Film series creates forum to address opiate crisis in Maine

Free screenings in Damariscotta, Boothbay of Netflix documentary raise awareness and provide resources to help combat Maine’s most urgent public health crisis.
Posted:  Sunday, January 20, 2019 - 8:15am
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The community is invited to attend free screenings of the film “Recovery Boys” and participate in community discussions about the ongoing opioid crisis. The events will take place in Damariscotta on Tuesday, Jan. 29, at 6 p.m. at the Lincoln Theater, and at the Boothbay Region High School on Sunday, Feb. 10, at 2 p.m.

“Recovery Boys,” a Netflix documentary, is an intimate look at four young men in West Virginia attempting to reinvent their lives and mend broken relationships after years of drug misuse. Panel discussions following the film will include LincolnHealth physicians, local law enforcement officers, and other community stakeholders.

These events are part of Recovery in Maine, a program featuring a series of free film screenings and community discussions about the ongoing opioid crisis led by Points North Institute, along with support from MaineHealth and its affiliates LincolnHealth and Maine Behavioral Healthcare.

The goal of these events is to raise awareness about the impact of the opioid crisis in Maine, while identifying emerging solutions and available resources in the region. Community members from all backgrounds are invited to listen, learn, and participate in the conversation.

“Ensuring individuals with opioid use disorder in our community have access to medication-assisted treatment and appropriate counseling close to home continues to be a focus for LincolnHealth,” says LincolnHealth President James (Jim) Donovan . “As part of the MaineHealth network of care we are proud of the investment we are making in our system-wide effort to seek solutions to this public health crisis. The Lincoln Medical Partners Family Care Center works closely with the Boothbay Region Community Resource Council’s Addiction Outreach Program and the Boothbay Harbor Police Department to help patients with transportation, housing, employment, and the support they need for a successful recovery.”

“We are losing hundreds of Mainers every year – 418 alone in 2017 – to the epidemic of opioid use disorder and addiction,” says Steve Merz, president of Maine Behavioral Healthcare. “As Maine’s largest integrated health care delivery system, MaineHealth is investing substantial resources in developing community-based solutions to address prevention, education and treatment of Opioid Use Disorder. Maine Behavioral Healthcare provides intensive treatment at three sites for patients who have acute levels of need. All MaineHealth primary care practices provide treatment to patients who are more stable. Together, our practices served over 1,000 Maine people last year. We are proud to support this film festival as a means to facilitate critical conversations in our communities about how best to work together and support one another to save lives.”

“Documentary film screenings can be a powerful tool for building communities and creating a forum for public dialogue,” says Ben Fowlie, executive and artistic director of the Points North Institute. “We’re thrilled to work with MaineHealth to launch a series that directly confronts the opiate crisis, a critical issue that impacts all Mainers.”

These screenings are part of Points North Institute’s Recovery in Maine program, a statewide series of documentary film screenings designed to spark public discussions about addiction, recovery and our collective response to the epidemic of substance use disorder. The program was launched in July 2018 with screenings held in 11 towns and four counties to date. Additional upcoming screenings will be held in Augusta, Norway, Farmington, and just across the state line in North Conway, NH. To date, the Recovery in Maine program has received support from MaineHealth, Maine Behavioral Health, the Pen Bay Waldo Healthcare Foundation, Camden National Bank, the Fledgling Fund, the Bingham Program, Davis Family Foundation, and Allen Insurance & Financial.

Schedule

Tuesday, Jan. 29, 6 p.m. Refreshments will begin at 5:30 p.m. Lincoln Theater, Damariscotta

Sunday, Feb. 10, 2 p.m. Refreshments will begin at 1:30 p.m. Boothbay Region High School auditorium