In last week’s issue of the Shelburne News was an article about a documentary movie entitled “The Hungry Heart.” Happily I had the good fortune to attend the premiere opening of this incredible film at the Flynn in Burlington on Friday, Sept. 27 and to meet St. Albans pediatrician Fred Holmes who works with patients struggling with the disease of prescription drug addiction. In the film, produced in Vermont by Bess O’Brien of Kingdom County Productions, a number of young addicts from the St. Albans area share their stories of struggle and redemption and the incredible challenges they have faced as they confront this relentless and difficult disease. The film taught me more than I had ever known about the horrors of drug and opiate addiction and the challenges we Vermonters must address to create awareness and change around this issue.
An important step in the direction of awareness is the upcoming tour of the film in 31 towns across Vermont. Happily the producer and some of the Vermonters in the film will be in Shelburne on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 7 pm when the film is to be shown at the Town Hall. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for youths. (And free tickets will be available at the door for those in recovery or impacted by addiction.)
It is my hope that many of the citizens of our community, young and old alike, will abandon everything else on their calendars for that evening and head to the Town Hall for the screening. They will learn a lot and come away knowing that no one single strategy works for everyone but that some do and others do not. And they will also come away, as I did, knowing that we in this state must begin to face these issues head on so as to give hope to those who have become addicted and learning to others so they can avoid the trauma of addictive habits.
Sallie Soule, Shelburne