Former addict talks about his recovery from heroin abuse in documentary

A 30-minute special report on heroin use in Arizona, produced by ASU is airing tonight on every TV station in the state.

It's called Hooked: Tracking Heroin's Hold on Arizona.

"I'm over three years clean and sober," said Shane Watson. Watson is a recovering heroin addict who struggled with substance abuse for 20 years. In junior high he says he experimented with alcohol and marijuana, but he says his heroin addiction started after he was prescribed oxycodone following hand surgery. "When I couldn't get another refill the withdrawal symptoms were awful, having been caught in the world of substance abuse. I knew the next logical step was to seek out heroin."

Watson was interviewed for the documentary; he says heroin in Arizona was cheap and easy to get.

"I went from being a straight A student, a kid whose parents were proud of him, a boy scout, somebody who participated in sports you name it, to someone who was incarcerated multiple times and I eventually attempted to take my own life," he said.

He pointed out that heroin knows no boundaries.

"We meet a lot of parents who are shocked to find out this is not a poor persons drug, this is not an uneducated persons drug, we're seeing this in middle-class areas, affluent areas you name it," said Watson. He's now a communications manager for the group; Not My Kid, a non profit serving at-risk youth and families. "Now it's been a hard road, I'm not going to lie about that, especially having a felony, but I'm barely three years into recovery and my life is 180 degrees from what it was."

He applauds ASU's documentary, examining the impact heroin has on addicts, families, and law enforcement. 

The special airs on every TV station starting at 6:30 this evening.
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