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ast year 64,000 people in the U.S. died from drug overdoses. That number was driven largely by an epidemic of opioid abuse. Communities all over the country are losing friends and family members to this crisis at a terribly high rate. I know this firsthand, because I grew up in one of these places: Somerville, Mass.

Almost a year ago I began thinking about how to tell the story of what happened to my circle of friends. I hoped that by examining how the drugs took hold in my hometown, I could illustrate how the same thing can and does happen everywhere. The new STAT documentary, “Runnin’,” includes candid and thoughtful interviews with friends who lost family members and others who abused opioids themselves.

“Runnin’” also examines the role pharmaceutical companies played in promoting the prescription drug OxyContin and downplaying the risk of addiction. Nearly every friend of mine that battled opioid addiction started with OxyContin and progressed to more dangerous but chemically similar street drugs like heroin and the synthetic opioid fentanyl.

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We’re premiering the film Wednesday, Oct. 11, at the Paramount Theater in downtown Boston. It will also be screened as part of the GlobeDocs Film Festival Sunday, Oct. 15, at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, Mass.

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  • Okay, I will agree opioid abuse is possibly real, but all this hype is hurting the real sufferer, literally. I have severe arthritis and persons like me are wondering what this means for us. Are we going to be stripped of the only thing that allows us a little semblance of a life. Worries like this are causing much anxiety.

    • Tanya, thank you for your interestin “Runnin'”. Right now the documentary makers are planning future screenings and do not have plans for an online version at the moment.
      Liz
      STAT

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