This currently untitled documentary theatre project is about the heroin epidemic on the New Jersey Shore. The show will be based on interviews, testimonies, and stories from those affected including users, former users, family members, friends, activists, law enforcement and doctors. I will be exploring the roots of the epidemic as it pertains to the Jersey Shore in addition to the links between prescription drugs, heroin use, and capitalism. The testimonies and interviews I conduct will be weaved into a show developed over the course of fall 2019 through spring 2020.
I am from Elberon, a small township located on the northern New Jersey shore. Over the past five years, I have lost several members of my high school's graduating class and other community members to heroin overdoses. Most of their stories are connected to prescription opioid pain killers. According to NJTV, the heroin death rate in New Jersey is three times the national average. In five of the state's counties, the death rate from heroin overdose exceeds the number of treatment beds available per 100,000 people. Many of these counties are concentrated along the Jersey Shore.