview with SaultOnline.com last August, Desiree Beck, who was featured in the documentary as part of the Sault Ste. Marie and Area drug strategy committee said the city was already leaning towards a crisis last year.
“It’s very hard to get numbers because there’s so much stigma about drug use” said Beck . “I think the thing to remember is not everyone are buying these drugs illicitly, there’s a lot of people prescribed opioids and using them not according to how the Doctor told them, if you’re not using them as prescribed, there’s a risk of overdosing”
The program, which is also available for viewing online has been seen as “an eye-opener” for many in the community as well as elected officials, but will it be enough to see the Sault take a leading roll in combating the problem? Sound off in the comments, we want to hear your thoughts on the documentary, and what should be done moving forward?