Opioids from Inside

Opioids from Inside

Thu, 04/12/2018 - 8:30pm - 9:00pm

Picture: Program logo

There is a person’s story behind every opioid addiction. And each story of addiction has a ripple effect. 

Opioids from Inside, a WXXI, Blue Sky Project and PBS WORLD production, is a half-hour film that follows the journey of three women, all mothers, who have served time in New York State jails for opioid-related crimes. Growing up, these women dreamed of having a family, a career. None of them dreamed of being an addict. Opioids from Inside premieres on Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 8:30 p.m. on WXXI-TV. The film will air again on Saturday, April 14 at 3:30 p.m. 

The film is told in first person, with no narration, and follows the story arc of their life before drugs, the power of the drugs that took over their lives, and the effect addiction had on their families as they spent time in and out of jail as their children were raised by other people.

We hear how trust of family members was lost over time as the addiction took hold. We feel the frustration, anger, and heartbreak. Interviews with experts help to contextualize what we’re seeing, that these are not isolated stories but are symptomatic of the unraveling of communities. We ask if the justice system is equipped to handle this epidemic in any meaningful way. What is the long-term impact on families, specifically on the children of incarcerated mothers? Where is this heading? What is the ripple effect?

Experts include: Patrick Seche, MS, Director of Services in the Addiction Psychiatry Division at the University of Rochester Medical Center; Dr. Tisha Smith, Director of Inmate Drug & Alcohol Treatment Programs, Jail Bureau, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office; and James McGowan, Captain, Monroe Correctional Facility.

By the end of the film, these women are not simply addicts, they are mothers and daughters, they are loved and feared, they are abusers and victims, but most of all, they are humans.

This program is part of Opioid Crisis: The Ripple Effect, a Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) funded public media collaborative between WXXI, OPB (Oregon) and ideastream (Ohio) designed to bring more awareness to this epidemic. The series, which includes reports from three telling locales across the country, looks at the people and issues indirectly affected by the opioid crisis and make the case that the epidemic’s ripple effects impact many.