In honor of National Recovery Month, the Wyoming County Hope Coalition is hosting Celebrate Recovery Movie Night at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13 at the Dietrich Theater in Tunkhannock.
The event will feature “Heroin(e),” a documentary short about three women working on the front lines of the opioid epidemic in West Virginia. “Heroin(e)” will be followed by a short discussion about recovery in Wyoming County. The evening will conclude with the viewing of the classic 1985 film “The Goonies.” Admission, soda and popcorn are free, courtesy of Wyoming County C.A.R.E.S. There is no need to register.
In response to the growing impact of the opioid crisis in Wyoming County, the Wyoming County HOPE Coalition was formed in early 2018 to implement new and support current initiatives that work towards “saving and changing the lives in Wyoming County.”
The coalition is comprised of members from both pubic safety and public health, bridging the gap to work towards the common goal of eliminating overdose and connecting residents to treatment and recovery resources.
With the help of the University of Pittsburgh, School of Pharmacy, Pennsylvania Opioid Overdose Technical Assistance Center (TAC), the coalition meets monthly to work on implementing strategies that address five areas community awareness, prevention, treatment, county coordination, and recovery.
“Heroin(e)” was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject in 2017 at the 90th Academy Awards. The documentary centers on the opioid epidemic, specifically its effect on Huntington, West Virginia, where the overdose rate is 10 times the US average. It follows police, judges, and local nonprofits attempting to help people who struggle with opioid addiction and bring them to recovery as the city grips with a growing number of heroin and prescription painkiller overdoses, and eventually, the much more potent fentanyl.
Among them are three women alluded to in the film’s name: Huntington Fire Chief Jan Rader who, with other emergency responders, treats overdose victims; Cabell County Judge Patricia Keller, who heads the drug court; and Necia Freeman. of Brown Bag Ministry, which delivers food to women who resort to prostitution to support their addictions. The documentary explains the use of naloxone to treat overdose victims, and explores the psychological toll on the county’s first responders who see dozens of overdoses a month. It follows first responders to calls as people overdose. There are several dozen interviews with people who have been addicted and are in recovery who discuss the effects of the drug on their lives and their efforts to recover from it.
Sandy Vieczorek, president of Wyoming County C.A.R.E.S, encourages everyone to come to learn that recovery is possible, as seen in the movie “Heroin(e).”