Award winning producer sheds light on opioid epidemic

By Delanie Munro
On February 5, 2018

Photo courtesy of dyinginveinmovie.org

“Life should be without an ounce of pain.” According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 64,000 Americans died of a drug overdose in 2016; including prescription opioids and illicit drugs. Loved ones and friends of mine have been in and out of rehabs, and have overdosed many times. It is heartbreaking knowing many people are throwing their lives away for drugs.

“I know what it’s like to be sober and I don’t want to lose that.” In the movie, “Dying in Vein” two families share their stories of their loved ones going through drug abuse, going in and out of rehabs, and finding a way out of the drug life.

Maddy, one of the girls going through detox, tries to remember a life without heroin. It started with Oxycontin and her life of addiction went up from there. Page started when she was only eleven years old with alcohol and marijuana. For the fifth year in a row, she has been in rehab or in a jail. Maddy and Page met in rehab and have been together ever since. Maddy’s parents have cut all financial ties except for detox centers and therapy. Her private therapeutic consultant works with Page pro bono. Her therapist is going to help Page detox free of charge. Maddy is terrified of detox and also of losing Page. Maddy is not upset with her parents for cutting off her financial ties with them. She actually agrees with her parents because she knows how much of a burden it is on them.

Chase became addicted to heroin. He wrote in journals about what he was going through and what he wanted and needed. He used the journals because Chase could not say the words he wanted out loud. Heroin took over his life and he passed away because of it. “My dad feels responsible for Chase. I wish we could have read his journals while he was writing them.” His sister opens up and tells her story after his death. She is drawn to the outdoors just like Chase was when he was alive.

Heroin addicts are living in a life of chains. It is a disease that most of the time cannot be cured. “Millennials currently comprise the primary age bracket for substance use disorder” Lakeview Health reported. Millennials are ages 15 through 35 which have been the most popular ages to start experimenting with different drugs. In most cases, drug rehabs are covered by insurances, however, most standard drug treatment centers range from $2,000 to $25,000 each month according to The Recovery Village website. Most drug users spend that much money or more each week. Drug users do not realize that there is a way out of abuse and they can definitely turn their life around with rehab and therapy. Hitting rock bottom can be terrifying but it can be a wake up call for a lot of people. CBS reported that drug overdoses have been the cause of death to more people in 2016 than the Vietnam War.

Watching “Dying in Vein” opened my eyes about how serious drug abuse is.  Too many people are dying because they can not control their addiction and end up overdosing.  There needs to be more education about how severe this has become in not only the United States, but in almost every country.  The movie has made me realize how precious life is and how it can be taken away so quickly because of addiction. 

 

dmunro@ramapo.edu

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