Intimate Portraits Of Opiate Addiction And Recovery

Sep 18, 2013

Still photo from the documentary about opiate addiction, "The Hungry Heart," by filmmaker Bess O'Brien.
Credit Courtesy of Kingdom County Productions/Carley Stevens-McLaughlin

Thurs 9/19/13 at Noon & 7PM:  Addiction to painkillers often hits the headlines when addicts are arrested for theft and break-ins. But a new documentary focuses on the life stories of young addicts, and one pediatrician in St. Albans who tries to treat their addiction. 

On the next Vermont Edition, we talk with Dr. Fred Holmes about teen opiate addicts he's treated, and one of his former patients, Dustin Machia, who's been in recovery for nearly five years. We're also joined by documentary filmmaker Bess O’Brien, who profiles Dr. Holmes and several young opiate addicts in her new film, “The Hungry Heart,” in which she argues for a compassionate approach to treating addiction as a medical problem, rather than a crime.

Also in the program, the Charter of Quebec Values. It's an idea floated by Premier Pauline Marois and the Parti Quebecois, and it's a topic of hot debate in Quebec. McGill University Professor of Law and Philosophy Daniel Weinstock joins us to explain what the charter would and wouldn’t do, and what kind of reaction it has met in the province.

And, music by The Snaz. VPR's Susan Keese profiles the young teens in the band that has been earning buzz far beyond Brattleboro.