What Would You Do: Family confronts mother about opioid abuse

A mother takes out her pills for her back pain, pouring out far too many for a regular dose. Her husband and son decide to confront her problem on the spot. How will nearby customers react?
7:55 | 08/17/19

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Transcript for What Would You Do: Family confronts mother about opioid abuse
Mom, I thought you finished that prescription weeks ago? A friend gave me some more when my doctor wouldn't. In cities and towns all across the nation -- We take you inside a deadly problem right here in central Indiana. The crisis here in Tampa bay where every 43 hours someone dies of an opioid overdose. The challenges of fighting an addiction can be a very difficult road for many. Every day in the U.S. An average of 130 people die after overdosing on opioids. Big pharmaceutical companies have unleashed an opioid crisis. More than 2,000 state and city governments have filed a lawsuit against drug manufacturers, distributors, pharmacies, and doctors for their role in the opioid crisis. I just need a little relief. I'll cut back soon. Opioid addiction. It's a deadly national epidemic. If you overhear this wife and mother being questioned about her excessive use of prescription painkillers, what would you think? "What would you do?" I can stop anytime I want. I just reallneed them right now. Honey, I don't want you to be in pain, but you have not been yourself lately. I'm worried about you. Today we're grabbing a bite at the orangetown classic diner in orangeburg, New York. So what's it going to be? How many is that today? I had two. Many people use opioids responsibly. Our mother does not. Two doses? Two doses or two pills? Two pills. You understand we feel like we're losing you here? I'm right here, honey. You're not right here. You're somewhere else entirely. All right, send the mother away. When Angela leaves the table -- I apologize. It's okay. This woman, out with her granddaughter, has some advice. She just knows that she's in pain. Whether it's a real pain, or not a real pain. I was in a car accident like two years ago. I went home from the hospital and they prescribed me percocet and oxy. At just 17, she's had her own experience with painkillers. Dad didn't let me take them. He was like, "You're not taking them anymore." He was like, "Take some advil and take a nap." When Angela returns -- Sorry. This goodhearted grandmother continues. What did you tell her? How much they care about you. I just have such bad pain. I understand and have all kinds of issues in my old age. And you have to learn how to cope without the medication. And it's hard, but you have to become very strong and positive in thinking. And seek the right help. And the pills? What do I do about these? What am I supposed to do with these? Flush them. They're such a crutch you don't need. Look at what you have. You have the best crutches in the whole wide world, are you joking? This is sweet. You are so much stronger than this stupid stuff. Man, you have the world, baby. You're a lucky lady. And we're lucky to have met ese two. We're going to break it now. We're coming out. Let's say hello. How are you? I'm John. Oh, my god, John, I watch you all the time on channel 7. It's such a, a sad disease. Addiction. Oh, god. I saw the pain on her husband's face and her child's face. I just -- my heart went out. So why get involved? I want people to be well. I want people to love. I see love there. I am not an addict. That declaration draws a reaction from these diners. I guess we're crazy then. I need to go to the bathroom. Angela, leave the pills here. I'm fine. Things like that happen, you know. You're not alone. We don't know where to start. We don't even know where to begin. Call 911. She's addicted. When Angela is back -- What are you guys talking to them about? He was concerned about you. She sits down to chat with these compassionate customers. You think I'm addicted? I mean, we don't know you but your family, you know, you look like you need help. Do I look that bad? You look scared. I feel so ashamed. I almost feel ashamed. I mean, I feel ashamed. You have nothing to be ashamed about. Get help and you'll be back on the road. You have to be strong. And fight, not only for yourself but for them. All right, we're coming in now. I don't want to feel like I'm letting them down. You're not letting yourself. Hello, sir. I'm John, and this is "What would you do?" The TV show. Oh, no. You were so kind to her. We were trying to lead her onto the path, you know, just a, one step at a time, and, and hopefully she could take those steps. I want to see where these came from. They're not even her prescription. Stop, you guys. Stop it. We're rolling one last time. We are four months in on this now. It's like I'm the parent here. And these diners have a front row seat to this family crisis. You have a problem, my dear. I don't. You know what my problem is, is that you guys won't back off. I'm going to the bathroom. Do you want me to go talk to her? I'm going to be right back. Just stay here. Just out of our view, the diner talks to Angela, telling her there's a light at the end of the tunnel. A moment later, they emerge. Can we sit? I live around here. I'm a housewife. I'm a very good listener. I'm just not sure what to do. So just call me and I can help you. Help you. We can talk about stuff, figure things out. There are many ways you can get treatment. Okay. Good samaritan has a program and if you don't know who to call, they can help you get situated. Don't do it on your own, okay? Promise? And you'll call me if you need me? Mm-hmm. You're going to be okay. A long, powerful embrace from this good samaritan. It's incredible. Let's go out there. We step in to say hello. Hello. Stop it. You were heroic. You stood up and you don't even know this woman, and you went to get her out of the ladies' room. I was afraid she was gonna hurt herself. Why take time with a stranger like that? I couldn't watch. It was horrible. And then her son looked at me, and I have three children, and it could have been me. It happens to people. They get stuck. We see again and again that it does happen to people. And we're thankful for all of those who stepped in today, and to those who help the many struggling with addiction of any form every day. Coming up next --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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