Gateway to Hope: Overcoming Heroin

3.11 h 31 min201813+
With commentary from former addicts, public officials, paramedics, pharmacists, and rehabilitation officials, Gateway to Hope will provide insight on those struggling with addiction and provide real Hope to break the addiction way beyond the scope of rehabilitation. This documentary will reveal how lives are being transformed and renewed every day.
Josh Menning
Josh Menning
DramaFaith and SpiritualityDocumentary
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Josh MenningVitaliy VersaceJohn SmithJosh LytlePaul Gustovich
Menning Films
Content advisory
Substance usefoul languageviolence
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3.3 out of 5 stars

42 global ratings

  1. 45% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 5% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 11% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 10% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 29% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

KenReviewed in the United States on March 18, 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED: this film contains religious proselytizing, and fear driven propaganda.
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VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED: this film contains religious proselytizing, conversations with mostly law enforcement or political figures, and uses fear driven propaganda about a substance from nature that the human brain has evolved to metabolize. There is little or no information in this movie that elevates the debate about the legitimacy of the war on personal choice and autonomy aka illegal drug use.

Starts off with an indifferent, and at times, condescending tone. The director lets it be known that he is BETTER THAN THOU, with a lengthy shot of himself standing in front of an alleyway brick wall scrawled with a biblical verse in chalk. He uses phrases like PECULIAR WORLD OF HEROIN, and asks: who are THESE PEOPLE who use heroin? Fear driven, totally beholden to the myths spread by the mainstream corporate news media. An unfortunate film that contains puritanical belief systems whose magical thinking is disguised as a sober conversation about where we are in history right now. It does nothing but kick the can down the road. Watch this film as an example of the various systems we currently dispatch on people in need, that DO NOT work...a great case study of willful ignorance and the straw man fallacy enacted into public policy. Anyone who takes the time to read up on opiates will eventually see the useless task of obsessing about their habitual use. Being an opiate habitué is definitely NOT the problem. The systems we currently use to address a medical and sociological concern, are the problem. It is unjust and sociopathic that we concede to a law enforcement agenda to handle our mental health and medical issues. As to be expected, the route we’ve taken always ends with disastrous results. Very early on the narrator starts spewing statistics with the words STUDIES SAY without citing the actual studies by name. There is a reason for this: for every study out there claiming that heroin eats your brain, there are two that claim it is physically harmless to the human body (reminds me of the old studies about pot that have all been disproved). A dubious source of statistical material used for an agenda is propaganda (no surprise that this film contains most of the contemporaneous myths about opiates). The director does not include a single interview, excerpt or quote from leading doctors who have first-hand knowledge and experience on the topic...people like Gabor Mate or Carl Hart for example. For all of these shortcomings, one cannot be asked to take this movie serious in 2019.
24 people found this helpful
AnonymiceReviewed in the United States on April 8, 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
Stealth Christian Based, Short on Facts Film
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This is not an obvious Christian-themed film until about halfway through, then it gets ramped up. It's also one guy's opinion, or that is how it is presented, as if he is an expert, but he is not a professional in any way. I'm sorry, no ONE thing will keep you sober and if you believe that, you are setting yourself up for a slip. Recovery is a multi-step process and involves a lot more than Jesus. I wish they would have revealed that this was a Christian film up front. God is mentioned a few times, but that is not unusual.

It is the worst hypocrisy that people are suddenly concerned with heroin and meth use in "good" communities (meaning white), while urban communities have been struggling with it for decades. The filmmaker is right when he says heroin doesn't discriminate, but he gets uncomfortably close to bigotry ("It's not just inner city people, but can be grandma (white?) or good kids (white)." I didn't watch all of it, but enough to see that these people are clueless about race, and sometimes not in a good way. The filmmaker hints that black people brought heroin into their communities.

Then there is the focus on prescription pain meds as a cause. Please. Most people that graduate from pills to heroin are your basic multi-drug abusers, not chronic pain patient (studies have shown this), whose quality of life has been ruined by this whole thing. Fentanyl, and its analogs are a huge reason people are ODing at such a high rate now and the numbers haven't gone down even after the huge crackdowns on opiate prescriptions. You don't take a few pain pills and run out and buy some heroin! Granted, there are some who are very susceptible to that high and immediately want it again, just like some alcoholics who started a life of addiction from their first drink. But those are not the majority, by any means, and they are often already drug users. If we feed our kids drugs to keep them quiet, like Adderall (pure dexedrine, cousin of meth) why are we surprised when they grow up to abuse them. They learned very early that you solve all problems with a pill.

The other huge factor and why pharmacists talk about so many opiate prescriptions being written (along with muscle relaxers and benzos (Valium, Xanax, etc) is that so-called "pain clinics" popped up all over and law enforcement did nothing (some probably are still open). I always thought that was so suspicious. You didn't have to prove you were in pain. You were automatically given Vicodin, Soma and Xanax. I found out one of my "friends" was alternating with her husband and both were making at least 6 trips per week to get these drugs when they had me give them a ride to the "doctor". I went in with them and it was shocking and sleazy. People lining the walls, nodding out, real bottom feeders. The "doctors" in these clinics were barely licensed, revoked, or only had foreign licenses. In my city, most of these clinics filled their own prescriptions when the pharmacies got wise, but that didn't happen all over. This is how some small towns had an influx of pain pills, from the drug manufacturers, far larger than their populations could support. You get people coming from far and wide to get what they maybe couldn't get in their state/town.

Sorry, but this whole thing makes me so upset, as I am a chronic pain patient who now lives in terrible pain, cannot function as I used to, and life is barely worth living due to this. I have never been an addict and have properly taken pain medication for a decade. One PAC, run by Newt Gingrich and 2 Democrats, were paid millions, to drive the news cycles on this. Rehab companies and opiate implant mfg were behind this PAC. It is easier for me to get an opiate implant, a tube put into my spinal cord, than to get enough pain medication orally. Implants are very risky, hit the brain directly (duh, like shooting up), and very, very expensive as you have to get the refill put in by the dr every month (and surgery to get it in the first place), not to mention the hassle. I met so many people who had developed a very serious pain condition from implants when I went to an FDA hearing. And if you have acute pain, forget getting your pain controlled after an accident, post-surgical, or anything else.

Some people are just going to abuse drugs and alcohol and withholding a really effective drug, opiates, from everyone doesn't make sense and is inhuman. Again, I never met anyone who became an addict from a prescription from their dentist, unless they already used drugs and knew where to buy them. If you are in the illegal drug culture, then it's not a huge step from meth or crack to heroin. The other hypocrisy is alcohol abuse, which is one of the top killers, but it's legal and accepted, so who cares.

Avoid this narrative, it is highly flawed and based in superstition and magical thinking. While a belief in a higher power (or equivalent) is very useful, it is not required in order to get clean and sober. I know several atheists who managed just fine. It doesn't sound like it, but I try to respect people's beliefs, but when they are used like this film, I get very hot under the collar. This is misleading and just a cover to "save" people and fill collection plates. Not sure what religion and public health have to do with each other.
7 people found this helpful
John T.Reviewed in the United States on November 25, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great Truth From Real People
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After reading some negative reviews I've decided to write a brief review. My name is John and I'm am interviewed in this documentary. There is no financial agenda on my end or any of the others interviewed as this was done voluntarily. My story is a truthful and honest story. It is just a brief glimpse into my story. This is a documentary so you get the truth from individuals and their lives. This is a great documentary for anyone facing addiction. Concerning the negative reviews and the lack of so called experts. My story and the other stories are true. YOU CAN'T TAKE THAT TRUTH FROM ANY OF THESE STORIES. THE TRUTH STANDS. As for the so called medical experts. They have yet to solve this problem. The people in this documentary, well problem solved. The experts best efforts have led to an almost zero success rate. Feel free to look up any statistics. In the age of the internet you find many studies. The common thing you find is that the success rate in any study is pathetic to say the least. Pick one, anyone. We are not on suboxone or any other medications. There is nothing pathetic about real people sharing their experiences with breaking free from addiction. These opinions are a matter of political and religious/lack of religious beliefs. While it is fine to have your own beliefs it does not negate the fact that these stories are truth for these individuals, myself included. So if you are ready for some hope and to hear about how real drug addicts stories of freedom. Then please watch with an open mind and realize that people are set free from addiction. Totally free. No meds no meetings. No drug groups or titles to define who you are for the rest of your life. Oh and it's been roughly ten years now. I have a new life, a family, a home, my own business. I do well enough without ANY thoughts of drugs. I'm so long removed that I almost can't remember a time I wasn't ok.
4 people found this helpful
C. KirkReviewed in the United States on February 2, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
worth seeing
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Very well written documentary. Found it extremely informative. Appreciated the interviews with public officials, police, pharmacists, paramedics, and rehabilitation agents as well as the many first person sincere accounts from the addicts themselves-- their life choices and recovery. As each said, "Never did I think as a child, I want to grow up and be an addict." But circumstances took them down a path they did not anticipate. These stories show the painful reality of those struggling with addiction without sugarcoating. But this documentary also shares tremendous hope. It is strange that anyone would give this documentary a 1 rating and say that it is fear driven simply because they do not believe in the power of faith. I suggest that if you or a loved one are struggling with addiction that you watch it in entirety for yourself and be the judge. I don't believe any of these addicts would have painfully shared their own personal stories if they did not wish to help others find release from their addictions.
Robert BlandaReviewed in the United States on November 26, 2020
2.0 out of 5 stars
Good Talking points, but let's leave religion out of it
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I've been a filmmaker for a long time. In fact, I've even done some work for Amazon. But this documentary explores some very valid point about addition and overcoming adversity. But at the end of almost every interview or testimonial, it's about Jesus or religion. Remember, it's like politics, If you push your vision through on one side, you're alienating the other. I turned it off after 25 minutes because when you want to watch a documentary, you don't want to jump into a belief system that may not be your own. I would have watched the whole thing had it not been about "Scripture" or "Jesus" - otherwise, you already had the content. Don't introduce an element that may alienate half of your audience. Your information was right on, but you just lost half of your audience.
Rich GoldblumReviewed in the United States on April 27, 2019
1.0 out of 5 stars
This film should be called: Kicking the Habit with JESUS.
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This is Christian propaganda masquerading as an insightful documentary about heroin use. Those interviewed in the film have very little useful to say because they all just repeat the Christian party line: “you have a hole in your soul that needs to be filled with the Jesus.” Don’t waste your time.
4 people found this helpful
NemoReviewed in the United States on February 21, 2019
3.0 out of 5 stars
Not so Honest
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This Documentary does not tell the whole truth about how people became addicted. It doesn't show the police robbing drug addicts and selling to another drug dealer. It doesn't show the CIA getting out to the streets of L.A.. The only reason why the government has got this war on drugs is because it has finally hit the middle class. As long as it was in the slums they made no hype as they are doing now. They just thought they could kill themselves off and they wouldn't have to deal with them anymore. The elite have always indulged on the more expensive drugs. Drugs have been going on much longer than I was born and that was 70 years ago. Drs. were giving out prescriptions for big Pharma for a long time and they were getting paid a kick back to do it. There were opiate dens before my time. Please tell the whole story. How did it really begin.
Kindle CustomerReviewed in the United States on September 19, 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
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As a Christian woman who WAS an addict and found my freedom through my faith in Christ I have to say that each and every story touched my heart in some way. I absolutely believe that if hadn't been for the ladies that visited me from a church while I was in jail I would have most likely gotten out and went back on "the chase" that always left me exhausted, lonely, broke and broken. I will always remain grateful to those ladies and to God for using them to change my life.
However, I do also have to say, that I too have seen athiests get clean and sober and stay clean and sober without relapsing. I think that it comes down to willingness and just being sick and tired of being sick and tired. I think we all reach our bottom and it's at the bottom, when we have absolutely nothing else to lose but our lives that we begin looking for something else to replace the thing that is destroying us and that is drugs or for others it's sex, gambling, alcohol, food etc. We realized that our way of doing things was no longer working so we needed to find a new way. (Something I picked up in NA meetings the first 4 times I tried to get clean) I too grew up in church and watched and listened to my father preach so I had already had that conviction instilled in me and I already knew in my heart that Jesus Christ was the only way out for me. Rehabs, detox, NA, MATs didn't work for me but I have seen it work for others. I have seen a woman with 27 yrs of sobriety following the Buddha ways. I have a friend whom I love dearly, that had over 15 years of sobriety by going to NA meetings everyday, some times 3/4 times a day before cancer took his life. I don't think "how" we get there is as important as us "getting" there.

To the ones upset over the fact that there is a Christian based documentary on t.v. because you yourself may not believe, I can't count the times I have come across documentaries based on satanic practices, or atheist views and you know what I do? I simply cut it off and watch something else or I continue to watch it with an open mind and without judgement. We all have the right of " religious freedom". Everyone wants to be able to express their own views but as soon as it's a Christian everyone wants to shut us down.
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