Man in viral overdose video speaks out
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) -- A Memphis man millions saw overdosing on heroin with his wife on a sidewalk in the Medical district speaks out.
"When I saw it on the news, I knew it was me. I had to hit rock bottom, and for me that was my, it really shocked me to my core," said Ronald Hiers. "We were at the point where life really didn't matter."
Hiers and his wife Carla were lifeless and oblivious to the crowd around them that October afternoon.
They had just snorted heroin in a Walgreen's bathroom nearby.
"We went to catch the bus, and it caught up to us while we were waiting, and you saw the result," said Hiers.
They overdosed on heroin right there on the sidewalk on South Pauline.
One man even went live on Facebook. He questions whether they were alive and even laughs at them.
His video was shared millions of times.
She saw WREG's story and called the help line we provided, putting her in touch with Turning Point Recovery.
They helped get the pair in rehab and footed the bill.
"The people out there thinking that it's all fun and games. That's a false illusion. Smoking mirrors. It's devastation. It's pain. It's anguish," said Hiers.
Hiers started using heroin 24 years ago.
Now he's been clean for nearly two months.
He told WREG he's not upset with the man who recorded the incident. He just hopes there's more understanding.
"I am a human being and so is my wife, so maybe he'll see this and maybe pray about it," said Hiers.
Hiers' wife, Carla, was arrested for an outstanding warrant after paramedics revived her.
She's in rehab in Massachusetts.
She sent a statement, "Thank you to everyone who has prayed for my husband and I. I have not seen the video in its entirety, only what I've seen in media reports. It was a very scary time for me, and I wasn't expecting anything like that to happen to us. That being said, it was a wakeup call. I am very optimistic about my recovery, and feel like God has reached down and pulled me out of a very dangerous situation. Since the video surfaced, I've learned that I can trust people, something I never did before. I feel I can make my own decisions, and I'm learning how to stay present in today - right now. I never thought anyone cared, and now I know there are people I can trust. To the viewers watching, it's never too late to reach out for help. I don't feel hopeless, worthless and useless anymore. I'm 60 years old, and I've been an opiate addict for 40 years. If there is hope for me, there is hope for everybody. I hope Ronald does well, and I wish him all the luck in the world."
If you or your loved one are suffering from addiction, call Turning Point's hotline at 1.888.614.2251 or check out their website at turningpointtreatment.org.
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