Over the last several years, significant strides have been made to combat the opioid crisis. According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, from 2017 to 2019 the opioid-related deaths in Wisconsin declined by 1.8% and opioid-related emergency room visits declined by 16.8%. Although these numbers are encouraging, there are still hundreds and thousands of individuals and families grappling with addiction. More work is needed to prevent addiction, decrease stigma, and support individuals in recovery.
“Written Off” fights the stigma surrounding addiction, by chronicling the life of Matthew Edwards, a young man from northern Wisconsin, whose addiction to opioids began at age 15, after being prescribed pain medicine for a minor surgery. Through his personal journal writing, he reveals the secrets he tried so hard to conceal throughout a decade long struggle to escape addiction.
“Every day, there’s another story about the opioid epidemic, another overdose, another mug shot. But these stories often work to reinforce the stigma of addiction instead of humanizing it,” explains filmmaker Molly Hermann, who wrote, directed and co-produced “Written Off”. “Matt didn’t want to do drugs but he didn’t know how to get out. That struggle is right there in his own words, he chronicled every cubic centimeter and milligram that went into his body and every dollar he shelled out to get more, all as he tried desperately to get clean.”
Healthy Minds for Lincoln County will be hosting a screening of “Written Off” with a Q & A session to follow on Tuesday, March 23rd from 6 – 8 p.m. virtually via Zoom. There will be limited spaces available to view at either T.B. Scott Free Library or Tomahawk Public Library. Interested participants should register by Tuesday, March 16th at http://bit.ly/hmevent3-23 or by calling 715-539-1072. Those who register will receive an email with more details about joining the program after the 16th.
Community members are encouraged to attend and learn more about addiction and the resources that are available locally to support individuals on their journey toward recovery. Mental health and recovery coaches from Ascension Medical Group, Centre for Well Being Inc., Marshfield Clinic Recovery Corps, and North Central Health Care will be available following the film to answer questions.