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Atlantic Documentaries

A Small-Town Plague

Apr 09, 2020 | 103 videos
Video by The Atlantic

“The first time I used, it was the most euphoric rush I had ever felt in my life. And I knew then that I was not going to stop,” says Kenny Shadday, a McDonald’s manager in eastern Kentucky. Shadday did, in fact, stop—he’s now recovered from his opioid addiction, thanks to an innovative new program that brings intensive outpatient treatment to rural areas.

In a new documentary from The Atlantic, Nikki King, the founder of Ripley County Courts Addiction & Drug Services (CADS), gives us a glimpse behind the scenes of her one-of-a-kind treatment program.

King’s childhood was marred by the effects of the opioid crisis on friends and neighbors in Ripley, which was once what she calls “ground zero” for the epidemic. These days, she says, “I don’t think there’s anybody in any rural community in the country that hasn’t lost someone.”

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Authors: Catherine Spangler, Daniel Lombroso

About This Series

Original short documentaries produced by The Atlantic