Prescription for Addiction

SkyWorks Charitable Foundation and Laura Sky

2006, 85:00 minutes, colour, English


Prescription for Addiction is a feature-length documentary that examines the growing health and social problem of addiction to opiate pain killer medications. Whether opioid addiction begins with efforts to treat pain or through recreational use of illegally obtained opiate drugs the consequences can be devastating for individuals, families, and communities.

Prescription for Addiction examines the issues from multiple perspectives.
We meet Lisa, a car accident survivor who despite efforts to avoid addictive medications found herself opioid dependent. Seniors share their concerns about the use of opioids in medicating older persons. Chris, a youth, tells of his “oxy” addiction and the prevalent recreational use of opiates amongst youth and adults in his community. Parents tell the stories of their sons, Ben and Chad, who committed suicide because they saw no way out of their OxyContin addiction. We visit Thunder Bay where an epidemic of opioid use has spawned pharmacy break-ins and an increase of injection drug use on the streets. We travel to a First Nation reserve where leaders are grappling with a serious pill addiction problem in their community. And we meet Scott, a former opiates user who is undergoing methadone maintenance treatment in a determined effort to turn his life around. In addition to these first-hand accounts, Prescription for Addiction includes insights from doctors and other health professionals about the risks and benefits of opioids, the responsibilities of prescribing doctors, drug companies and regulatory agencies in protecting and informing the public about the risks of opioid medications, and the appropriate use of methadone and other treatment approaches in helping people who are opioid addicted or dependent. The film is appropriate for a wide range of audiences including health professionals, addiction service providers, people struggling with addiction - and their families, law enforcement personnel, educators, youth, the elderly, aboriginal communities, and anyone who use health care. A comprehensive User Guide is available for the film.

Prescription for Addiction was commissioned by the Ontario Federation of Community Mental Health & Addiction Programs (OFCMHAP) in partnership with St. Joseph’s Care Group, Thunder Bay.

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