Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mum, Heroin and Me, Thursday 9pm, Channel

It's Hannah's 21st birthday and her mum Kate, a 49-year-old interior designer from Brighton, is taking her to have her hair done for a birthday treat. Unfortunately, Kate tells the camera, there's a problem.

"She informed me that she needs some more gear between now and having her hair done," she says. "And the dealers don't start, um, work till 11.30am. So, it's just after 11 and we have to try and get some gear between, well, 11.30 and the appointment at 12. Otherwise she's got a fair amount of time in the hairdressers and she'll start to rattle."

As you probably guessed from the title, there's an intrusive third party in the pair's relationship: heroin, which Hannah has been using for three years. Jane Treays's heartbreaking documentary follows the two of them over the course of a year (Hannah's father Robert and younger sister Lucy chose not to take part), peeking in on Kate's struggle and Hannah's more muted world, which she inhabits like a ghost, mumbling half-heartedly in that groaning junkie voice.

Although Kate hasn't given up on her daughter by any means, what's remarkable is how understanding she is about the grip the drug has on its abusers. For example, although Hannah's devoted boyfriend Ricky – an addict for eight years – once burgled their house, Kate sympathises, saying she knows he did it as a last resort.

"If she had to be with another heroin addict, I'm very glad she's with Ricky," she says, adding that at least he's there to protect her daughter when she goes to buy drugs. But she knows there's very little chance of recovery if the couple stay together.

That's just one of any number of awful conundrums in what is an intimate, sympathetic portrait of a relationship in which the rules have been turned upside down.

by Will Parkhouse, Wednesday 22 October 2008 

Originally published on


Maria said...

My sister rang me at 9.15pm Thurs saying how she thought watching the programme would make me feel better as I would see others in a similar position to my self. She could never be more wrong. It brought it all back. I now have residence of my grandchild and have done for the past 7 years. The story and issues raised in the programme are very similar. Anyway, enough about me. I really feel for the family and Hope Hannah gets through it.

Anonymous said...

This prog was too real, my partner is in rehab/detox till june im on methadone down to 40ml a day STILL I NEED MORE BUT MY NEXT APOINTMENT IS NEXT WEEK! We need more help. Thank you channel 4 for this

again thank you

* (asterisk) said...

This show was insane. I mean, what can yer do?