Smoke shop owners across America are seeing their livelihoods hit by a drug epidemic, and some are taking to social media to vent.
The Smoke Shop Owner, a documentary that premiered on Netflix last month, is an in-depth look at three families who are using drugs to survive.
“It’s very hard for us,” says the owner, who has since turned himself in.
“It’s really hard for me.
I’m not a normal person.
I have been a drug addict my whole life.
I am not the kind of person who will get high in a park.”
The film chronicles how the family lives as a drug-addicted couple, while their daughter’s father is the owner of a smoke shop.
In the movie, the owners’ son, Matt, tells the story of his own addiction, starting with an addiction to crack cocaine.
“We were always struggling, because our father didn’t have money, and he didn’t know how to pay for his bills,” Matt says.
“We weren’t getting the benefits we were entitled to, and we were constantly being robbed.
And then, the first time he got busted, he was a drug dealer, and so we had to quit the business.”
As the film progresses, Matt’s story evolves into the story behind his father’s drug business.
He talks about his father using drugs, and how his family’s life was destroyed because of it.
Matt says his father had a long history of using drugs.
“He used to have a big problem with cocaine,” he says.
“I don’t know why he was so bad at it, I don’t think he was.
I think he got hooked on the drug because he was afraid of being caught.
He was afraid that we were going to arrest him.”
When he turned 18, Matt says his dad started a new business called the Smoke Shop.
“One day, he got arrested and sent to jail for selling crack cocaine,” Matt said.
“So, he quit.
And he was never able to go back to business.””
So I got the idea of doing the documentary, because that’s what I was struggling with, and I was tired of being on the street,” Matt continues.
“But when we started doing the film, we found out that people were dying because of this drug epidemic.
They were dying of heroin overdoses, overdoses from cocaine, overdoses because they were addicted to methadone.”
The documentary is one of several documentaries airing on Netflix this month that are exploring the growing issue of drug addiction in America.
The films highlight the stories of people struggling to find work, to pay bills, to afford housing and much more.