“I’m literally just rotting… there’s nothing I can think of that’s good in my life right now,” Ashley, a 21-year-old who smokes as many as 100 hits of heroin a day, tells “20/20″ in a rare look at a largely unknown and growing problem for American families — heroin addiction. The number of addicts in America has nearly doubled since 2007, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. ABC News Anchor Chris Cuomo reports that heroin addiction is not to be dismissed as an inner-city scourge — kids from suburban families are falling victim like never before. Chris Cuomo’s report airs on”20/20,” Friday, October 29 (10:00 – 11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
For eight months, “20/20” follows young addicts Ashley, Dylan and Justin, caught in the grip of heroin. These teens represent the new face of the problem, and also serve as examples to dispel preconceived notions about “who is likely to become an addict”. “20/20” delves deep inside the lives of their suburban families. Justin struggles on his own, thousands of miles away from home; Ashley braves treatment for the first time as her parents struggle, walking the line between enabling addiction and losing their child; and Dylan, a rehab veteran, faces his loving family, including three younger brothers, who worry that he will die if he doesn’t get help. Sobriety is an everyday fight for each of them, one where life is on the line.
“20/20” is anchored by Elizabeth Vargas and Chris Cuomo. David Sloan is executive producer.