The man seen in a disturbing video that has been watched by millions showing him and his wife overdosing on a Memphis sidewalk says he’s been clean for two months and the video was a wake-up call.
On a sunny afternoon in October, Ronald Hiers and his wife had just snorted some heroin in a washroom in a Walgreens store. The heroin quickly caught up to him.
As the drugged-up couple stumbled along a sidewalk just outside the store, a Memphis resident decided to live stream the incident on social media as onlookers laughed and commented on the spectacle.
“They out here f***ed up!” Courtland Garner wrote as he went live on Facebook. “Damn they’re on some good dope,” Garner said.
The video shows Hiers unconscious, as his body laid awkwardly over a seat at a bus stop. Several onlookers were seen in the video as people were heard laughing at the couple.
Speaking to WREG Memphis, the news station that first reported on the overdose and viral video, Hiers said he hit “rock bottom” after watching the video.
“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,” Hiers told the news station. “We were at the point where life really didn’t matter.”
The video Garner recorded in October was viewed over two million times. He defended his decision to not help Hiers and his wife Carla and decided to live stream the overdose instead.
“I thought about it but it wasn’t any of my business to help,” Garner told WREG Memphis at the time. “What they were doing was children things. It was a spectacle. It made me laugh. They can help themselves.”
Garner said he didn’t call 911 because someone already had.
According to WREG Memphis, the couple’s estranged daughter saw they station’s news report and got her parents into a treatment program.
“The people that’s out there thinking that it’s all fun and games, that’s a false illusion. It’s smoke and mirrors, it’s not that at all. It’s devastation, it’s pain, it’s anguish,” Hiers said.
While Hiers’ wife remains in a treatment program, the man told the news station he’s been clean for nearly two months.
Hiers said though he’s not mad at Garner for recording the video. He pleaded for a bit of compassion.
“I am a human being and so is my wife,” Hiers told WREG Memphis. “Maybe he’ll see this and maybe pray about it.