"I am a human being:" Heroin user speaks out after overdose streamed via Facebook Live
MEMPHIS, Tennessee -- A heroin user whose overdose was posted on Facebook spoke out for the first time since the incident.
Ronald Hiers and his wife overdosed on a sidewalk in Memphis, Tennessee on October 3rd. Video posted to Facebook showed some people laughing at them as they were passed out on the ground.
Hiers said he hopes the man who recorded the video will hear his message.
"We were at the point where life really didn't matter. I found myself unable to put the heroin down," Hiers said.
Hiers and his wife Carla were lifeless, oblivious to the crowd around them that October afternoon. They had just snorted heroin in a Walgreens bathroom nearby.
"We went to catch the bus and it caught up with us while we were waiting and you saw the result," Hiers said.
They overdosed on heroin right there on the sidewalk.
The man who recorded the video went "Live" on Facebook -- and the video was shared millions of times.
Hiers' daughter saw a news story about the incident and called a helpline mentioned -- putting her in touch with Turning Point Recovery. They helped get Hiers and his wife into rehab -- footing the bill.
"The people out there thinking that it's all fun and games, that's a false illusion. It's not that at all. It's devastation. It's pain. It's anguish," Hiers said.
Hiers said he started using heroin 24 years ago. He has now been clean for nearly two months.
He said while the video from that day in October constantly replays in his mind, he's not upset with the man who hit "record."
Hiers said he just hopes for more understanding.
"I am a human being, and so is my wife, so maybe he'll see this and maybe pray about it," Hiers said.
Hiers and his wife were revived by first responders after the incident.
Hiers finished his treatment at the rehab and moved to a supervised living home.
His wife remains in rehab.
Warning: The below video contains graphic language