In this VICE News special Steel Town Down we see them travel to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, here we see how the demise of a once thriving steel industry has given way to a social collapse of sorts, with very little opportunity for those growing up in the area.
Like most stories involving industrial towns or cities failing due to a downturn in the economy this one sees us facing a raging opioid epidemic head on. Tens of thousands of people have died due to opioid overdoses across the US and Canada in just the last year along, a statistic which has now surpassed the peak number of deaths during the AIDS epidemic.
The weight of this crisis in Sault Ste. Marie however falls on a handful of people who are struggling to keep their fellow community members alive, similar to countless towns in North America.
This film is a intimate portrait of the only harm reduction worker in town and a family desperate to save their son from becoming another victim of the crisis.